Category Archives: Asomugha

Eagles Starters to Play First Quarter

The Eagles spent this morning going through a simulated game that was closed to the public as they prepare to take on the Baltimore Ravens in their first preseason game of the season.

Andy Reid addressed the media afterwards, and said that his starters would play the first quarter. The 2nd team would take over from their until the half, and for the rest of the game it will be a combination of the third and fourth teams.

In addition to breaking down how he will divide his playing time, Reid said that Jamaal Jackson will start the game at center. Their had been some speculation over the last few days that rookie center Jason Kelce might take that role, but at least for the first game, it appears as if the job is still Jacksons. Reid did mention, however, that Kelce could see some time with the first unit. It would not be shocking to see that happen, as Howard Mudd is a big fan of Kelce, and would more then likely be interested in see him go up against the Baltimore Ravens defensive line.

Vince Young has struggled in camp so far

Vince Young will come in and quarterback the second unit. Young has had a rough training camp so far, both in learning the offense and mechanically. Multiple times Young has gone to the line only to be called back and talk with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. Young has also had trouble making basic throws, as most of his balls have been overthrown or off target. This could have to do with him processing the offense while he is trying to play.

Jason Avant and Riley Cooper will be the starting recievers, while Chad Hall and Sinorce Moss will back them up. Moss has had a great camp, and it will be interesting to see if he can translate that into the game. Moss is fighting for a roster spot, and with Jeremy Maclin out, the Eagles will be interested in keeping as many playmakers as they can. Unlike Avant, Cooper and Hall, Moss has the speed to take one to the house.

On defense, Reid said that when the team is in nickel, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will play the outside. That means that Nnamdi Asomugha will man the middle, a role he has embraced. It will be interesting to see how much defensive coordinator Juan Castillo will show in terms of their plans for using the package for the regular season. With most preseason games, the gameplan is very vanilla. But with so many changes, and with Castillo new to calling the plays, it will be interesting to see how complicated the gameplan gets.

Speaking of Castillo, Reid said that tomorrows game will be the next step for Castillo. Castillo has been wearing the headset on the sideline for the last few practices, getting used to making the play calls. If the defense has problems getting a play in or seems confused, that could be coming from Castillo more then the inexperience of the defense playing together.

Either way, add up all of the plot lines for tomorrow night and you have one of the most anticipated preseason games in years.

 

Asomugha, Cole miss practice with injuries

Despite the rain in Lehigh this morning leaving the field wet and slippery for the start of practice, the Eagles still took the field in front of their fans this morning for their usual 8am practice.

Two players who did not practice were Nnamdi Asomugha and Trent Cole, who both missed the morning session with injuries. Asomugha did not practice due to upper leg inflammation. Cole did not price because of an elbow injury. Head Coach Andy Reid said that the team did not consider either to be serious, and that Cole could be back at practice tomorrow. Asomugha could take a day or two, said Reid.

Nnamdi Asomugha

Nate Allen, the teams starting safety, also did not practice. Allen being held from practice was more precautionary then anything else, said Coach Reid. It’s safe to say that the wet surface had something to do with Allen not being out their, as multiple Eagles slipped early on due to last nights rain.

To finish off the injury news on the day, Reid said that Jeremy Maclin is still undergoing tests and had no timetable for his return. It is looking more and more like their is a chance Maclin may begin the season in street clothes or on the PUP. Their was also no update on Mike Patterson, who according to reports is looking for other medical opinions on whether he has AVM or not.

Eagles Will Move Nnamdi All Around

Today was the day that Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Ronnie Brown and others have been waiting for- the day they can finally put on the pads and practice.

For media and the fans, it was also the day that the Eagles would be forced to tip their hand on what they planned to do with their trio of all star corners.

Asomugha will be all over this year for the Eagles

After warming up, the Eagles defense took the field for install. Asante Samuel lined up at his usual right cornerback position, with Nnamdi lined up on the left. It is very clear from watching the Eagles today that when they play two cornerbacks, it is Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie who is going to be the odd man out.

When the team went into dime and nickel packages, Nnamdi moved inside as Rodgers-Cromartie lined up on the left. Nnamdi lined up next to Trent Cole on the left side, showing blitz every time he was their. On some plays, he ran in and on others, he dropped back into coverage. Juan Castillo moved Nnamdi inside on a number of plays, as it was clear he has all kinds of ideas of his new defensive toy. Making things even better for Castillo is Nnamdi’s willingness to experiment, as he even lined up in the backfield for some plays.

Opposing offensive coordinators are going to be staying up at night worried about where Nnamdi will be. The Eagles wealth of cornerbacks allow them to take the best one in the game and move him all around. Nnamdi’s size makes him an ideal fit to line up and show blitz, and he will be able to get in quick and get his long arms up in the air. When he has to drop back, he has the size to cover tight ends.

Although Rodgers-Cromartie did not line up as a starter, he was on the field a ton. The former Arizona Cardinal might just be the best athlete on the team, as he did not get beat down the field once during the morning practice. His speed and size, in addition to his long arms, allow him to make the play even if he is a step behind.

While Nnamdi and Rodgers-Cromartie moved all around, Asante Samuel was on the right side the entire practice. It makes sense to keep Samuel their, as he has shown is he a turnover machine from that side. In addition, he really can’t move inside as the other two can, as he lacks the size to play their.

Overall, the Eagles showed one thing this morning: that if they get a lead on a team, it is going to be near impossible for opposing teams to throw on this defense and catch up.

Nnamdi gets cover of Sports Illustrated

The “Dream Team” is now taking center stage.

Nnamdi Asomugha, the Eagles new Pro-Bowl acquisition, is gracing the cover of this weeks Sports Illustrated.

“NFL 2.0” is pasted across Nnamdi as he back pedals in his new Eagles practice gear.

Here it is:

Castillo: Nnamdi “excited” about possibly playing nickel

The answers to how the Eagles defense will look with their three Pro-Bowl cornerbacks is slowly coming into focus.

Juan Castillo, talking to the media today after practice, said that one option no one considered could very well end up being the final solution.

“Him and I rolled in the car together to practice yesterday, and he was the one that mentioned to me the kind of job that (Charles) Woodson did and that he would be excited about a role like that if it went that way,” said Castillo to PhillySportsDaily.com

Nnamdi is hoping to make more plays on the ball this year from the nickel

For those that don’t know, Charles Woodson played a nickel style position for the Green Bay Packers last season. It was a role he excelled in, and one that Castillo said Nnamdi would be excited to play.

“Nnamdi is a special guy. He wants to make plays,” said Castillo. “I think he respects [Charles] Woodson. I think he would love that role, being able to blitz — big, tall guy like that coming off the edge, then all of a sudden in press coverage on the slot guy.”

Making plays is something that Nnamdi spoke about at his press conference on Sunday. After having 8 interceptions in 2006, Nnamdi has only picked off 3 balls in the last 4 seasons- and none last year. The lack of throws coming his way has a big part to do with that. In the nickel, Nnamdi would presumably be able to fool defenses into throwing his way.

Nnamdi, a safety in college, is used to playing a position other then corner, and could use some of those instincts from college to make plays from the nickel. His size would also benefit him as he covered corners going across the middle.

It is not surprising to hear Nnamdi open to playing the slot. In addition to wanting to make plays, Nnamdi also wants to win. He knows that with all three corners, they have a better chance. Already considered the best cornerback in the league, and being paid like it, Nnamdi really does not have anything more to prove. All that is left to do is win.

With both Nnamdi and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie saying they are more then happy to play the nickel, it seems like the three headed monster the Eagles have amassed at cornerback could work. Asante Samuel is expected to talk today, where he presumably will answer questions about his willingness to accept a new role.

The picture will really start to come into focus on August 4th, when Nnamdi is finally able to take the field with the rest of his teammates.

But to Juan Castillo, the corner that ends up playing the nickel should not feel slighted.

“A nickel defensive back is really a starter in the NFL,” said Castillo. “There are some teams that don’t even play regular personnel…We have three starters, and we need three starters. We’re excited.”

Asomugha: Eagles were always #1 choice

Nnamdi Asomugha prepares for everything he has to do. Whether it is covering a teams number one wide out, or making decisions for the Asomugha Foundation, everything is calculated.

Nnamdi will wear #24 with the Eagles

So when it came to one of the biggest decisions in his life- where to began the next part of his football career- he handled it the same way.

“Once I knew I was not going back to Oakland, I sat down with my team and we started to talk about where to go,” said Asomugha to the media today at Lehigh. “Since March, I knew that I wanted to come to Philadelphia.”

Asomugha said that the Eagles commitment to winning, coupled with some recruiting by DeSean Jackson and Michael Vick during the off season, were the reasons they made the top of his list.

That is why when Howie Roseman and the Eagles called a few days ago and things became serious, Asomugha was able to commit rather quickly. The preparation paid off, and hopefully it will soon start paying off for the Eagles.

When asked about the possibility of playing with Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Asomugha said that not only would he like it, he thinks its a must.

“The rules today, lets just say, are built to make offenses explosive” said Asomugha. “You need to have as many weapons as possible.”

Many assumed that Asomugha would take #21 from Joselio Hanson, as he has worn the number his whole career in Oakland. But after a conversation with Hanson, Asomugha decided to wear #24.

“I asked him if the number meant something to him, and he said it did. I’m not trying to come in here and take over,” said Asomugha

Asomugha has never played for a winning team after spending his career in Oakland. So while he said he will miss the people in Oakland, he also said that the mission is clear.

“I’m a Philadelphia Eagle. Let’s go win a Super Bowl.”

Roseman, Reid won’t commit to Samuel

Howie Roseman and Andy Reid just got finished talking to the media after the stunning signing of Nnamdi Asomugha, but to no surprise, most questions focused on Asante Samuel.

Roseman was pressed multiple times, and while he would not outright say Asante Samuel would be gone, he did not do a good job convincing the media that he would stay.

“Dominquie Rodgers-Cromartie is out starting right cornerback” said Roseman.

Who will start on the left, Nnamdi’s position he has played for years at a Pro-Bowl level?

“We still have to figure that all out” said Roseman.

Needles to say, the Eagles did not give Asomugha $25 million dollars to play nickel, meaning that Samuel has likely played his last game as an Eagle.

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, who broke the Nnamdi news, reports that the Cardinals are interested in Asante. After trading their 2nd round pick to the Eagles for Kevin Kolb, the Cardinals would have to include a player along with a later round pick to get the deal done.

Anyone who thinks the Eagles will take below market value for Samuel should ask Lito Sheppard, who was forced to play nickel for a year after many assumed he would be traded due to the signing of Asante Samuel a few years ago.

The New York Jets, who tried hard to sign Asomugha, are also rumored to be included in the Asante Samuel sweepstakes.

From hearing Roseman speak, it appears that a deal for Samuel could come sooner then later.

Stay tuned for more details to come as they emerge.