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The Philadelphia Eagles will be looking to deploy more man-to-man press coverage in 2012, which explains why the Asante Samuel trade can be viewed as more than just a salary dump and why Nnamdi Asomugha will need to return to his shutdown form.
Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo featured Asomugha in a Charles Woodson-like role in 2011, moving him from cornerback to linebacker and even to safety. This experiment didn’t yield positive results, but still proves the intelligence and versatility of the 10th-year veteran.
Asomugha will return to a more traditional role in 2012 and be expected to dominate receivers off the line of scrimmage like he routinely did in Oakland. His ability to eliminate one-half of the field will be imperative to the successes of the Wide 9 and Eagles defense as a unit.
If the All-Pro corner were sidelined for any reason, the Eagles would be without a reliable man-to-man defender and force Castillo to be more selective with his play-calling.