Nnamdi Asomugha: Why the Philadelphia Eagle Will Shut Down the NFL in 2012
Nnamdi Asomugha struggled to meet expectations last season, but it should be expected that the star corner bounces back in a big way in 2012. The entire Eagles team had a lot of pressure last season and they didn't live up to the hype surrounding them.
Asomugha struggled to learn the Eagles' defense in his first season with the team. He was asked to play in multiple formations that the Raiders' defense never required. With a full offseason at his disposal, he should be much more comfortable in the Eagles' scheme.
Marc Sessler of NFL.com had some interesting words with Asomugha recently. Asomugha made it very clear: He isn't afraid of anything heading into the 2012 season.
Asomugha states (via Sessler):
"There's not one particular guy that would concern me when I'm going into a game, but there are guys that you have to take notice of in the league."
The Eagles' defense finished eighth overall in the NFL last season. That isn't nearly as bad as it was made out to be. The Eagles had a first-year defensive coordinator, Juan Castillo, a new defensive scheme and multiple new starters on the defense.
Some of the Eagles' most troubling areas on defense came from the poor play of their linebackers. That is another area that should be significantly improved. The Eagles traded for DeMeco Ryans, former Pro-Bowl middle linebacker from the Houston Texans. They also used a second-round draft pick on Mychal Kendricks, who is expected to start at one of the outside linebacker positions.
Another explanation for Asomugha's struggles in 2011 could be the Eagles' crowded secondary. Asante Samuel and Asomugha played primarily on the outside which forced Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to play in slot coverage. He had no experience doing this and it showed as he struggled throughout the season.
The Eagles decided to part ways with Samuel this offseason so they could move Rodgers-Cromartie back to his natural position. This should make both him and Asomugha more comfortable and could allow them to play more man coverage.
Another year with the Eagles should allow Asomugha to be more comfortable. Juan Castillo should be more comfortable with his star player, too. These reasons should leave Eagles fans very optimistic about the team and defense heading into training camp.
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