A Closer Look at the Philadelphia Eagles Cornerbacks
What started out as a very deep unit with lots of promise has turned into a thinned out group with a revolving door for backups. It seemed that every time I blinked, a new cornerback was promoted from the practice squad.
The Eagles had one of the best starting tandems at cornerback in the league. That may be good, but in a league where three receiver sets are becoming more normal, it’s just as important to have a good nickelback.
After Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown, any adjustments to improve at cornerback wouldn’t hurt the Eagles.
Former Eagle Hugh Douglas said it best. He stated that the Eagles shouldn't be surprised by Samuel's flaws. They paid him big money to get interceptions and that's his main focus.
He doesn't get paid to tackle and his lack of effort in that department will frustrate any true diehard fan.
Although it's a risk that he'll get burned for a TD, Samuel is one of the best at anticipating routes to snag an INT. You have to take the good with the bad with him.
In the spring, I felt that Brown was delusional in his attempt to get a contract extension. I also felt he would get traded before the season started. I'm glad that I was wrong both times.
While Samuel may be one of the flashiest corners in the league, Brown is definitely one of the grittiest. On top of his toughness, he's been productive in interceptions as well and should have made the Pro Bowl.
Although he’s never missed a game in his career, Brown had a nagging hamstring injury down the stretch of the season. He should be fine for the beginning of the 2010 season. Hopefully, injuries don’t start becoming normal now that he’s in his 30s.
I still have no clue why the Eagles extended Hanson's contract. He works hard and does his job, but there were certainly other corners that could've been an upgrade to him.
His four game suspension also hurt the team. I'd like to see him traded, but I'm sure he'll still be an Eagle for a few years.
To make it brief, I'd be highly surprised to see Patterson make it past training camp with the Eagles next season.
Before he was injured, it was obvious that trading two fifth-round draft picks for Hobbs was a huge mistake. Hobbs was supposed to challenge Sheldon Brown for the starting spot, but he's nowhere near Brown's level when it comes to coverage.
He was the Eagles primary kickoff return specialist, but that can be replaced. He likely won't be an Eagle next season.
Pope was signed towards the end of the season and I know very little about him. What I do know his signing is the result of the Eagles not liking what they saw in Jack Ikegwonu.
Everyone knows who the starters are going to be and it’s safe to say who the nickelback will be next season. After that, it certainly wouldn’t hurt for the Eagles to improve at cornerback.
The first step should be to acquire someone reliable and 6’0” or above to compete with the leagues taller receivers. It also would help if that individual was a physical corner. That way the Eagles would have the option to spell Samuel in obvious rushing situations.
The veteran corner that I wanted last year, Leigh Bodden, is going to command more money than the Eagles are likely to offer. Don’t expect him to be in midnight green next season.
Any addition at corner is likely to be address via draft. Depending on the round, three guys that would fit the mold to me are Chris Cook (Virginia), Donovan Warren (Michigan) and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (Indiana-PA).
Another solution could be to play Macho Harris at nickel or dime more if Philly address the free safety position. Regardless, if the Eagles’ top three corners stay healthy and nobody gets suspended, they’ll be in good shape