Eagles-Titans: Why Wasn't Asante Samuel Covering Kenny Britt?

Darren GrossmanCorrespondent IOctober 25, 2010

Philadelphia Eagles secondary coach Sean McDermott directs the defense  against the Dallas Cowboys November 14, 2005 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.  The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 21 - 20.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Kenny Britt registered the best day ever for a wide receiver against the Philadelphia Eagles. In the Eagles' history, they had never allowed 225 yards and three touchdowns to one WR.

The most amazing part was he did it in three quarters. 

Britt didn't even play the entire first quarter due to off the field issues—so he put up 225 yards and three touchdowns in three quarters. That's an average of over 71 yards and a touchdown per quarter.

It was truly an amazing day for the young Britt, and don't get me wrong—like most people, I was impressed.

However, I wasn't nearly as impressed with Britt as I was with the incompetence of Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.

The Eagles have faced great QBs and great WRs throughout their history. Yet the best day a WR ever put up against them was backup QB Kerry Collins throwing the ball to Kenny Britt, a player most Eagles fans probably never heard of before Sunday.

Britt is a second-year WR who caught 42 passes last season. He's a young player, and he's definitely showing he has some skills, but he never should have had a day like he had on Sunday.

The most amazing thing about what Britt did was that McDermott seemed to allow it to happen. He did nothing to make adjustments or try to contain Britt.

I have never been a McDermott fan. I think he is a terrible coordinator, and the Eagles should have fired him at the end of last season. The McDermott-led Eagles defense was embarrassed twice last season by Dallas in back-to-back games. When you get outmaneuvered by someone as stupid as Wade Phillips, that's bad. He should have lost his job for that alone.

The unfortunate part is that a lack of adjustments isn't anything new for McDermott. The Eagles defense got shredded in the first half against Washington and Green Bay, and McDermott did nothing. He did make some halftime adjustments, but do you really need to go into the locker room to make adjustments? Good coaches can fix things on the fly, in between possessions, and McDermott has shown zero ability to do that.

After the Redskins loss earlier this season, players admitted they were not prepared for the Redskins running the ball the way they did. That falls on McDermott. How could you not be prepared for a team running the ball? There are only two options: They run or they pass.

Kenny Britt had a big day against the Eagles on Sunday, and for that, I do give Britt some credit. He played well. However, his big day was largely because Sean McDermott failed to do a simple, obvious thing.

See, the Eagles have this really good defensive back who makes the Pro Bowl almost every year. His name is Asante Samuel. He is one of the best cover corners in the league. He is getting paid a lot of money and is one of the highest-paid corners in the league. I am sure most Eagles fans know all about Asante Samuel.

Apparently, Asante Samuel needs to go introduce himself to Sean McDermott, because it was clear to me that McDermott must not know who he is. I mean, that's the only logical explanation I can think of as to why Samuel covered Britt as many times as I did in the second half. Throughout Britt's big day, Samuel was never matched up with Britt. My question is why?

It would seem to me that it was the easiest adjustment in the history of the NFL. There is a WR killing my team, and I have a really good cover cornerback. Any coach who was even half competent would have matched Samuel up with Britt. Heck, my girlfriend said to me, why don't they put someone else on that guy?   

Instead, McDermott left Ellis Hobbs on Britt for the entire game. He rarely brought safety help either. I do believe a couple times a safety was supposed to help and got there late. That goes partially on the player, but once again, that could have all been avoided by switching the coverage and having Samuel match up with Britt.

What does McDermott do on the sidelines in between possessions? I have no idea, but it definitely is not strategize or make adjustments.

Basically, here's what happened in a nutshell: Britt was killing the Eagles in single coverage, and the Eagles continued to let him do it throughout the entire game. The rest of the Titans passing game had 51 yards combined. Nate Washington (the guy Samuel was covering most of the day) had one catch for seven yards.

Washington is a deep threat and a speed guy who doesn't do much else. Ironically, Ellis Hobbs is fast and not really a great cover guy, so you would think a Hobbs-Washington pairing would have been much smarter for the Eagles. That never occurred to McDermott. Nothing occurred to McDermott except to sit there and stare blankly out on the field.

So congratulations to Kenny Britt on a huge day. It was impressive. After the game Britt was a big star, and he was talking about how his big day happened. Yet he never mentioned McDermott. That was the biggest snub of the day. The first person he should have thanked after the game was Sean McDermott. Thanks Sean for not switching your coverages all day. Thanks for letting me continue to get open.

The only good news is that if guys like Kenny Britt continue to have days like that against the Eagles, maybe McDermott will be fired at the end of the season. Hey, maybe I am a big Kenny Britt fan after all!