Philadelphia Eagles: Covering the Tight End and Stopping the Run

Adrian FedkiwAnalyst IIISeptember 21, 2011

ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 11: Nnamdi Asomugha #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles defends against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on September 11, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

In two games thus far, it’s evident that when attacking the Eagles defense, opposing offenses are going to stay away from the perimeter where cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie lurk.

Instead, the opposition has attacked the linebackers and safeties through the air with the tight end and crossing routes over the middle with the wide receivers.

Billy Bajema and rookie Lance Kendricks combined for three catches and 39 yards in Week 1, although the numbers could’ve looked much worse if Kendricks wouldn’t have dropped three key passes.

Against Atlanta, Tony Gonzalez torched Jamar Chaney by hauling in seven balls for 83 yards and two touchdowns.

Here’s my suggestion, and this doesn’t have to happen all of the time…

Asomugha’s a very physical corner, and although he’ll be smaller in stature against the tight end, why not let him line up against them in key 3rd-down situations or even goal-line plays?

The Eagles announced today that they will move strong-side linebacker Jamar Chaney back to the middle, where he played at the end of last season. Casey Matthews will move from the middle to the weak side, and Moise Fokou will move to the strong side.

This obviously doesn’t entirely have to do with defending the pass as the Eagles currently rank 30th against the run.

The young linebackers are struggling to fill the huge gaps left by the defensive ends who are lining up in the "wide 9" technique of defensive line coach Jim Washburn.

We’ll see if this change helps things this coming Sunday against a physical New York Giants squad.

The Rams combined to rush for 154 yards on 26 rushes in Week 1, while Atlanta’s Michael Turner shredded Philadelphia for 114 yards on 21 carries this past Sunday.

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