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Expanding Asomugha's role in Philly

Can the Eagles new CB be the next Charles Woodson? Matt Bowen

Print This September 04, 2011, 01:30 PM EST
9 Comments

Last week, I talked coverage and scheme when discussing Saints TE Jimmy Graham—a player I see causing serious matchup issues in the secondary. I listed some base coverages (Cover 7, Cover 2, etc.) I would carry on my call sheet to try and counter the Saints ability to move their TE into multiple alignments.

Nnamdi AsomughaLike Woodson in Green Bay, the Eagles can use Asomugha in multiple roles on defense. 

However, the one defensive player that would give me the ideal matchup vs. Graham—regardless of coverage scheme—is Green Bay’s Charles Woodson. Unique talent that can align at CB, play inside of the numbers and blitz off the edge.

And after reading today’s Sunday Blitz from the NFP’s Dan Pompei, why can’t we add Philly’s Nnamdi Asomugha to the list of elite talent on defense that plays a hybrid role in the secondary?

According to Pompei, the Eagles are expanding Asomugha’s game outside of the press-coverage he played in Oakland. Align him in some off-man looks, play him inside over the slot, etc.

Think of the Packers with Woodson. He can walk down over a TE (essentially playing the SS role in the box), match the “two-way go” of a No.2 receiver inside of the numbers, drop to the deep middle of the field or play as a deep half safety.

And that’s on top of what he can do outside of the numbers playing press or off-man.

But the key here is what Woodson can do playing over a Graham, Antonio Gates, Jason Witten, etc. That’s the matchup answer you want as a defensive coordinator.

Philly can get that with Asomugha. Size, length, top end speed and the ability to use his hands at the line of scrimmage. Get a TE removed from the core of the formation and Asomugha can play press. Move him inside and he can win on 3rd down situations.

Plus, if you want to get creative and scheme an offense (like we see from Dom Capers in Green Bay), use Asomugha to create pressure on the QB.

Philly has that with Asomugha. Let's see how they use him come next Sunday.

Follow me on Twitter: MattBowen41

Comments

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SHAKE JUNT
Sep 04, 2011
03:20 PM

Teams are going to use a lot of heavy formations to keep the nickel defense off the field. Their average linebackers will be exposed. I don't think an ex-offensive line coach is in the same atmosphere as Dom Capers when it comes to calling plays. BBOO!! Eagles suck!!

Elle
Sep 04, 2011
03:45 PM

Look, Asomugha is a fantastic cover corner. One of the best in the league. But to compare his versatility to Charles Woodson's? I mean, strictly in Woodson's ability to play essentially any position on the defensive side of the ball (except, arguably, as a down lineman).

Asomugha could matchup against some elite TE's in the slot, but don't mention his name with Charles Woodson. They're completely different players, and Asomugha isn't even in Woodson's league when talking about versatility as a defensive back. Woodson plays CB, SS, FS, plays the slot and even plays LB, not to mention he blitzes and even run blitzes.
Asomugha is not even in Woodson's phase of existence. The guy exists like on some 5th dimensional plane.

Physicists ask: Where did all of the dark matter go? Answer: Charles Woodson. Charles Woodson farts and new stars are born.

Bill Bates 40
Sep 04, 2011
04:30 PM

Shake Junt,
How did the Packers manage to keep nickel on the field for 55% of their defensive snaps while marching to a Super Bowl victory if "heavy formations" can so easily keep that personnel group on the sideline? Sure, not every team's nickel unit has a third CB that can play the run like Woodson, but there is no reason to believe that Philly will be as over-matched as you suggest when facing the power running units. Besides, Philly has the offensive firepower to put points up in a hurry and force the other team to abandon the running game early. That's really been the blueprint for almost all of the better teams lately in how to "stop" the other team's ground game without actually being THAT tough up the middle. A two touchdown lead in the second quarter is just as good as a brutal front seven at shutting down opposing runners.

Seasick
Sep 04, 2011
05:29 PM

Much respect2daChamps Greenbay No respect4daPaperChamps Eagles!

Elle
Sep 04, 2011
07:08 PM

Look, Asomugha is a fantastic cover corner. One of the best in the league. But to compare his versatility to Charles Woodson's? I mean, strictly in Woodson's ability to play essentially any position on the defensive side of the ball (except, arguably, as a down lineman).

Asomugha could matchup against some elite TE's in the slot, but don't mention his name with Charles Woodson. They're completely different players, and Asomugha isn't even in Woodson's league when talking about versatility as a defensive back. Woodson plays CB, SS, FS, plays the slot and even plays LB, not to mention he blitzes and even run blitzes.
Asomugha is not even in Woodson's phase of existence. The guy exists like on some 5th dimensional plane.

Physicists ask: Where did all of the dark matter go? Answer: Charles Woodson. Charles Woodson farts and new stars are born.

Goombar
Sep 04, 2011
09:28 PM

Yeah, I dunno about this idea of the next Charles Woodson. I admire Aso for wanting to be like Woodson (the guy obviously looks up to Woody) but they're different players with different skill sets playing in entirely different schemes, with Aso under a rookie D-coordinators and Woodson playing under one of the greatest minds to every create a defense.

To do what Woody does, you need to be a very good tackler. That's not Aso's strength, in fact, he's not all that good at tackling. And although Aso can muscle WRs, TEs are a whole different beast.

This will be interesting to watch though. Just seems there is more to go wrong with this than stuff that can go right. And considering only 2 CBs have pulled off this role, I find it even more doubtful (under a D coordinator who's a rookie and has no experience in a zone blitz system).

Schnazbot
Sep 05, 2011
02:42 AM

Dunno about this. Nnamdi would be excellent in all aspects of coverage except tackling and physically dominating a bigger player ala Woodson

CJ
Sep 06, 2011
10:50 AM

You doubters fail to realize that Nmamdi was a safety in college, and converted to corner in the league. He was never asked to do these things in Oakland, and I'm not saying he will definitely succeed, but you can't say he definitely will fail.

Tom
Sep 06, 2011
01:48 PM

Asomugha can't tackle? Are you guys crazy or just making this stuff up to make a point? Asomugha is arguable the best CB in the league, he's better than Woodson at his position. He can tackle, cover, has an amazing skillset to go with a perfect frame for a CB. To think that he can't do what Woodson is doing in GB is just stupid.

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