Eagles’ Secondary Has Greatly Improved In 2012BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Friday, September 21st, 2012
The big, bad Baltimore Ravens came into last week’s matchup with our Philadelphia Eagles and were met with frequent flashes of lightning from an offense that has not yet found its groove. And Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense became acquainted with Philly Thunder, the Eagles new and remarkably improved defense!
Everyone pretty much knew that the defensive line would be great as they were last year, but a large part the focus of training camp and the preseason had been the play and development of the linebacking corp. which, with the additions of DeMeco Ryans and second-round pick Mychal Kendricks, has been outstanding in two games this year to say the least. But not much attention was given to the secondary, particular to the safety position which sparked concern from Eagles fans all over.
But this year, in my opinion, the biggest surprise of the 2012 season has been the play of Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman. The development of the two third-year safeties has been impressive. Allen seems much more confident in pass coverage and has been a beast against the run, leading the team in tackles with 15.
Kurt Coleman to me is a Cortland Finnegan type, a hard scrappy hitter whose lot in life seems to be to save every yard for his team and get the offense the ball at any cost… and to wear out the nerves of the opposing team. Coleman is one of those guys you hate if he’s on the other team but you love him to be on yours.
The corners, former Arizona Cardinal Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, who shares the team lead in interceptions (2) with Coleman, and Nnamdi Asomugha get all the accolades but the safeties are ballin’! And so far rookie Brandon Boykin (who ended up being part of the Kolb trade as well, he was the player the Eagles selected with their fourth round pick) hasn’t caused anyone to miss Joselio Hanson in the least. I think this secondary is going to be great.
DRC has been steady, brilliant at times but Asomugha to me is still a question mark. Better than many and still adjusting to defensive coordinator Juan Castillo’s scheme he still gets beat with the deep ball and that concerns me if he’s going to keep up with Arizona Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald on Sunday afternoon.
PhiladelphiaEagles.com’s fan poll says that the Eagles should use Nnamdi to shadow Fitzgerald. I think that is a mistake. I believe Nnamdi is the weak link in this Eagle secondary, at least right now. Fitzgerald only has 5 receptions for 67 yards and no touchdowns in 2012 but is still one of the top 2 or 3 receivers in the game and had 7 catches for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns in his last game against the Philadelphia.
One of the keys for the Eagles early success and for the rest of the season is and will be how the defense plays without the lead. They were able to hold Baltimore when it counted last week. Something they were unable to do for most of 2011. There’s a new mindset in Philadelphia, and a team with new found heart. Much credit should go to new secondary coach Todd Bowles.
I think teams are going to be intimidated by this team from the gate this year as we boast what is developing into a pretty nasty and relentless defense…at last!!! With the pressure from the D-line and outstanding play from the new and improved linebackers, this defense will be feared! The Ravens didn’t know what they were in for until it was too late as they fought (literally) for their lives most of the day.
These guys are not just smackin’ gums and talkin’ trash. That was last year. The 2012 Philadelphia Eagles are backing it up! But they’d better be careful not to take the Cardinals offense lightly. Kevin Kolb who missed the last game against Philly, a 21 – 17 Arizona win, is playing with confidence right now and will be in the pocket Sunday looking for revenge against his former teammates.
Not a bad thing to have is a bit of good fortune. You never know how that ball is going to bounce and it’s something you can’t prepare for. Turnarounds in a team are often unexplainable and it seems to be happening in Philly right now and it’s been long overdue.
There will be joy in Eagle Land for another week as the Eagles, led by a tenacious defense, win a hard fought battle in the first half but dominate the second half as they cruise to victory in the dessert. Eagles 34 Cardinals 17
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