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Eagles Secondary Didn’t Focus On Stopping Larry Fitzgerald

Everybody in the National Football League knows that you have to stop Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald if you want to beat the Arizona Cardinals.

For a number of reasons the Eagles were unaware of where he lined up on  quite a few plays and each time they paid the price for their ignorance.  There are only a handful of players in the league who are deserved of such attention and Fitzgerald is one of them.

The Birds defense should have been yelling out to their teammates before each play about where number 11 was lined up.  You can’t treat him like just any other receiver because he’s such a huge part of the Cardinals offense.

The Cardinals moved him around to as they always do and the Birds made the mistake of not keeping track of where he was lining up.

The secondary had considered having cornerback Nmandi Asomugha follow Fitzgerald all over the field, but for some reason they abandoned that plan.  Regardless of whether they were going to have Asomugha shadow him or not, they should have identified where Fitzgerald was on each play.  Again, he is such a big part of the Cardinals attack that you’ve got to pay special attention to him.

In man-to-man coverages, you want to have a cornerback locked up on him and a safety waiting deep in case he runs a deep route.  Both safeties should have been identifying where Fitzgerald was lined up every time the ball was snapped.  The safeties should have been told to make him a priority, meaning we’re not going to let Fitzgerald beat us.  Somebody else might beat us, but we’re not going to let Fitzgerald beat us.

On zone coverages, all the linebackers must know where he’s lining up in case he runs a crossing route.  No one is individually responsible for him in zone coverages, but everybody must know where he lines up, so that you’re ready for him in case he comes in your area.  I remember treating guys like Jerry Rice with this respect.

The Eagles got lulled to sleep and forgot to keep track of Fitzgerald.  He ran a couple of short crossing routes and made big runs after catching the football because the players on the other side of the zone coverage weren’t ready for him when he came across on the crossing routes.

The Cardinals ran the same crossing routes during the NFC Championship game in 2009 and the Eagles defense was again caught sleeping and it cost the Birds a trip to the Super Bowl.

On the 37-yard touchdown catch, Eagles safety Kurt Coleman made the mistake of biting on a run fake or pump fake by Kevin Kolb and opened up the middle of the field deep when Fitzgerald was running a post route on Asomugha.  Before the play, the entire secondary should have been talking about where Fitzgerald was lined up, so Coleman would have realized that there was a good chance that Fitzgerald was coming into his area.

He should have been slow to take any fakes with Fitzgerald in position to get deep.  The Cardinals have no problem throwing the ball to him when there’s only one defender running with him.  They figure the tall receiver can out jump or out muscle anybody in the league for the football.

You know that the Cardinals were going to try to use fakes to open up that area in order to give Fitzgerald the chance to make a play.  Coleman should have been there in the middle of the field deep to help Asomugha defend that pass.

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Posted by on Sep 24 2012. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News, Secondary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

21 Comments for “Eagles Secondary Didn’t Focus On Stopping Larry Fitzgerald”

  1. I still say CB Asmo is the most Overrated Player on this Eagle Team and a real weakness in the Secondary.. If I am opposing OC, I am running Deep Routes on his Side every chance I can for he just can make a play on a ball or pass route that’s more than 20-25 Yards down the field and is horrible down those sideline routes.. How he ever was a Pro-Bowler is beyond me..
    Also another overhyped part of this Eagle team is the Pass-Rush of the Eagles DL — How many Sacks do they have in 3 Games now.. Where is this fearsome Pass-Rush that we have been told about .. The Cardinals have one of the worst OL In the entire NFL and kept Kolb pretty clean all game long..
    (Anyone notice how badly Kolb outplayed Vick..in making his reads quickly, getting rid of the ball and throwing it to spots where only his Receivers could make a play on it.. things that Vick has never been able to or will be able to do..)
    Punter for the Eagles had a nice game and that’s about it…

    • I have to agree Paul. Unfortunately, he may have to be a cap casualty next year. They need draft picks bad.

      OL – DJ Fluker Alabama 6-6 335 Right Tackle (Move Herremanns to R.Guard)
      OG – Chance Warmack Alabama 6-4 330 Left Guard (replace Danny Watkins)
      OLB- Jarvis Jones Georgia 6-3 245 (Replace Akeem Jordan)
      Jonathan Brown Illinois 6-3 240 Cut Brian Rolle)
      MLB – Manti Te’o Notre Dame 6-1 250 (Cut Casey Matthews)
      CB- Jonathan Banks Miss St 6-2 210 (Can back up DRC)
      Xavier Rhodes Florida State 6-3 215 (Potentially could replace Nnamdi)
      S- Robert Lester Alabama 6-2 210
      TJ McDonald USC 6-2 210
      DT- Jonathan Hankins Ohio State 6-4 332
      Jonathan Jenkins Georgia 6-4 350(Either replaceM. Patterson)

  2. Defense played very poorly, but at the same time, they gave up 13 points. Vick turnover and the moron punt returner fumbling caused 14 points. Defense is the least of the problems.

    And if Paulmoron knew anything about football, he would see the three step every team is running against the Eagles is the reason for no QB pressure/sacks. Completely negates any rush….

  3. Eagles played too much zone…saw Ryans picking up Fitz at one point during the game.
    But the Cardinals moved Fitz all around the field…He did damage in the slot out wide on both sides of the field. Very good offensive game plan by the Cardinals!

  4. This is everytime the eagles play arizona. Fitz goes wild. Its like they can care less about covering him.

  5. kerry rhodes looked like King Kong knocking Celek’s guts out of his stomache– maybe coach reid will get Nate Allen in position to be prepared to make plays like that

  6. haha @MJacobs45 – exactly, its about game plan, play calls, route running…tons of variables have to be considered. However the turnovers are getting ridiculous, Vick is turning the ball over way too damn much, and the one that really hurt yesterday was the end of the game. Totally deflated the squad.

    I got the feeling that the coaches were thinking a little too much about the Giants, the way the game was called…McCoy had 4 rushes in the 1st half? I mean really? I was hoping to see a balanced attack like against the Ravens…really didn’t see much creativity in yesterday’s game. Didn’t move Vick in the pocket. Our screen game is nothing like it used to be, and hasn’t been for years.

    But I’m no analyst…don’t have the game tape where I can see the entire field and all that is going on…. I’ll leave that up to the Paulmans, Vinniethesisters, MHeShe, who are VIP and have the new TV technology that gives them the broad view of the field on football Sundays….

  7. You don’t need anything but your two eyes real talk to see Vick is not getting it done, neither did, is, will Andy Reid, the eagles will end there relationship with Reid and Vick, hire the cardinals d coordinator, everybody will be happy

  8. the eagles play calling make vick hold the ball. the mini recievers we have cant run stants and shallow crosses which is what the cardinal did to us

  9. For me, by far the most frustrating thing to me is the lack of gameplanning. I would think that every defense in the league would want to take care of #11 first. That is a no brainer, but that didn’t happen at all. Heaven forbid they change the defense to try to take away the strength of the other team.

  10. @Jakedog – now see…I didnt say anything about Vick’s performance in this thread…I’ve clearly stated in another post, different article that I’m tired of Vicks turnovers, no excuses for his play coming from my end…

    But at the same time, blame Vick for his mistakes, look at the big picture, look at the O Line, why possibly was the defense getting to Vick on half of his drop backs? if you have no time to get rid of the ball, what do you expect? Does Vick block too? not sure anymore, since its always Vick Vick Vick…How about WR’s and the routes? Play calling?

  11. real talk, it is and always will be about the qb, especially here with the stat man vinnie, qb gets the praise even if bailed out by miracle catch, ala manning style in first super bowl, tyree, but Andy Reid’s play calling, scheming with what he has is abysmal, either go with vick’s strenghts or play the rookie, this is not working in spite of te record, hell Juan Castillo is doing the best coaching job

  12. Anyone watch Seahawk Chris Clemons rush Packers Aaron Rodgers last evening.. Seahwaks got Clemons and a 4th or 5th Round Draft Pick for Darryl Tapp which was a pretty good deal for them..
    Clemons like Derrick Burgess a few Years back were players that the Eagles made mistakes on by letting go or moving them too quickly..
    Anyone else notice Seahwawk LB KJ Wright who I was touting 2 Drafts ago and then he would be a beast at the NFL Level.. I wanted the Eagles to draft him in 2011 to be the true “SAM LB” that the Eagles don’t have…
    Also in that Seahawk Secondary is a big,physical Safety in Cam Chancellor who is 6-3 225lbs and hits like a LB.. PAulman had him down as 4th Round Selection in 2011 while the Eagles took a PK in A Henerey… I have to take a walk..

  13. To GmCliff
    I like your Draft Prospects,
    but if EAgles stay with AR nad OL Coach Mudd’s schemes, none on the OL you listed fit his scheme.. Mudd likes them long and lean and not the Road-Graders you listed who are all very good prospects but don’t fit the Mudd mold and same with you DT’s Prospects… Washburn likes them long,lean and quick too, not gap-stoppers and big guys as you have listed

  14. Talking about the draft in Sept????

  15. Never too early to talk about the Draft Bugs..
    Especially for the way the Eagles are playing this Year so far..
    Their OL is not playing well and need a couple of players, they still lack any Physical Receivers and need a Top Safety plus Depth at TE, DT & SAM LB
    Kendricks should play the WILL position..

  16. So let me get this straight…Your QB has to play well, regardless of the situations he is being faced with…

    Play calling, repeat passing calls over and over. An offense that has arguably the best back in football who isn’t utilized in an entire half of football. O Line devastated by injuries. O line that is soft at pretty much every position except the right side.all of that is on the QB, don’t care, just go out there and make things happen, pretty much is what you’re saying. if you guys can’t see the entire picture, stop watching and most definitely stop commenting. Foles comes in, guess what fellas, the weak side of the line, will be on Foles blind side!

    Everyone talking about Vick holding the ball, if anyone saw the damn game on Sunday, you saw penetration to the QB by AZ in about 2 secs or less at times. Many times Vick was getting hit on throws he was waiting for his receivers on and completing them…

    The play against the Cardinals, that everyone is blasting Vick about, Vick expected the RB would pick up the safety, it didnt happen…it wasn’t that Vick didnt see him…it was not being on the same page as McCoy. So is it Vicks fault or McCoy’s fault for not picking up the blocking assignment? I mean what was McCoy doing on that play?

    To everyone talking about Vick’s height…guess what you do as a coach…you move the pocket a little bit..you help create throwing lanes, for short passes. passes to the middle…but its difficult to move the pocket when your O Line is patched together. Reid stated the Eagles tried to move the pocket, and it wasn’t effective. Sometimes its better to use your ears than your eyes. Meaning everything you read isn’t true, better to hear things straight from a source at times!

  17. That takes to long to develop with a QB like Vick since he has a difficult time following instructions.. The easist solution is Draft a Taller QB with a Quick Relase and get Vick the hell out of town…

  18. I’ve been marinating in this loss and finally decided to comment after careful examination.

    First off ….I said our Eagles would lose because Whisenhunt is just a better all around coach.. I was right.

    It’s not like I’m a genius or anything …it’s just that whisenhut have been whipping Andy’s ass consistently for some time now.

    I’m not even going to state the obvious..you know. “The Andy should run the ball line?”

    Andy doesn’t run the ball therefore good defenses keep their nickle packages in and blitz the Safety every other play.

    It’s easier to call a game against an offense that throws 80-90 percent of the time and that’s the reason we’re sitting here barely 2-1

    The league have caught up and this offense will continue to faulter under Andy Reid..

    Of course turnovers are an issue….so, if we all know they’re issues why keep the margin of error high by passing the ball?

    If you have a make shift, injury riddled, smallish offensive line with youth, why stack the deck against them by having them pass block against blitzes continually?

    Why?

    Andy Reid! That’s why!

    I don’t blame Michael Vick here, although he have been horrible.

    You put any QB behind our line with the middle collapsing against this awful line and they’ll get killed too.

    Another thing……

    Did Arizona call the same exact game they called against us last year when they kicked our asses at the Linc?

    The answer is yes.

    Fitz moved around and found the mismatches and ran the same exact plays.

    Did Juan learn anything from last year’s loss against The Cards?

    Did he have a corner locked on Fitz all game like other teams did this year limiting his impact?

    Did Juan Blitz Kolb into his skittish self when hit?

    Guys you all can see what I see here..just give up on this losing coach!

    It’s not over folks!

    The Giants will come into our house on “BDawk” night and kick our asses up and down the field.

    JPP will have 4 sacks, Vick will get injured and Foles will come into a losing effort.

    Then the sky will fall.

    “TIME’S YOURS”

    2-2

  19. @ Songs I hope not but I very much think you are right about the Giants. I thin k you are wrong about the O-Line though. I think this O-Line is designed (even with back ups) to be a 3 step drop line for a field general like P Manning. Problem is we have a riverboat gambling scrambler and a coach that calls BOMBS away with a QB – And WR that do not hot read blitzes.

  20. Regal…a Peyton Manning comes around every 20 years or so…

    So, if we’ve built a line for Peyton Manning knowing Michael Vick is our QB…who’s fault is that?

    You guys are losing focus by ignoring our greatest problem..

    Andy Reid!

    I believe the right coach with the talent we’ve had through the years would have least had 3 Championships given a 14 year span.

    Think about it.

    I believe this team righ now is more talented than most teams, including Arizona…and if Coughlin was coaching this team we’d have at least one strong possession receiver and would run the ball and probably win a SB.

    I was like you guys for years until the light came on..This guy refuses to run the damn ball!

    It’s injuring the QB…..and the offensive line!

    Andy Reid is not a good game day head coach!

    talent will always have us in the hunt but do you think Andy Reid can get us past the best defenses come playoffs?

    We won’t win 9 games this year.

    The Giants & Pittsburgh is going to stomp a hole in our pathetic asses.

    stay tuned

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