Tag:Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Posted on: February 18, 2012 10:08 pm
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Eagles could be open to trading Asante Samuel

Samuel's future in Philly remains uncertain. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The Eagles were the NFL's most disappointing team last season and with many of the same faces returning in 2012, expectations will remain high. There were various reasons for Philly's 8-8 record -- injuries at quarterback, inconsistencies at wide receiver and a defense that looked absolutely lost an incapable of tackling for the first two-thirds of the season.

Despite missing the playoffs, the Eagles ended the year with four straight wins and the defense allowed an average of 11.5 points per game over that time. And if Asante Samuel returns to join Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at cornerback the defense -- and the secondary, in particular -- should be even better.

But there's no guarantee Samuel will be in Philly when training camps open in late July. In fact, he could be traded this spring.

“Whenever you have a surplus at a particular position there are talks around the league, people call and your phone does ring,” Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said (via the Wilmington News Journal), “and that’s happened in the past couple years by our quarterback situation.”

Samuel was mentioned in trade talks during the season and let's just say it didn't go over well.

"I've been nothing but what they expected me to be when they brought me there," Samuel said during the team's bye week in late October. "You know, 22, 23 interceptions over my years. Broke playoff records. So, definitely, it doesn't sit well with me. And obviously they don't want me there, so life goes on. So we'll see where I'll be at, ya know?"

Head coach Andy Reid addressed Samuel's comments a few days later.

“You have to understand everybody calls everybody,” he said. “We’re sitting here with a few good corners. So people call. But (shopping Samuel) wasn't the case. Asante and I talk. So listen, I’m not worried about that at all. He loves to play the game. And we’re going to move forward. I don’t have any comments past this. And I know he doesn’t. So, we’re moving on here.”

Samuel said at the time that he had Reid ware "good" and "that's all that matters," before adding, "A couple people upstairs might not want me, but who cares. They probably never played football. It's a business, they run it like a business, so they're going to do what they need to do. So they're upstairs playing with a lot of money, playing a little fantasy football, so they’re doing their thing."

On Thursday, Roseman wouldn't speak specifically about Samuel but it sure sounded like he'd be willing to trade him if the right deal came along.

“We’re always open to phone calls and to seeing if something works,” he said, “and really if there are win-win situations for particular teams and particular players, we’ll look at that and make a decision kind of in a vacuum.”

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 10:57 am
Edited on: January 30, 2012 4:12 pm
 

Eagles will keep Castillo, hire Bowles

CastillorBy Josh Katzowitz

All along, it’s been pretty obvious that, whether Eagles coach Andy Reid kept his job (and it was always pretty clear he was going to do so), Juan Castillo would be out as defensive coordinator. After all, Philadelphia struggled for much of the season with its wide-nine scheme*, and there were rumblings that in order to keep his job, Reid would have to fire Castillo.

Reid denied it at the time, and it looks like he was telling the truth, because according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Castillo will remain as defensive coordinator.

The team also announced that former Dolphins interim coach Todd Bowles -- who was a head coaching candidate for the Raiders after leading Miami to a 2-1 record after the Tony Sparano firing -- will take over as the Eagles secondary coach.

*This is what happens when you hire an offensive line coach to be your defensive coordinator.

Clearly, this wasn't all Castillo's fault. The wide-nine scheme was Reid’s idea -- in fact, there was speculation that Reid hired Castillo for the defensive coordinator job because he couldn’t find a suitable DC who actually felt comfortable running that scheme -- and it took a while for Philadelphia’s personnel to make it work.

Add that with a flurry of offseason acquisitions -- including Jason Babin, Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie -- and you can begin to see that not all the defensive inefficiencies could be blamed on Castillo.

"We've just got to continue to work with it," Reid said in October after the Eagles started 1-4. “Listen, anything new you've got to work with and work out the wrinkles and get it right."

"Players, they have to learn it, coaches have to learn it, particularly the new coaches. So it's a joint effort there."

And actually, the Eagles played better defense than you think. According to Football Outsiders, they were the 12th-most efficient defensive unit in the league, and in yards and points allowed, they were a top-10 squad. In the final four games of the year -- all Philadelphia wins -- the Eagles allowed an average of 11.5 points per game.

So, obviously the defense did improve. Based on that, maybe it’s not surprising Castillo was retained in the first place.

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Posted on: December 28, 2011 1:56 pm
 

Report: Cardinals will keep Kevin Kolb in 2012

The Cards aren't set to part ways with Kolb just yet. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Previously, we'd pointed to the fact that the Cardinals have an option to get out from under Kevin Kolb's hefty contract before 2012 by not exercising an option on a $7 million roster bonus for Kolb at the beginning of the next league year.

There was some scuttlebutt that the Cardinals would end up bailing on the Kolb experiment a year in, but Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports Wednesday that Arizona will keep Kolb on the roster for at least one more year.

Arizona simply has too much invested -- they gave up a second-round pick and cornerback  Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to Philly in the trade to acquire Kolb and then inked him to a $63 million extension -- in Kolb to call the dogs off on his tenure in Arizona after one year.

However, Somers notes that 2012 will be a "defining year" for Kolb as a Cardinal, because of the salary increase he'll see over the next few years. If Kolb can't stay healthy, be productive on the field for Arizona and generate some wins in 2012, there's a good chance Arizona could cut bait before paying him a roster bonus in 2013.

Cutting Kolb after 2012 means the Cardinals will save over $40 million of Kolb's deal, which would be a tremendous value, except it means that they'll have already paid more than $10 million a year for two years of Kolb's services in Arizona.

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Posted on: December 22, 2011 10:41 am
Edited on: December 22, 2011 10:44 am
 

Keep an Eye on: Week 16's finer points

Julius Peppers will play a big role in stopping Aaron Rodgers. (Getty Images)
Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit

Packers vs. Bears
The question is, What did the Chiefs do to make the Packers imperfect, and can the Bears do it too? In short, the Chiefs did nothing special. They ate up clock offensively, running on early downs and sustaining drives with conversions on several third-and-manageable situations. They stayed in base personnel That kept the Packers in their base 3-4, which is plainer than rice cake compared to the blitzes and disguises from their nickel and dime packages. Against that front, Kyle Orton was able to manipulate the defense with play action and eye movement.


Defensively, the Chiefs played press-man against the Packers’ receivers, which the Chiefs had just enough resources to do given Greg Jennings was out. They often rushed only three and forced Aaron Rodgers to beat them from the pocket. Normally, Rodgers would do that with ease, but Sunday he was uncharacteristically jumpy.

The Bears can certainly play this rudimentary style of football – any team can. But that doesn’t mean it will work for them. It hasn’t worked for them yet, after all. Caleb Hanie has been asked to manage the game and has often responded by ruining it (three interceptions in three of his four starts). With no staple ground attack, the Bears haven’t even been in position to play dink and dunk football.

Defensively, Chicago has moved away from the archaic Tampa 2 and towards more press coverage schemes. But their press coverage has not been pure man-to-man, perhaps because of Charles Tillman’s limitations in change-of-direction. It’s doubtful the Bears can simply out-execute the Packers’ receivers; instead they’ll need Julius Peppers & Co. to exploit that injury-riddled offensive line.

Cowboys vs. Eagles
Apparently the 2011 Eagles just needed 12 games to find their identity. The last two weeks they’ve looked like what everyone originally expected them to look like. It’s not that the players are finally getting comfortable in the system, it’s that the system has been tweaked and is finally logical.

Defensively, the Eagles have played more press-coverage and have mixed things up in their pass-rush (for example, aligning Trent Cole and Jason Babin at standup inside linebacker positions behind a two-man line against the Jets – a tactic that generated two of Babin’s three sacks).

They’ve moved Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to dime back, giving the slot nickel duties back to Joselio Hanson. They’ve inserted Casey Matthews back into the lineup, not as a starter but as a nickel linebacker, where he’s been fairly comfortable. Thanks to all this (and more), this defense has given up just 29 points and has recorded 11 sacks over the last two games.

Offensively, Philly’s line is doing a much better job picking up blitzes. The receivers are reading coverages and Michael Vick is playing with patience in the pocket. Vick’s limited football IQ has still led to a few unnecessary hits and missed opportunities, but the good has far outweighed the bad.

LeSean McCoy was bottled up by the Dolphins but, working out of spread formations, he produced 102 yards on 18 carries against the Jets. He’s scored five touchdowns the past two games.

The Eagles won their first meeting with the Cowboys handily. Even on the road this week, it wouldn’t be a shock to see them do that again.

Saints vs. Falcons
No one is playing better than Drew Brees right now, though Matt Ryan has played well enough to make the Falcons this year’s Wild Card Team That Nobody Wants to Face.

After an up and down start, Ryan has gotten comfortable with the Falcons’ new pass-oriented system. That system has had them operating out of 11 personnel (one back, one tight end, three wide receivers) in a no-huddle. Ryan has called most of the game at the line of scrimmage.

This has helped Atlanta on several fronts. For one, Michael Turner, though a power back, has been very good running from the wider 2 x 1 receiver formations. In these sets, Turner gets a clearer picture of his running lanes and faces more cornerbacks and fewer linebackers at the second level.

Secondly, the Falcons can create more inside spacing for Tony Gonzalez, which punishes defenses that try to defend him with a linebacker. Defenses that put a safety on Gonzalez are leaving single coverage on either Julio Jones or Roddy White.

Perhaps the best benefit of the hurry-up is, with all the audibling, Ryan controls the pass protections. That’s given Ryan a much better understanding of where the defensive pressure is likely to come from. Ryan’s presnap protection calls will play a huge factor in the outcome Monday night, as the Saints are known for their aggressive blitzes.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 8 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: December 1, 2011 9:46 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 8:26 am
 

Asomugha knocked out of Seattle game with stinger

N. Asomugha injured himself on this play (AP).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATE (10:31 p.m. ET): Asomugha will not return to the game with a concussion and a stinger.

With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie not active Thursday night vs. the Seahawks, one-third of the so-called best secondary in the league did not start vs. Seattle. Now, the Eagles have lost another one.

While attempting to intercept a Vince Young pass, Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was taken down by Seahawks receiver Mike Williams and appeared to suffer a head injury. While Williams seemed to interfere with Asomugha, no penalty was called, and it appeared that Williams accidently landed on Asomugha’s head as they both tumbled to the turf.

Asomugha slowly walked off the field under his own power, though he looked somewhat woozy, and he immediately went to the locker room. The Eagles are calling it a neck injury and are saying that Asomugha is being evaluated for a head injury. His return to the game is questionable.

Meanwhile, Eagles special teams standout Colt Anderson is out for the game with a knee injury.

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Posted on: November 10, 2011 4:25 pm
 

Eagles still have faith in Rodgers-Cromartie

D. Rodgers-Cromartie has struggled this year, like here against E. Bennett (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Of the three big-name cornerbacks employed by the Eagles, the biggest disappointment has to be Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel have made mistakes for a team that’s been the most underachieving in the NFL this year, but they’ve also had a few good moments.

Rodgers-Cromartie, on the other hand, has struggled, and when he’s allowing his receivers to catch balls in his coverage, he’s also not tackling all that well (and, in some cases, making little effort to do so).

So, what’s going on with him?

"We know in time, DRC will be the best nickel guy there is, because he has that kind of ability," said defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, via the Philadelphia Daily News. "With Dominique, he's such a talented player, good kid, hard worker ... That nickel position is a tough position because the receiver has a two-way go. Our goal is that Dominque has that kind of ability to be a special guy in there. We knew it was going to take a little bit of time, 'cause it's something tough for him to do to get in there.”

But yeah, he hasn’t been very good this year, has he?

No, as Pro Football Focus wrote following the Eagles loss to the Bears: “He was a step behind on every almost every target, allowing three of four passes to be complete for 56 yards. We agree with him that’s he a better player than his play would suggest right now, because right now, his play stinks.”

The silver lining? The player for whom Rodgers-Cromartie was traded, Kevin Kolb, isn’t faring much better in Arizona these days, and it looks like he’ll miss another game with turf toe. Another look at the positive side? At least, Rodgers-Cromartie is showing passion – even if it is on the sideline.

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Posted on: November 8, 2011 11:16 am
Edited on: November 8, 2011 11:50 am
 

Rodgers-Cromartie explains MNF sideline rant

CB Rodgers-Cromartie arrived in Philly with a reputation for shying away from tackles. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

A week ago, the Eagles had finally shown their Dream Team form. They made quick work of the Cowboys and even though Philly's record stood at 3-4, the consensus was that they were again a legitimate threat to make the playoffs and they might even win the division.

That changed Monday, when Philadelphia's offense sputtered and their run defense returned to it's early season no-tackling form. The Bears came into the Linc and outplayed the Eagles in all three phases, winning 30-24.

That loss, coupled with the Giants' victory in Foxboro the day before, means that Philly is three back in the loss column to New York, and tied for the worst record in the division with the rudderless Redskins.

When teams with high expectations underachieve, it's not uncommon for players to take it out on one another, often during games. We saw that on the Eagles' sideline Monday night. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, acquired in the trade that sent Kevin Kolb to Arizona before the season, was seen ranting on Philly's bench, pointing at teammates and having an animated discussion with defensive coordinator Juan Castillo.

Details via the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jonathan Tamari:
[Rodgers-Cromartie's] was the latest and most visible example of how the speedy cornerback has failed to find a good fit on his new team. He was victimized over and over again by the Bears, including on one early play when he appeared to give up as Earl Bennett caught a pass and continued running for a 14-yard gain, the Eagles safeties stopping him instead of Rodgers-Cromartie.

When he came to the sideline in the fourth quarter, Rodgers-Cromartie was confronted by Castillo, appeared to point to his secondary teammates on on the bench, then moved away from them. Nnamdi Asomugha and then Andy Reid came to calm him down.
"I got frustrated on a play that I should have known was coming and instead I did something else, so you know I kind of went off," Rodgers-Cromartie said after the game. "(Shoot), I was mad, it was in the heat of the moment, (stuff) is going to happen."

One of the reasons the Cards unloaded Rodgers-Cromartie (other than the biggest one: they were in desperate need of a quarterback) was because he had been inconsistent during this three years in Arizona.

"[He's] coming off a poor season and admits his attention span is not as long as it should be," Arizona Republic beat reporter Kent Somers wrote in July. [Cardinals] coaches have continually emphasized to him the need to concentrate every day and spend more time studying schemes and opponents."

So it's no surprise that Rodgers-Cromartie is prone to lapses. Tamari adds that he "was supposed to be a Pro Bowl-level cornerback, but he has not performed well and has yet to contribute a big play. At times he appears to run away from tackles."

Must run in the family. (Look for No. 31 and then it will all make sense.)


Matt Forte bounced back from two costly turnovers and Jay Cutler rallied the resilient Chicago Bears to a 30-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. Lovie Smith was pleased with the play of his team.

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Posted on: October 12, 2011 5:58 pm
 

Vick: Blame players, not Andy Reid

M. Vick said Andy Reid should not be blamed for Philadelphia's poor start (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

While we talk about the disappointing start by the Eagles this season, fans and observers have taken to trying to cast the blame about why this season has gone so spectacularly wrong.

Is it new defensive coordinator Juan Castillo -- the former offensive line coach whose defense, well, stinks? Is it Michael Vick’s fault? What about the big-name free agent acquisitions, like Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Jason Babin? Is there any way to cast the blame on Donovan McNabb?

And what about, ahem, coach Andy Reid, who was one of the main architects of the roster that, so far, has been disastrous? In Michael Vick’s eyes, that would be a big no.

"We're going to fight for him every minute," Vick said, via the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It’s not Coach Reid's fault. Coach can’t go out and hold onto the ball, coach can’t throw the ball down the field. Coach can’t go out there and do it, he can only give us what we need -- the recipe for victory, and that’s what we’re getting.

Philly cheese struggle
"It’s the little things that’s killing the game. It’s not on Coach. I know the game of football and I’ve been around the game for a long time and I know the intricacies and the ins and outs, and it’s not coach. Bottom line. Put the heat on the players, you can put it on us. Don’t put it on him."

Perhaps to make that point further, receiver Jason Avant -- whose sloppy play was one key component of Philadelphia’s loss to the Bills last Sunday -- called a players-only meeting Wednesday. Vick wouldn’t reveal what Avant had to say, but it’s clear that one of the memes to emerge was to support the ol’ ball coach.

"That hurts all of us," Vick said. "That's our coach and he's one of the best in the business, and that's the bottom line. You look at what we've been able to do from an offensive standpoint, you look at how guys respond, but Coach Reid can't go out there and hold onto the ball for us, Coach Reid can't go out there and make the throws I need to make."

That's true, but if Philadelphia keeps playing this way, who's the easier target to fire? Reid or the 53 players who are making him look bad?

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com