Posted by Josh Katzowitz
Nnamdi Asomugha is struggling. He certainly hasn’t been great in coverage (particularly for a guy who signed a humongous five-year, $60 million deal this offseason), and his tackling has suffered.
But he’s also struggling with his adjustment to a new time zone and with living in a different part of the country, and you have to wonder if that’s the reason Asomugha is missing tackles and allowing more receivers to beat him for catches? Could be.
"Here, things aren't as familiar," Asomugha said, via CSN Bay Area. "The biggest reason is because when I got here, we went straight into football. I didn't get here in March, so I didn't have months to get acclimated. It's the end of September and I'm still getting acclimated to the area and just using my down time to familiarize myself with the East Coast and with football out here."
CSN Philly has another explanation. 1) Asomugha is playing in a completely new defense, which features more zone coverage than Asomugha’s comfort zone of man to man, and it takes some time for him to adjust, particularly with the lockout shortening the offseason; 2) Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo hasn’t figured out how to use Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in an effective manner.
But some of the blame has to fall on Asomugha. Like, for instance, when he was badly beaten by Giants receiver Victor Cruz last Sunday.
“You are paying (Asomugha) millions of dollars to make this play,” NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger told CSN Philly. “The Eagles have bracket coverage with the safety on the other side, but it is Nnamdi’s play.
“He should be looking for the ball but he’s not. Cruz is looking for the ball. His head is up, his eyes are up. Nnamdi should see that and realize, ‘The ball’s in the air,’ but he doesn’t react fast enough.
“By the time he looks up, Cruz has position on him and is going for the ball. But still there is no way Nnamdi should let him catch it. You’ve got to strip it, knock it out of his hands. He lets (Cruz) take it away. It’s a nice play (by Cruz) but come on. This is Nnamdi Asomugha.”
Yes, but it’s a Nnamdi Asomugha who clearly is out of sorts in his new location and in his new defense.
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