Eagles notebook: Asomugha defends using zone on critical play
The Eagles are a man-press coverage team, and they played that way for the majority of Sunday's game against the Steelers with great success — except when it counted most.
The Steelers converted a pivotal third-and-12 during their game-winning drive against a “two-man” zone defense. Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha defended defensive coordinator Juan Castillo's call regardless of the outcome.
“I think 100 percent so, and that's not even saying that to back up my coach,” he said. “We have done it throughout the year. Any time it is third-and-long like that, you are expecting down field, a screen or a dump off. In those types of situations, you don't want to be in man (coverage). The zone was the right call, but we just got out of our zone, or that play doesn't happen at all.”
• The Eagles weren't concerned with Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace's ability to run anything other than a vertical route. Philadelphia put cornerback Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie on Wallace and had Asomugha take Antonio Brown. “We knew (Brown) was their guy who runs every single route that they have,” Asomugha said. “Seventeen was more of a straight down the field guy.” Wallace finished with 17 yards on two catches — his fewest this season. Brown had seven catches for 86 yards.
• Rashard Mendenhall rushed for more yards (81) than the Steelers had in any game this year. Still, the Eagles wouldn't say Mendenhall was the difference for the NFL's 31st-ranked rushing team. “We have to execute,” linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. “It was nothing about Mendenhall being back. It is us executing.”
• The loss dropped the Eagles to 3-2, but both defensive end Trent Cole and running back LeSean McCoy felt strongly that they lost the game rather than the Steelers won it. “It is frustrating to lose a game you should've won,” McCoy said. Cole, held to one tackle, agreed. “To be true, we gave this game up. We should've beaten them,” Cole said. “Plain and simple, we should've beaten them.”
• McCoy, held to 53 yards on 16 carries, didn't have many good things to say about a Steelers defense that held the Eagles to 246 total yards. “I want to be humble, but we felt like we could drive on them,” McCoy said. “At the beginning of the game, the calls we're making, the runs, the passes — we were driving, driving.”
— Mark Kaboly
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers quarterback Vick getting more acquainted with offense
- Steelers hoping to establish run early against San Diego
- New-look Steelers secondary is gaining some cohesion
- Steelers QB Roethlisberger not targeting Oct. 25 return
- Steelers notebook: Safety Mitchell shrugs off Ravens WR’s comments
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin not worried about Jones’ lack of sacks
- Steelers notebook: Running back Bell OK with play-calling against Ravens
- Steelers’ Bryant returns from drug suspension, ‘won’t happen again’
- Four downs: Williams brothers on the rise
- Steelers notebook: Shazier practices, hopes to play Monday at Chargers