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Friday, January 14, 2011
Eagles need Asomugha in the worst way

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

You might have heard that the Philadelphia Eagles gave up 31 touchdown passes this season. Quarterbacks loved getting into the red zone against the Eagles, where they completed 65 percent of their passes and threw for 22 TDs.

The Eagles have a Pro Bowler in Asante Samuel, but they had disastrous results at right cornerback with Ellis Hobbs and Dimitri Patterson getting burned on a consistent basis. I never understood the plan to go with Hobbs as the starter. And it ultimately backfired. Patterson had his moments, but he finally had to be yanked (briefly) from the starting lineup late in the season.

Enter Nnamdi Asomugha, one of the most coveted free agents in the league this offseason. Paul Domowitch of the Daily News believes the Eagles have to make a play for Asomugha if they want to have any chance at being better against the pass in 2011.

"You also would have the best damn cornerback tandem in the league, even if one of the two doesn't like to tackle much," writes Domowitch. "Samuel is the league's best ballhawk. Has 36 interceptions in the last 5 years. Asomugha only has 11 career interceptions in eight seasons. But that's mainly because quarterbacks stay away from his side of the field. He is a true shutdown corner. He was targeted just 33 times this season and gave up only 13 completions for 205 yards. I repeat, 13 completions."

Patterson was targeted 77 times and gave up 44 completions for 620 yards and five touchdowns. Signing Asomugha would change this defense dramatically, and that's why I agree that it needs to happen -- if free agency ever begins.