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Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Andy Reid talks about his cornerbacks

By Dan Graziano

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Philadelphia Eagles GM Howie Roseman, in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday, made it sound like the team could trade cornerback Asante Samuel if it wanted to. The Eagles are deep at cornerback with Samuel, Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and there did seem to be some overcrowding issues last year.

But Eagles coach Andy Reid, when asked about the same issue Wednesday, was a little more non-committal.

Asante Samuel
Since the Eagles are deep at cornerback, they could decide to deal Asante Samuel.
"Asante is obviously on the team," Reid said. "We'll see how things go with the three of them. I said last year and I'll say it again: It's a pretty good situation to have, if you can sit there and say you have those three corners. Asante and Nnamdi are a little bit older, but both of them can still play at a high level. So we'll see how things work out. That's the best I can tell you."

Like a lot of things about last year's Eagles defense, the deployment of those three cornerbacks often seemed confused. Rodgers-Cromartie was asked to play inside in the nickel position, which was not something he'd done in the past. And it's fair to assume they'd be better off with two of the aforementioned three on the outside and Joselio Hanson in the nickel spot. But Reid isn't going to come out and admit he needs to trade a guy because it would help him construct his lineup better. That's not the kind of thing that helps your leverage in trade talks with other teams. So publicly, he insists all was and will be hunky dory.

"As [Rodgers-Cromartie] settled into the nickel position and he learned it, he understood the leverage, and that was really the primary thing that was the problem," Reid said. "Just learning the leverage along with the coverages and indicators of splits with the inside receivers and the kind of routes that came off. He went through and he learned all of that. And we keep all of that kind of in-house with our players, any talk we have with them."

So we'll see. If I were a betting man, I'd be broke, but if I were a betting man I'd bet the Eagles find a taker for Samuel before the draft and that Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie are the 2012 starters with Hanson, who has more experience in the nickel spot, playing there. They have four weeks to figure it all out.