PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 17: Asante Samuel #22 of the Philadelphia Eagles. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
One of the things that cropped up in our open thread during Sunday's game was why the Eagles never even attempted to put their best corner, Asante Samuel, on Titans' WR Kenny Britt. Britt was more or less dominating everyone on the right side of the Eagles secondary while Samuel continued to play on the left. I haven't reviewed the tape of the game, but I only remember Asante Samuel being thrown at twice, one pass he picked off and the other he nearly picked. Nate Washington, who started on that side for the Titans had one catch for seven yards on the day.
I'm not going to tell you that Asante Samuel is a lockdown corner like Darrelle Revis (was before this year) or Nnamdi Asomugha is. However, you don't lead the NFL in picks over the past 5 seasons and continually be among the league leaders in pass defenses without being a pretty good at covering someone. At the very least, you'd think they'd want to have tried something different... right?
"I know Sean already talked to you about that. Sean had thought about that. There's more to it than that. In the middle of the game, you just don't start flopping guys around. It's not as easy just to go say ‘you're playing man coverage over here.' That's not how you do it. There are a lot of different schemes involved, so it's a tough thing to do. And listen, going in we had full trust that the guys who were covering him, would cover him. You get into a game like that you can't just switch another guy over."
Well, a lot of teams do do that... So maybe the scheme is part of the problem? As I noted on Sunday, this has been the way it's been since Jim Johnson was coaching the defense. The Eagles have never tried to matchup their best cover guy on the other teams best WR.
And then came a weird response to a question as to whether putting Samuel on Britt would be a last resort?
"Yeah, we had trust that the guys that were going to do what they were supposed to do."
What does it take for that trust to be shaken? Britt had more receiving yards than any player has ever had in the teams 70+ year history. If that doesn't mean it's last resort time, what is?