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Secondary mess for Eagles gets worse

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted Nov. 18, 2012 @ 5:22 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

The Eagles' problems are well-documented, and when it comes to the secondary it’s common practice to pick on well-paid CB Nnamdi Asomugha. Fair enough: Asomugha has struggled this season, and it appears his confidence has been broken the past two seasons.

But the safeties have been another problem altogether. SS Kurt Coleman endured one of the worst games you might ever see a safety have in the Week 11 loss to the Redskins, getting beat multiple times.

Coleman has the reputation for being a big hitter, and you can see it in the way he plays. For one, Coleman tries too hard to deliver knockout blows, often resulting in bad angles and missed tackles. For another, he’s often compensating for not playing well in pass coverage.

Both were on display in the loss Sunday and throughout the season. Against the Redskins, he bit on the underneath route on Redskins WR Aldrick Robinson’s long TD catch, never got position on the throw-it-up-for-grabs score by WR Santana Moss and then couldn’t bring down TE Logan Paulsen, who dragged him three yards into the endzone.

The fact that Coleman is a starter highlights the major draft miss the Eagles suffered with 2011 second-round pick Jaiquawn Jarrett, who has been released and never was a factor on defense. Not hitting on Jarrett — and considerable spending in the secondary at cornerback the past two seasons — convinced the Eagles they could get by with Coleman and FS Nate Allen back there.

Neither has played well. Allen was way late on Redskins FB Darrel Young’s first-quarter TD catch and often has been a step late in diagnosing plays. Other teams are taking notice of the Eagles’ back-half weakness and are taking advantage of it often.

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