Things You Already Knew: Eagles Cornerbacks Edition

Things You Already Knew: Eagles Cornerbacks Edition

News, everyone! The trio of Asante Samuel, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie couldn't tackle you this season.

Pro Football Focus released its list of the best and worst tacklers at the cornerback position in 2011, and all three Eagles made the bottom 20. In fact, all three nearly fell inside the bottom 10.

Collectively, the Eagles’ trio missed a tackle once every 4.7 times they attempted one this season, or more than one-fifth of the total tackles they attempted.

Samuel turned out to be the best of the bunch, narrowly avoiding the bottom 10 by one spot, while Asomugha charted as the second-worst overall -- only slightly more effective than Washington's Kevin Barnes, a third-year player with three career starts to his name.

The sad part is, poor tackling is a problem that is not easily corrected. New rules that limit contact in practice make it difficult for coaches to teach players how to tackle, and the reality is an NFL player should already be familiar with the fundamentals.

Cornerbacks in particular, like Samuel, often gain a reputation for their unwillingness to tackle. In most cases, these guys have established the level of physicality they are going to play with, and it's not likely to change.

As for Asante, it will be addition by subtraction if he is traded as is anticipated -- assuming his replacement isn't an even worse tackler. However, Samuel still charted as one of the more effective corners in the league, 12th overall by PFF's measure.

With that in mind, exactly how big of an issue are poor tackling corners? Not nearly as much of one when they are doing their job, which is to prevent wide receivers from catching footballs. Asomugha and DRC both had disappointing seasons, though they had encouraging finishes.

The talent is there. If they can elevate their performances, people will tend to forget about some of those missed tackles. Otherwise, those guys are just soft.

>> 2011 Tackling: The Cornerbacks [PFF]

College hoops wrap: Penn State steamrolled by No. 21 Purdue

College hoops wrap: Penn State steamrolled by No. 21 Purdue

Villanova headlined Philly college basketball action today with a 78-68 win over Providence, led by Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins (see full recap). The win is dampened with the news that Phil Booth is increasingly unlikely to return this season as he still deals with knee discomfort (see story).

Here's a snapshot from the rest of area hoops today.

Penn State steamrolled by No. 21 Purdue
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The way it played this week, No. 21 Purdue is acting like a team that is determined to be in the race for the Big Ten championship all the way to the end of the regular season.

Caleb Swanigan had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Purdue built an 18-point halftime lead and coasted to a 77-52 victory over Penn State on Saturday, four days after shooting 60.4 percent in a 91-68 victory against Illinois.

Against Penn State, the Boilermakers (16-4, 5-2) got 13 points from freshman guard Carsen Edwards and 10 each from Dakota Mathias and Vince Edwards.

"I would just say we were coming out ready to play," said Vince Edwards, who added seven rebounds and three assists. "Our goal is to win the Big Ten. Our focus is to take care of business."

Josh Reaves led Penn State (11-9, 3-4) with 12 points. The Nittany Lions made only 20 of 64 field goal attempts (31.3 percent) and were outrebounded 39-30. Purdue shot 56.6 percent (30 of 53) (see full recap).

Drexel drops road game at CAA-leading UNC Wilmington
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Devontae Cacok scored 12 points and set a Colonial Athletic Association record with 24 rebounds, helping UNC Wilmington stay perfect in conference with an 87-74 win over Drexel on Saturday.

Cacok, whose previous career-high rebounding was 16, broke the school record (21) and conference record (22) late in the second half as the Seahawks cruised to their ninth straight home win, tying the best mark in program history.

UNC Wilmington (19-2, 8-0) led 53-51 with 15:01 left before four players combined to rattle off 12 straight points. Cacok capped the run with one of his 11 offensive rebounds and a dunk to give the Seahawks a 65-51 lead with 11:23 remaining.

UNC Wilmington is off to its best start ever and has won 24 of its last 26 conference games, including 12 straight. Chris Flemmings led the Seahawks with 17 points.

Sammy Mojica had 15 points and Rodney Williams added 14 for Drexel (7-13, 1-6), which has lost seven of eight (see full recap).

Delaware swept in season series with Towson
NEWARK, Del. -- Mike Morsell and Arnaud William Adala Moto pulled down a dozen boards as Towson won its fourth straight and a season sweep of Delaware with a 75-58 win on Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers are fresh off a win over Hofstra that saw them erase a 16-point first-half deficit, and momentum carried over when they built a 17-point lead at halftime.

Alex Thomas and John Davis added 13 and 12 points, respectively, but Towson saw its streak of three-straight games shooting better than 50 percent end. The Tigers hit 26 of 55 shots from the floor (47.3 percent), including 6 of 15 from deep.

Delaware snapped a six-game losing streak Thursday with a win over Northeastern. Ryan Daly scored 21 points for Delaware and became the first freshman in school history to post six 20-plus efforts in a season. He reached double-digits for the 12th time in 13 games (see full recap).