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]

Malcolm Jenkins is prepared for both a zombie apocalypse or Donald Trump as president

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Malcolm Jenkins is prepared for both a zombie apocalypse or Donald Trump as president

A zombie apocalypse or Donald Trump becoming the President of the United States of America are both nightmare scenarios for many people. But Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins is prepared in the case of either.

At least that's what he says.

The Philadelphia Eagles have a bye this week, so Jenkins found the time to post the below video to Twitter, teaching us a little bit about his quirks.

"Something you might not know about me is that I'm a half-hearted doomsday prepper. For the last two or three years I've been silently preparing myself for a zombie apocalypse... or Donald Trump becoming President, whichever comes first. Communications, food, protection, everything, I've been stockpiling. I took a zombie survival course a couple of years ago," Jenkins said.

"Hopefully I won't have to use my skills."

 

Tonight's lineup: Tommy Joseph's last start of the year?

Tonight's lineup: Tommy Joseph's last start of the year?

Tommy Joseph, who has been missing from the lineup lately, starts at first base and bats fourth tonight.

Joseph will most likely be making his final start of the season with Ryan Howard expected to start the final games of the season. Joseph is batting just .235 against the Braves this season, but does have two home runs. The rookie first baseman has 21 home runs and 15 doubles in 104 games during his first season in the majors. 

Howard will be playing what are almost definitely his final games in a Phillies uniform this weekend vs. the Mets.

Maikel Franco bats fifth and plays third base. Franco, who has been hot lately, has three home runs and is batting .320 over his last 25 at-bats. He will look to continue his success against the Braves, as five of his 25 home runs this season have come against them.

Cameron Rupp gets a day off behind the plate and will be replaced by veteran catcher A.J. Ellis. Ellis has exceeded expectations in a short sample since coming over in the Carlos Ruiz trade last month. Ellis is 8 for 28 with a home run and nine RBIs in 10 games with the Phils. He's batting .285, which is astronomically better than his paltry .194 mark with the Dodgers. 

Part of the reason for Ellis' start could be his history against Braves starter Josh Collmenter. He is 4 for 11 with two home runs and four walks against the former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher.

Here is tonight's lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Maikel Franco, 3B
6. Cody Asche, LF
7. A.J. Ellis, C
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Jeremy Hellickson, P

And for the Braves:

1. Mallex Smith, CF
2. Dansby Swanson, SS
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Matt Kemp, LF
5. Nick Markakis, RF
6. Anthony Recker, C
7. Jace Peterson, 2B
8. Rio Ruiz, 3B
9. Josh Collmenter, P