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]

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

USA Today Images

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Source: Sixers to waive Brandon Paul as roster deadline nears

Source: Sixers to waive Brandon Paul as roster deadline nears

The Sixers, who have an afternoon of cuts to make in order to get the regular season roster down to 15 before 5 p.m. on Monday, will waive guard Brandon Paul, according to a source.

Jake Fischer first reported the news. Paul has received interest from other NBA teams, per the source, and has not yet had talks about the D-League. 

Paul, 25, appeared in four preseason games for the Sixers. He averaged 7.3 points and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from three.

Paul recently shared with his challenges to pursue an NBA career.

The Sixers' roster stood at 20 after they signed Temple alum Dionte Christmas.

Cat Barber, Shawn Long and James Webb III also are expected to be waived and spend time in the Development League. Elton Brand announced his retirement and was waived last week.