Friday, December 26, 2014

Who covered Larry Fitzgerald? Juan Castillo discusses Eagles' cornerbacks

The Eagles entered last week's game knowing Larry Fitzgerald was the Cardinals' top -- and some would argue only -- target. Instead of putting top cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha on Fitzgerald, the Eagles kept Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie on opposite sides, regardless of the receiver, and kept rookie Brandon Boykin in the slot. The Cardinals moved Fitzgerald around, so all three covered Fitzgerald.

Who covered Larry Fitzgerald? Juan Castillo discusses Eagles' cornerbacks

The Eagles entered last week's game knowing Larry Fitzgerald was the Cardinals' top -- and some would argue only -- target. Instead of putting top cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha on Fitzgerald, the Eagles kept Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie on opposite sides, regardless of the receiver, and kept rookie Brandon Boykin in the slot. The Cardinals moved Fitzgerald around, so all three covered Fitzgerald.

Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo was asked about this gameplan on Thursday.

"We feel pretty good about Dominique, too, and we've seen Dominique in action, and that was part of the reasoning behind that," Castillo said. "That Dominique was a pretty corner, that he could handle Larry, too, and [Asomugha]. So that's what we went."

That doesn't answer why Boykin, a fourth-round pick, was covering Fitzgerald when Fitzgerald lined up inside. The Eagles wanted to keep Boykin in the slot.

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"Sometimes it's hard," Castillo said. "It's like all of the sudden now, sometimes it's tough; now you're talking about Dominqiue having to be like a nickel or Nnamdi be a nickel. That's a tough deal there."

The Eagles consider both Rodgers-Cromartie and Asomugha as top cornerbacks. In the Baltimore game, they felt comfortable matchup up both cornerbacks one-on-one with opposing receivers. 

The Giants feature Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, perhaps the NFL's best wide receiver duo. Castillo was mum on how the Eagles would cover them this week.

Zach Berman Inquirer Staff Writer
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