Philadelphia Eagles: A lesson from the past could fix the cornerback situation

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The cornerback issue has held the Philadelphia Eagles from succeeding the past couple of years. A lesson from the past can influence how to fix it.

For the Philadelphia Eagles, the cornerback position has been one of the toughest positions to see flourish. In the past the cornerback position has had some of the best players on the team though.

We all remember Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor and how they held in down in the early 2000s. They were able to thrive in Jim Johnson‘s system and were reliable in coverage.

Vincent made the Pro Bowl from 1999-2003 with Philadelphia and was first-team All-Pro in 2002. Such type of accomplishment seems unreal for the Eagles cornerbacks today.

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Then came Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown. Shepard was drafted in the first round in 2002. Brown came after him in the same year in the second round. By 2004 both of them were starting and playing in the Super Bowl.

Shepard was a first-team All-Pro player and made it to the Pro Bowl that year. The Eagles haven’t had an All-Pro at cornerback since Lito Sheppard.

In 2008 the Eagles made a power move and signed the talented veteran Asante Samuel to a deal in free agency. Samuel made the Pro Bowl his first three years with the team including a nine interception season in 2009.

The 2012 season was when things started going awry. The Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha. He was a bust of a signing as he couldn’t play in the defensive system that the Eagles had. That season the Eagles went 4-12 and were last in the division.

In 2015 the Eagles got Byron Maxwell in free agency from the Legion of Boom in Seattle. They thought they were getting a player that could help with their coverage problems but he was a dud also.

In 2017 the Eagles were able to win the Super Bowl with Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby leading the charge for them. Coverage was a problem that year also but they were able to get by.

Now we fast forward to the present where the Eagles are still suffering from coverage problems. Games have been lost from bad cornerback play. A supreme example is the Minnesota Vikings game where the Eagles gave up four touchdowns to Kirk Cousins through the air. Cousins had a field day.

Philadelphia has tried to recreate the past by doing what they did in the past. They tried to sign star cornerbacks from free agency and draft the position high but things have not worked out.

Sidney Jones was supposed to be a first-round talent but he has been unable to get on the field. Rasul Douglas has given up play after play. What the Eagles need to do is sign a star veteran cornerbacks that have seen a lot of looks offenses give.

A veteran cornerback should be able to capitalize on the fact that the Eagles have a lot of talent on the defensive line and the fact that they are able to create pressure.

The signing of Asante Samuel worked because he is a veteran cornerback that has seen a lot before his time with the Eagles. Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor were veterans with a lot of experience. Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown didn’t start until their third year in the league.

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What the Eagles will have to do is actually get older at the position.