It's a subtle but significant distinction. The Eagles, with two rangy corners who each stand 6-foot-2, will indeed press often this season. Having their cover men up on the line of scrimmage can take away quarterbacks' first looks as the Eagles' voracious defensive line attacks. Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie each made their names with other teams by mainly pressing; it suits their talents.
But, Eagles coaches said, no team can rely on just one type of coverage. Do the same thing too often, and offenses will figure out how to beat you.
"Now they motion a bunch and they get you off your press and everything, so you've got to be versatile," Bowles said. "You've got to be able to do both. To say we're just going to be a press team, we're not."
The question of how to utilize the Eagles' talented cornerbacks has hung over the defense since the team created the unwieldy trio of Asomugha, Samuel, and Rodgers-Cromartie last summer. With a mismatched set of Pro Bowl talents, the team tried a variety of looks in the secondary.
Samuel, the most established corner in Philadelphia, preferred to play off the line of scrimmage, the better to read quarterbacks and swoop for interceptions. But frustration grew within the organization because he wanted to play only his own style. Samuel wasn't willing to try some of the variations coaches wanted to mix in.
Asomugha, meanwhile, struggled at times while trying to adapt to a variety of roles, leading to questions about whether the team was maximizing its big free-agent investment. To critics, it was as if the Eagles had bought a Maserati and taken it off-roading.
This year, though, the team is preparing to use more of the press style Asomugha has excelled in, while also having more overall flexibility.
Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie, for example, are similar enough that they can be interchanged.
Asomugha has said repeatedly that he is willing to play different styles, and that while he largely pressed in Oakland, he also played other coverages there.
"Nnamdi understands he's going to be outside for the most part," safeties coach Mike Zordich said. "There's going to be certain situations, certain games, where he's going to go back [inside to cover tight ends], but he's very comfortable working outside, playing his press technique."
Pressing means a more physical approach, but moving corners closer to the line of scrimmage risks letting receivers get behind them more easily for big plays.
"It's a risk anytime you press that you can get the deep ball," Bowles said. "But that's what corners do, that's what they get paid for."
Several defensive backs have stressed that Bowles has simplified the secondary's looks. As Eagles defensive assistants met with reporters Tuesday, Bowles at one point smiled and said that for all the scheme talk, football is football: running and tackling.
That doesn't mean, though, that it will look the same each time. Asomugha sometimes may shadow one opposing receiver, as he often did in Oakland, but the game plan will vary each week, depending on the opponent. It won't be built around any single Eagle.
"It's not just Nnamdi; everybody has to match up well. Nnamdi can't go inside and we have a bad matchup outside," Bowles said. "Everybody has to have similar matchups for that to work."
He added, "You don't do it for one guy; you've got to do it for a few guys."
Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @JonathanTamari on Twitter.