Par for the course for Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha

RON CORTES / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Nnamdi Asomugha, shown talking with Andy Reid after a Giants TD, has never finished an NFL season on a team better than 8-8.
RON CORTES / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Nnamdi Asomugha, shown talking with Andy Reid after a Giants TD, has never finished an NFL season on a team better than 8-8.
Posted: December 31, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Nobody in the National Football League has more experience at watching head coaches walk the plank than Nnamdi Asomugha.

When Andy Reid is fired by Eagles owner Jeff Lurie on Monday, he will be coach No. 6 for the 31-year-old cornerback. His sixth boss to get canned in 10 NFL seasons, joining Bill Callahan, Norv Turner, Art Shell, Lane Kiffin and Tom Cable.

For a lot of players in the Eagles' locker room, a 4-12 season is something they've never experienced. For Asomugha, it's par for the course. This makes the fifth year that he has been on a team that has won four or fewer games.

The former Raider has been on eight double-digit loss teams in 10 years. Has never experienced a winning season. Back-to-back 8-8 seasons has been as good as it has gotten for him.

The difference, though, between this abysmal season and the others Asomugha has experienced, is that he has earned a lot of the blame for this 4-12 turkey.

Despite the presence of two Pro Bowl corners - Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - the Eagles gave up a franchise-record 33 touchdown passes, including a season-high five in Sunday's ugly, 42-7, season-ending loss to the Giants.

The Eagles finished with just eight interceptions, which equals the fewest in club history. The 1983 team, which lost 11 games, also had only eight interceptions.

"We came out of the gate and things were going really well," Asomugha said. "At some point, it just started going downhill and it became like this big nightmare-type situation."

Asomugha was supposed to solidify the Eagles' secondary when they signed him as a free agent last year. But that hasn't happened. He struggled last year and has struggled even more this year.

On Sunday, he gave up his fifth touchdown of the season when Giants rookie Rueben Randle beat him for a 38-yard score. He also appeared to screw up a coverage with safety Colt Anderson on a 24-yard touchdown catch by Victor Cruz late in the second quarter, and was called for two pass-interference penalties; he got benched after the second one.

"It was one of those games that nobody can really explain," Asomugha said. "It was just bad on our part. I don't think we played like that, not like that, all year. To end like that doesn't feel good at all.

"There was a touchdown that the guy never should have caught because I was in good position for it. I just had to locate the ball. And there were a couple of other catches that I gave up.

"It's been frustrating. The frustrating thing has been having some really great moments and then having the tough ones. The consistency that I've been accustomed to for so long, accustomed to being at an elite level, and then having that become inconsistent, that's been the most frustrating thing for me.

"I've got to keep working at it and prove I can be consistent for an entire year at that level instead of having great moments here and there. That's never been me."

Asomugha, who has 3 years left on his contract and is scheduled to make $15 million next season, said he wants to come back, wants to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Rodgers-Cromartie, who will be an unrestricted free agent in March and hasn't played much better than Asomugha, said he also wants to stay in Philadelphia. We'll see.

Asomugha said Reid didn't have much to say to the team in the locker room after the game. Kept it short and sweet.

"At the end, he said, 'Rough year. Rough year for all of us. This was one of those unexplainable years.' He just said there will be brighter days ahead. Something like that. Then we all got together and prayed.

"If it's over, it's just a sad way to go out. This game and this entire season. I just want to forget about this whole year."

Some way, some how, the Eagles must get better play from their secondary next season. They almost certainly are going to need to replace one, and maybe both of their starting safeties.

They're also going to have to determine how much Asomugha has left in his tank and whether Rodgers-Cromartie is worth re-signing.

"The whole season has come down to making plays, and the guys just didn't make plays," Rodgers-Cromartie said.

Asked if he takes it personally that he and his teammates have cost Reid his job, he said, "I take it very personally. When you go out there and aren't as productive as you know you can be, you have to look at yourself and not worry about anybody else."

Safety Kurt Coleman acknowledged that he was surprised by the lack of effort by many of his teammates Sunday. But he said he gave everything he had against the Giants.

"I'm not embarrassed," he said. "I'm a sore loser. I don't like getting my butt kicked. But I gave everything I had."

Said defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins: "I could stand here and give you a hundred excuses for why we're better [than 4-12]. But that's not what people want to hear. They don't want to hear what we could have done, or the talent we had. We were a 4-12 team and played like one."


Email: pdomo@aol.com

On Twitter: @Pdomo

Blog: eagletarian.com

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