Eagles' Asomugha: 'Great defense doesn't happen overnight'

Fair or not, Nnamdi Asomugha's arrival in Philadelphia was met with the bar being set exceedingly high for the two-time All-Pro, not to mention the Eagles.

And almost as fast as an unruly Philadelphia crowd can turn on Santa Claus, Asomugha finds himself caught in the middle of a whirlwind of unrealized expectations.

Castillo: 'Nnamdi is human'

Eagles D-coordinator Juan Castillo threw himself under the bus, admitting he had tried to do too much by using CB Nnamdi Asomugha all over the field this season. More ...

Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo is taking the heat in stride and attempted Thursday to deflect some of the criticism from his star cornerback, whom everyone anointed as the gem of the 2011 free-agent market.

"Nnamdi is human," was part of Castillo's explanation.

Asomugha offered up little in the way of excuses Thursday while discussing a defense that has lost fourth-quarter leads in three of its four games. All of the Eagles' new -- and mostly expensive pieces -- have yet to fit together.

"Truth of the matter is there's a growth process. We've been in that growth process since we've started," Asomugha told the team's official website. "We have the talent, but being a great defense doesn't happen overnight. We've got to make it work. Our goal is to win it all. We don't have that much time to try to figure it out. It's got to be figured out."

Asomugha, primarily a zone cover cornerback during his eight seasons in Oakland, alluded to the fact that he's still learning Philadelphia's system. He said he has played every position in the secondary at some point in every game this season.

"Wherever (Castillo) needs me to be, I'm going to do my best at it and try to make it work," Asomugha said. "The challenge comes when you're doing new things. It's not necessarily a traditional scheme that we have here. Obviously, it's a challenge getting everything down and getting it down with all of the different positions and not just corner. I enjoy being around the football and being able to make plays. You can shut a guy down, but you still want to be able to make plays."

It's likely too late to temper the expectations in Philadelphia, but Asomugha isn't backpeddling from them.

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