Bowles Weighs In On Pass-Rush, Predictability

Todd Bowles wants to free up the Eagles’ pass-rushers, but he’s not overly concerned that the team has zero sacks in the last three games.

“They’re rushing the passer very well,” Bowles said. “There are times when there’s max protection. There are times when the ball comes out. But it all ties in. You can say you want to get the guys rushing better and doing things more, but if they’re running it down our throat, it’ll be hard. So you’ve got to kind of go off what you see off film and kind of pick your spots and time it out and see how it works.”

The theme is consistent with what Bowles said the day he was introduced as the Eagles’ new defensive coordinator last week. He’s not going to come up with a singular game-plan. He plans on adjusting to the opponent and the situation. Bowles sees opposing quarterbacks getting rid of the ball quickly against the Eagles, and he sees them keeping extra blockers in to help. But guess what? Those are not innovative wrinkles that have just been added to the game of football.

“It’s not a new thing,” Bowles said. “I don’t think you can go through any ballgame, and see where they’re not seven-man protecting, or three-stepping and everything else. It all ties in. We have to time it out right. We have to get them in position to rush the passer and we have to do all those things. It’s not like it’s just the Philadelphia Eagles they’re picking on.”

He was also asked several times about being “unpredictable.” Since Juan Castillo was fired, several players have said that has been Bowles’ message to the defense. But today, Bowles wanted to clarify what he meant.

“In your bye week, you get to self-scout a lot,” he said. “And you get to see a lot of things that you’re doing wrong and right. You try to fix the things you’re doing wrong. I don’t think it was more or less us being unpredictable. It was just more or less us correcting the things that we need to correct that people are taking advantage of.

“We lost because we lost and didn’t make enough plays to win the game. It’s not because we’re being predictable or being unpredictable.”

Bowles played eight years in the NFL, and he knows at some point, there’s only so much the coaches can do. But he also knows that the players need to be in a position to maximize their potential – specifially late in games where the Eagles have had so many meltdowns in the last two seasons. That’s precisely why Andy Reid decided to promote Bowles and get rid of Castillo.

“We just have to have a better understanding and a better urgency to finish games,” Bowles said. “We’ve got to make sure we have coaching-wise that ability to make the calls to win the game. They they have to go out and execute it.”

As for where he’ll physically be on Sunday, Bowles said he hasn’t decided yet whether it’ll be the sideline or the booth.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

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  • morgan c

    Please go up in the booth. It just gives you such a better vantage point, and removes the emotion from it. If the problem with Castillo was tactics and adjustments, then being in a booth will help fix those things.

    • BlindChow

      I wonder what the statistics are for coaches in the booth vs. on the sideline…

      • johngiam

        no no no..stay on the sideline. when players come of the field, they want answers from their coaches…something juan couldnt possibly have been good at. finally an eaGles coach who says screw the gameplan, we need to be able to adjust. halleluja