On Chip Kelly, Billy Davis And Takeaways

With personnel uncertainties abound and a massive overhaul underway, it’s questionable whether this defense can hold its own in a 16-round bout in 2013. But based on the histories of Chip Kelly and Billy Davis, if the ‘D’ goes down it will go down swinging.

“In terms of what we want to be, we’re going to be an attacking style defense. It’s going to be a group of people who dictates the tempo of the game,” said Kelly.

“I think it’s hopefully going to be a defense that creates a lot of turnovers and gets the ball back to our offense so we can be productive on our offensive side of the ball.”

That’s exactly what Kelly’s defense did for him at Oregon. The Ducks led the entire nation with 131 takeaways from 2009-2012. Forty of those came in ’12 alone.

Davis’ defenses have been known to create turnovers as well. With Davis serving as the defensive coordinator, the Cardinals came up with 21 interceptions in 2009, which was the highest mark for the franchise in since ’94. The following season, Arizona recorded 12 return touchdowns (7 fumble returns, 3 interception returns, 2 kickoff returns), the second-highest single-season total in NFL history. The seven fumble returns for scores established a new league record.

Those defenses only ranked 20th and 29th overall, respectively, but they did get their hands on the ball. His units in San Francisco also finished in the top-half of the league in takeaways despite being in the basement when it came to total yards.

“In my past I’ve got good stats and I’ve got bad stats, like most people,” said Davis. “There are a lot of reasons for all of it, I’ve got no excuses for any of them. Everywhere I’ve been I have had good people, I’ve learned lessons from those experiences and I think I have gotten better because of it. It’s something I’m bringing to the Eagles now, I’ve got some experience in calling games and working schemes and game-planning and adjusting. At the end of the day we’re problem solvers. You learn from your experience and you move forward.”

Kelly said that Davis’ experience running both a 4-3 and 3-4 made him an appealing candidate. Kelly is big on versatility; he likes his defense to be malleable and able to deploy multiple fronts. Davis’ background and general philosophy falls in line with that.

The Eagles’ defense promises to be big on pressure, or at least the “illusion” of pressure, something that the late Jim Johnson was a master at.

“Now he had some great dynamic pressures, and I’ve studied a lot of them,” Davis said. “They were out-of-the-box thinking. But when you really break him down, it was more guys up in the A-gaps with the illusion of pressure than actual [sending] more than four rushers.”

From what we’ve learned so far, this defense will be big on multiple looks and disguises. It will attack in the name of turnovers. What we don’t know is whether their efforts will be successful, especially early on.

Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.


Around The Web

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • knighn

    Good stuff. It might be bumpy this year but I am hopeful for the future!

    • Brenda Thompson

      as Rachel responded I didnt even know that anyone can make $6644 in a few weeks on the computer. did you read this page w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  • PaoliBulldog

    Well, it’s July and we’re still in the Kum By Yah phase, but Davis is only as good as his players will let him be. Up front is looking good, but the secondary was abysmal in 2012 and none of the additions thus far screams major upgrade.

    • MediaMike

      No doubt, but you can totally put them in the wrong positions like McDermott or do whatever it was that Castillo was trying.

    • Richard Colton

      Other than Cox, I’m not sold on how good our front line looks. Sop? Logan? Geathers? Thorton? Lots of question marks for me. Strange as it is to say, I feel a lot better about Barwin/Kendricks/Ryans/Graham(Cole) at LB than our front three or four.

  • bushisamoron

    Still about 4 defenders short though some of the new additions may be part of the four. I do think that the team will feature a more physical secondary and probably a more physical defense overall. Whether than translates into less points scored is anyone’s guess

  • Max Lightfoot

    I think the overall defensive talent is better than last year but the secondary is a colossal question mark. Hope it all gels but I fear this may not be a quick fix – another draft may help. It’s gonna be interesting – Go Eags!

  • JofreyRice

    yeah, the Defense might be really bad. Hopefully the offense can put some points up, and will be able to execute Kelly’s offense early on. If they have a period of going 3 & out in 45 seconds, and teams just smear the Eagles D all over the field, that’s not going to be very fun to watch.

    • Ghost of shotgunning beers


  • usmcnole

    football come now!!!

  • ojdiddoit

    This is going to be ugly

  • Some folk really hate Davis..don’t consider him a “real” DC…I’m not sure why…anyone who feels that way mind explaining to me why they feel that way?

  • PK_NZ

    This year needs to be about establishing the style and system Kelly wants for the D for years to come. If it means flaming out in some games, then so be it… Let’s find the gems we’ve got and get rid of the dead weight… If we win the SB on the way, well that’s a bonus…

  • southy

    This is exactly what the team needs. Who knows if we’ll be any good, but we’re due for some top caliber playmakers to come out of the woodwork, and this should give them the opportunity to step up and make a name for themselves.

    We might surprise and have a handful of breakout seasons on our hands, we might fall flat on our face. I can’t wait for this train to get moving.

  • Greg

    Remember the days when it was more fun to watch the Eagles play defense than offense

  • soundbonz

    Schemes don’t matter much if you don’t have enough talent. There’s a whole lot of mediocrity on the defensive side of the ball right now. Roster turnover takes time.

  • Benzino

    All we gotta do is win. Who cares if it’s 39-38? Not me. As long as our defense can hold even a one point lead then I will be ecstatic.
    The Eagles D doesn’t have to be great or even really good. Just good enough to come away with a W. Do that 12-13 times and we can be a great team. Go Eagles !!!

  • Lee Washington

    Ahh,, the joy of coaching,,, Good coaching will make this a 10 win team if not this year then next year.