Eagles Wake-Up Call: Williams Trying To Change the Conversation

0V3J8877Cary Williams hasn’t exactly blended in since arriving in Philadelphia via free agency back in March.

He has mixed it up with both the opposition and his own teammates. Has been outspoken on a number of issues from race relations to defensive toughness. And of course he made the most un-Philadelphian word ever — sconces — a part of our city’s lexicon.

“I think it’s been more than a rocky start,” said Williams following Monday’s win over Washington. “But at the end of the day I just want to play football. Every time I am on the field I want to put my best foot forward. I want my teammates to understand that they can have confidence in me, that I go out there and I prepare and I play my tail off each and every play.”

The 28-year-old admits that his experience has been a little different so far, but says he wouldn’t trade it in. And he recognizes that city and player are still trying to figure one another out.

“I understand that this is a learning process for everybody. It’s a learning process for me because I have never been quote-unquote the guy, because I played behind Ed Reed and Lardarius Webb and guys like that. I guess being honest isn’t necessarily the greatest thing in the world, because sometimes people can take your words out of context. I just to continue to keep my head down and perform as well as I possibly can, just give my team the best opportunity to win.”

As we know, performance on the field will heavily influence how this fan base views the fiery corner. If he excels his aggressiveness and candor will be embraced. If he struggles, his antics will be perceived as bravado.

His debut in an Eagles uniform couldn’t have gone much better. Williams had a sack, an interception, a tackle for a loss and two passed defensed on the night — including one on fourth down in the closing minutes of the game. The pick was a beauty . RGIII  tried to hit Pierre Garcon on an out route early in the third quarter. Williams cut under the route, dove and made a spectacular grab right in front of the Eagles’ sideline.  LeSean McCoy broke off a 34-yard touchdown run moments later to make it 33-7.

“Cary is a really, really good football player, and I think it showed tonight,” said Chip Kelly. “I talked to him specifically at halftime. I thought he was close — and I’m not a big prognosticator — but I said I think you’re going to get one. He comes up that first drive and gets one for us, and we score off it. I thought Cary played really well.”

For the week at least, the focus has shifted onto the field. And that’s just fine by Williams.

“I’m just trying to play football, man, trying to get away from those negative things because I don’t want to be known as just a Negative Nancy or a negative guy in the media, because I know who I am and the way I was being portrayed is not that.”

WHAT YOU MISSED

Vinny Curry‘s agent is open to a trade.

James Casey talks about not getting much playing time against the Redskins.

Kelly’s offense has been a pretty popular topic across the web, as you might imagine. Here’ s a round-up courtesy of Sheil.

Kelly thought the offensive pace was too slow against Washington. Really.

Some snap count analysis from Mr. Kapadia.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Bill Barnwell writes about how comfortable the Eagles looked going for it on 4th-and-1 Monday.

When the Eagles faced that fourth-and-1, there was no confusion. Michael Vick didn’t stare at Kelly for 15 seconds waiting for a play call. They didn’t waste a timeout debating the percentages or trying to find the perfect play. The Eagles simply lined up immediately after their third-down snap and handed the ball to LeSean McCoy, who burst up the middle for four yards and a first down.

Knowing that you’re going to go for it on fourth-and-1 in a given zone in advance has a number of advantages. As I just mentioned, you don’t burn a timeout or struggle with the percentages while you’re trying to manage every other part of an NFL game. You can open up your playbook on third down, since getting the first down doesn’t become a necessity to continue the drive; it allows you to take a shot downfield or even run an intermediate passing play against a defense that isn’t expecting either of those things. It also allows you to dictate the personnel on fourth down with your personnel set on third down; when Kelly had his team run up to the line and snap the ball on fourth down, the Redskins weren’t able to bring in any of their goal-line personnel, which allowed McCoy to run against a tired, soft front.

Tommy Lawlor examines the defense’s performance.

I wish Bill Davis had run a conventional Nickel look in the 2nd half (4-2-5). He kept using the 3-3-5 look and blitzing off it. With the score 33-7, I wanted to see Graham at LDE and Cole at RDE with Cox and Thornton inside. I’m not sure if Graham and Cole were ever on the field together. The Skins RT struggled all game long. I really wanted to see Graham light him up, but the coaches mostly kept BG on the other side.

I did like the aggressive blitzing approach that Davis took for the first 3 quarters. He turned Cole, Kendricks and Ryans loose and let them attack. The DBs got to blitz. Allen, Chung, Williams and Boykin all were turned loose as blitzers. The Eagles only finished with 3 sacks, but they got regular pressure. RG3 didn’t have a clean pocket for much of the game. He took some big hits and got up sl0w a couple of times.

COMING UP

We’ll talk to the coordinators in the morning. Practice starts at 11:45.

  • Will

    Cary Williams Eagle Debut was Superb! CW Protect the Linc! Shutting down the Bolts next!

  • Dutch

    Surprisingly strong performance by Williams on another huge stage. This cat doesn’t shy away when the bright lights come on that is for sure.

    Looks like the flare up with Cooper last week was nothing more than Williams putting on his game face and it looked to be contagious.

  • nicksaenz1

    Barnwell raises a great point about 4th and 1. It was great to see decisive action on that 4th down in the first quarter. Didn’t see anything so decisive in Andy’s tenure.

    • JettMartinez

      The real beauty is there’s no decision to make during the game. It sounds like Chip already knows what the numbers say and knows when he’s going to go for it and when he isn’t. Just like 2 point conversions. In the off season you look at the numbers, decided on your philosophy, and slap the numbers on your damn laminated chart. Then the only in game decision is to figure out what play will work against the defense you’re facing.

      • Warhound

        Make these decisions ahead of the time, when calm and without pressure, and then in the moment you must trust yourself. Works well in football and in war.

    • EaglePete

      Yup, Ive been saying this for a while now. You just gotta love the scheme for so many reasons. The players are ready, the communication simplified (I laughed at Romo losing his arm sheet of plays and trying to run hurry up staring at the sidelines and the players looking confused). Also, this causes way less penalties and false starts, everyones on the same page, its beautiful.

  • Johnny_P

    I’m going against the grain on this one, but I love this Cary Williams guy. Yes, his shenanigans are fully known/documented, but when it came time to put on the pads, he was a playmaker. He constantly plays with that chip on his shoulder, no pun intended, and quite frankly this defense needs that swagger/attitude. He was a 7th round draft pick by the Titans, started out as a practice squad player and eventually became a starting cornerback for the Ravens. He played very well during that Ravens playoff run last year. And oh by the way, he can actually tackle.

  • Phifer Fuqua

    We need to stop acting like sconces are some exotic rich guy thing. My first house was a row home in Norristown. Half the rooms had sconces. The other half had bumps in the plaster where the scones used to be.

  • ohitsdom

    One game and I’m sold on him, all past antics forgiven. He’s still a knucklehead and he’ll always be Cary “Sconces” Williams, but he officially won me over.

  • Will

    Yeah what’s up with that ? Everyone wants to play I get that, just train and practice! Be ready for when your number gets called it is a long season!

  • bentheimmigrant

    I think Lawlor was just offering what he wanted to see… not what “should” have been done, but the scenario that he wanted to evaluate. Hence the “wish”.

  • borntosuffer

    In fairness to Casey, what’s he supposed to say when asked? That he doesn’t want to play? Think he sought out an interview? He handled it well. I understand Curry as well. Here’s a guy who was a second round talent and doesn’t appear to be getting a chance to play. I will defer to Kelly on who plays. But, again, don’t blame Curry for wanting to be in a place where he gets a chance to play. As long as they both continue to work hard at practice, they are in good standing with me.

  • Will

    TY…typo….

  • G_WallyHunter

    lol captures everything

  • All In Eagles

    Haha!!

  • All In Eagles

    Agree with you guys but Casey was specifically targeted as our first FA signing and got 8 bucks to sign on, that in my book says you are going to at least see the field before a kneel down.

  • therealpistolp

    It’s one game!! They should’ve just said I’m happy the team won… If 4 games go by and they’re on the bench the whole time they can start crying.,