Eagles Wake-Up Call: Williams Trying To Change the Conversation
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.
We’ll talk to the coordinators in the morning. Practice starts at 11:45.