Davis And the Commitment To the 3-4

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Billy Davis was asked on Tuesday if his personnel is better suited for a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme.

“I believe we’re a 3-4,” he replied. “We’re moving in a direction. Right now, I stand in front of you and I’ve got the 3-4 that we’ve installed, we’re taking some punches on it right now as we push through to the other side. We just have to get through the transition part and the hard part that we’re living right now. The 3-4 is definitely who we have decided to be.”


Chip Kelly and Davis have both spoken of tailoring their schemes to fit the strengths of the players. The goal was to transition from a Wide-9 4-3 to a two-gap 3-4, with the idea that they would stop at the appropriate in-between point in Year One. Go as far as the personnel allowed them, in other words.

There are elements of the 4-3 still present, as Davis pointed out. But to say the scheme is catering to the players' strengths would be a big leap from reality.

Take Trent Cole, as an example. Much of the talk heading into the season was about his move from 4-3 end to outside linebacker. And it's true that he is deployed in that role. But he also takes on the role of a 3-4 end at times.

Big differences between a 3-4 end and a 4-3 end, right?

"Oh yeah. Oh yeah," said Cole. "You get double-teamed every time...And you're two-gapping at the same time. It's a beast.

"The guys that are here, Brandon [Graham], we're learning two new positions," added Cole, before putting his editor hat on. "You've got something to write. Now you've got your story. I'll even tell you how to type it up: 'If you look at it, they really have two new positions that they are playing in, and they're doing well at it.'"

Maybe, but could they be doing better in a different role?

The same question applies to Fletcher Cox, who looked like an emerging star by season's end last year. Maybe the defense's best player, even. The second-year leap has not occurred yet, mostly because he is learning a new position. Vinny Curry, a quick-shooting pass rusher, is essentially without a home in this new design, which requires more gap responsibility from its linemen.

Davis said they used even more of the two-gap alignment on Sunday against Denver to help disguise what they were trying to do against Peyton Manning. Obviously, it wasn't effective.

There are drastic changes underway on the defensive side of the ball. Growing pains were anticipated, and they have hit this unit hard. By the sounds of it, the plan is to push right through the pain, rather than easing back in the name of a more comfortable fit.

"Right now we're at a stage of four weeks of live football that we've tested the defense in, and we're not where we want to be," said Davis. "But believe it or not, I know the results are not there,  but behind the scenes -- and I've watched that [Denver] game probably 10 times on tape as well as every other game we've played -- the fundamentals, the techniques, the understanding, the players playing with each other, it is moving forward. The results did not show, obviously, so I'm asking you to trust me even though there is not the results.

"It will turn. It will turn. It hasn't turned yet, it's not where we wanted to be, but we'll continue to put our heads down and work, and I really believe it will turn."

  • G_WallyHunter

    I love this blog, it’s almost as if Tim and Sheil read the fans comments and then deliver a relevant article… We’ve spent all morning questioning Davis, then this
    KEEP IT UP and NEVER LEAVE (Y)

  • Soybot

    We might start believeing him by this time next week. The Ginas sorry excuse for an offense is just what the doctor ordered.

    • EaglePete

      dont hold your breath. A very desperate team looking for an answer offensively and they get to play the Eagles D. Perfect medicine for the cure. Just wait for those comments if they fall flat again.

    • Weapon Y

      Thats what they’re saying about the Eagles defense

      • jabostick

        Yep. I hate Eli and the Giants, and I’m still trying to hold optimism for the Eagles and the D, but there’s no reason Eli can’t do what Rivers did.

      • BlindChow

        Seriously. I expect the Giants to magically figure everything out by the time they face the Eagles.

        • G_WallyHunter

          haha agreed. They look like crap now, watch Eli throw for 400 and 3 TDs come sunday… should be a great game. Hoping the D actually causes a turnover or 2 and CK’s O looks like week 1 again…. optimism

  • brza

    Has Davis been specifically asked why Curry isn’t playing? I mean we can infer that he’s not two-gapping correctly but it would be better to hear the answer direct from the horse’s mouth.
    Also did he state why its important to two-gap when their young, high draft picks cox, Graham and Curry are better suited for one-gap?

    • usmcnole

      I take it the offseason comments of “fit scheme to personnel” aren’t really holding any water. Square pegs anyone?

      • cliff henny

        what did you want to hear, the truth? hey philly, we’re going all the way to 2gap 3-4, ’13 cap and aquasitions are a little tight, but ’14, everyone comes off the books, we’re rolling max, we’ll be flush with cash. we’ll evaluate, but it’s gonna be ugly. oh offense might be exciting so we’re raising tickets again.

        • theycallmerob

          ha tell us how you really feel!
          but to be frank, I think you’re spot on.

          • cliff henny

            was messing around looking at ’14. if cap is same, we’ll start 24m under. that’s paying jax 12m and peters 10m. they’ll get half that, conservative, say 33m. celek is 4m and benn 1m, no dead. fletcher 3m, no dead, figure his goes towrds real #1. soap casey chung and avant are schedule for 16m, but only 4m dead, right there, easily over 50m i cap…get your mommy’s checkbook out jeffie boy.

          • anon

            you think Celek gets cut and we wipe out the FAs we sign? I can’t see Jax taking a pay cut if he crushes it this year, problem with show and prove contracts is that sometimes people prove. but agree we should have like 30 plus in cap space, along w/ any rollover space.

          • cliff henny

            eagles start at 24m if every bloated contract comes back, it certainly wont be in 50′sm(was exaggerating for effect), but high 30′s low 40m. celek is 4m no dead money, he’s gone. sure, 1 yr renters, just like vick, gone too. only barwin and williams were 2 yr contracts. jax has no choice, he’s 12m sal, 6m dead, he’s renegotiating. peters is 10m no dead, he’s not worth that anymore, and it’s final yr. plus, have about 7 or 8 guys who make 700-800k like casey mathews, coleman allen that can be whacked. can also save on Herrmann, cole and Graham. it’s on eaglescap.com.

          • JofreyRice

            This is kind of a continuance from our other conversation, but we KNOW Howie can manage the cap. I don’t think the Eagles will ever have cap problems the way other teams do.

            The problem has been, what is the performance vs. cost? The cost is irrelevant to me, but it’s not irrelevant to the Eagles. If they have paid a guy, they want him out there, in most cases, even if he turns out to be not so great.

            I don’t have the same faith that all of a sudden, Howie is going to spend a good deal of money wisely–meaning on good players–in ’14, because of cap considerations. It just doesn’t follow the rest of his tenure as GM. Just about all the guys you mentioned coming off the cap were guys that Roseman JUST signed! Sure, they structured the contracts to minimize risk, but they’ve pretty much failed at adding any good football players that can stick around and “build the program” in their weird quasi-collegiate parlance. With that kind of turnover, any business suffers, and lord knows the team hasn’t been gaining contributors in the draft.

          • cliff henny

            oh, forgot ryans 6.5m no dead, is off in ’14. my point is, we wanted a roster turnover, but looking at sal cap, we’re just 1 yr away. they signed a bunch of marginal guys like casey, benn, fletcher, chung, etc, contracts they can easily get out from under, have handful in ’14 of vets that come off like peters – not worth 10m anymore – celek ryans etc, should have major cap space well into 40′sm, and in ’15 have herrmann cole graham (his contract confuses me a bit-think this is when he comes off books)…long sorry short, kelly was hired a year too early for major changes. he seems so practical, have hard time believing he didnt know this was basically a learning yr. if kelly/howie were just tring to tred water for a yr, then they actually did a great job. they cant come out and say it. you and i, and guys posting on here in april would love and applaud it, but ex 700 levellers would tear down novacare.
            .
            cant argue against ‘is howie the guy to bring in talent…he simply hasnt shown he can. on other hand, i’m not sure whether he’s shown he cant. i dont blame him for ’11 and before. riding fence on howie. souring quickly.

  • EaglePete

    I was expecting a “what theyre saying” article. They always get a much more involved comment section, we can whine about what they say. Im disappointed fellas

    • G_WallyHunter

      Oh, it will be coming soon, Sheil’s probably just picking and choosing the less critical ones lol

      • cliff henny

        after Denver’s game, think the only positive was noone got hurt.

  • Weapon Y

    2-gapping only works if blitzers or edge rushers can get to the QB quickly. That hasn’t been happening. Part of it is because Davis is being way too conservative and not blitzing Kendricks and Ryans enough. It worked when he blitzed a lot in the first half of Week 1, but he’s abandoned the blitz since then and the defense has been abysmal since then. Too often, theres only 3 guys rushing and they’re all getting double teamed. When he does blitz, its often with an OLB or Slot CB lined up too wide to actually get pressure. Because of that, QBs have all day to pick apart the inept secondary. Davis either needs to change the defensive alignment or his play calls. Clearly, they don’t work together.

    • BlindChow

      He blitzed a lot against the Chargers, but Rivers knew who was coming each time and got the ball out quickly.

  • PaoliBulldog

    Echoing others’ observations, I’m mystified why Davis thinks his scheme matches the personnel.

  • anon

    Man seeing difference between Saints D and Eagles D in one offseason. Probably not a fair comparison — but still a team can be turned around in an offseason.

    • EaglePete

      more optimism, I read a lot of that here even prior to donkeys game. But yes a coord alone can make a huge difference like in Houston and now NO. That and a few more pieces in FA and draft. Any FA safeties out next season.

      • anon

        not ones w knee injuries

    • Token

      Ryan and Horton took the Saints and Browns from a 4-3 to a 3-4 in a few months. Both defenses have improved.

      As usual, the Eagles made the wrong choice.

      • #7

        Browns have better talent on defense. Saints will be exposed

        • anon

          Many years of high picks…

          • #7

            Yep. There’s a price for winning and losing…

      • aub32

        Wasn’t Horton hired before we even got Chip or very soon after? You keep looking at things out of context. Also Rob didn’t really have a goos resume. I’m not happy with Davis either, but no one guessed Rob would do this for the Saints. He was fired twice in one offseason. Horton would have been a fantastic pickup, but he was off the board too early. Plus he likely won’t be in Cleveland very long. I expect he will get his shot to be a HC sooner rather than later.

  • cliff henny

    not sure Davis should be the one asking for trust.

  • anon

    jets get david nelson and work out josh cribbs, thought we needed another WR?

    • theycallmerob

      because we should be taking successful organizational cues from the jets?

      • anon

        Gotta say — they’ve been successful more recently than us. I think they might even have a better record. All that i’m saying is their WRs get hurt (even for a couple of weeks) they go address the situation, or at least look like they’re doing something. Our response to personnel decisions is not to do anything (b/c we’re trying to build this thing the right way).

        I hope we net a QB next year, else all this isn’t really worth it.

  • Chuck Dougherty

    Got no issue about the 3-4. I think I the long run, it will be worth it. My issue are the db play.. they play so soft..for the 3-4 to work, they have to be aggressive and press..they are not doing that…

    • BrickSquadMonopoly

      They don’t make breaks on the ball cuz they’re catching up to the receiver. The only break on the FOOTBALL I’ve seen all year is Cary week 1 interception.

      • anon

        The scheme has us giving lots of cushion b/c they don’t want to get beat over top. That’s a concern when you have no safeties that can play back there. It also means we’re going to give up the middle of the field all year. Can’t break on the ball when you’re playing at the sticks all the time.

        • Dubiy

          what about the saints who play 3 safeties to sort of make up for the lack of skill

          • anon

            We tried doing that the problem is our 3 safeties are terrible. Losing Phillips is big, there’s no one back there that can get earl / allen / chung in the right spot and help them make in game adjustments. This is why i think over 30 players are underrated — they have the knowledge to teach up the youngins even if they are a step slower they have that old man strength.

          • nicksaenz1

            Agreed! No worthwhile vets in the secondary kills us. I would have taken a 1 year flier on Woodson, we could STILL take a flier on Rhodes, but they won’t do it. Really seems like Kelly’s just as stubborn as Andy was, at least in this regard.

          • Basscase

            Hard to race in NASCAR with three flat tires…

    • evanphilly

      No issue with it either. A lot of 4-3 guys trying to learn a new system. May be why Cox and Kendricks are struggling this year, it is almost like they are rookies all over again.

  • Loke1988

    Like someone stated below. Square pegs round holes. You can’t hire a guy like Davis with a proven losing record and then ask for patience while the team gets obliterated. Do what you said you would do Kelly and adapt schemes to your personnel. And before anyone reminds me Chip was talking about the offense when he said that let me remind you he is the HC and all that happens is a reflection on him.

  • thefadd

    I’m actually pretty disappointed with the turn this blog has taken into the Negadelphia editorializing. It wasn’t this bad last year. This place was fun when it stuck to the facts and didn’t feel like personality gripes where being taken out in the media.

    We just lost to the best regular season QB ever who just posted the best four game stretch of any QB ever. I could go back to reading philly.com if I wanted to read crap like this.

    • Cyrus Robinson

      Coombayah, we lost to Peyton Manning and gave up 52 points total! Yayyyyyyy! *breaks out into song and dance*
      Is that better?

    • nicksaenz1

      Go back to Philly.com

  • Token

    Looking forward to the All-22 breakdown.

    But heres a couple pics from another board.

    This is the Celek drop play. Avant wide open easy quick pass first down.

    http://s12.postimg.org/53v9wde4t/avant.jpg

    Cooper and Avant open here.

    http://s21.postimg.org/6a10p3947/2openb.jpg

    Im guessing theres a bunch of these kind of plays that dont happen. We have to get back to taking whats given. Vick and the offense is back to relying on looking for these big chunks of yards instead of sustaining drives and pushing tempo. The 5 step drops out of the shotgun is just a killer. Makes blocking even harder.

    • anon

      agree i think vick looks downfield. watching tv didnt seem like underneath stuff was open. can’t blame him for the celek pass but would be interested to know the outcome of this play? vick does wait for people to be open to throw.

      • Token

        I remember talking last year about the 5 step drop out of shotgun crap. Its overlooked, but its a killer. Not only does it defeat the purpose of shotgun, it makes it far harder to block for.

  • Rick H

    The only gap that matters is the one between Davis’s ears!

  • #7

    DB play and tackling is what needs to improve

    • anon

      LB play is pretty bad too. We also need a real NT.

      • #7

        Yeah. Demeco “Preach and Teach” Ryans back there getting roasted. Kendricks just a young stallion that is going 100 mph.

        I haven’t heard the NTs name called all season

        • Dubiy

          I was getting negative comments when I said soap was not very good in san fran and that we should get a better one…

          • JofreyRice

            People hate bad news, even when it’s the truth.

  • Token

    Last year……

    Browns – 23rd in Yards per game, 19th in Points Per Game.

    Saints – 32nd in YPG and 31st in PPG

    Eagles – 15th in YPG and 29th in PPG

    This year…..

    Browns 3rd in YPG and 8th in PPG.

    Saints 6th in YPG and 5th in PPG

    Eagles 32nd in YPG and 31st in PPG

    People can make whatever excuses they feel they want to make. But all three teams switched from 4-3 to 3-4. Two teams got much better, one team got even worse.

    • Eagles4Life

      This is very difficult to disagree with. We are 1/4 of the way through the season. Landscapes can change quickly. We were 3-1 this time last year…

      • BlindChow

        I think the fact we are only 1/4 through the season is significant. We’ll see how the numbers shake out after we’ve played some less “offensive” competition… The totals listed for 2012 are after a full 16 games.

        • nicksaenz1

          The NFC East is offensive!

    • BlindChow

      Actually, the Eagles were ranked relatively high before Castillo got fired. If they had played the whole season at the level at which they finished, I bet their 2012 ranking would be much worse…

      Incidentally, do the PPG numbers include Special Teams and defensive TD’s? Hard to pin those on the defense…

    • Rick

      Just a little oversimplification Bud. The teams that they have played do make a difference. The Browns defense played the number 14th, 22nd, 25th, & 27th ranked offense; The Saints defense played the number 6th, 25th, 26th & 30th ranked offense.
      The Eagles defense played the number 1st, 7th, 8th, and 16th ranked offense.
      You can’t see the difference there? Yes they have been horrible, but make fair comparisons. At least informed ones.

    • JofreyRice

      Yeah, these comments are broken, this is showing up on the state of the eagles D article.

      Fits in pretty well, though. We have Davis putting Graham on corner blitz plays, Trent Cole on Wes Welker in the slot, as well as two gapping; yeah, that seems reasonable to ask a guy to do. I’m surprised Sheil didn’t put up the play where Damion Square was playing free safety like a nincompoop.

      Remember back in minicamps when we were reading reports of the OLB’s being matched up to wide receivers? “They’re just trying to see what they can do” people said, “it will never happen in the real games”, they said.

      It seems the Eagles have found the perfect Defensive Coordinator to maximize their lack of talent. The guy turns strengths into weaknesses. Horrible decision to hire Davis from Kelly and Roseman. It was clear the guy was a dolt the first time he opened his mouth, and his track record supported that.

      Didn’t Davis come in talking about the Predator 3-4–a one gap 4-3 Under front? It’s got to be Kelly forcing this switch. Apologists can talk about how you can’t build Rome in a day, etc, but these images are proof of incompetence.

      • Token

        Yea, when I click on my responses it doesnt even take me to them anymore. Didnt seem to do that when the redesign first happened. This is new in the last 2 days.

        But yes, Davis talked about 4-3 Under. From what I can Google, he ran it in Arizona and apparently they ran in when he was with the Browns. Theres articles with him explaining it when he was with both teams.

        So it seems to be a case of the coach forcing the scheme on the DC. That is a awful sign. Guess thats another huge reason no real DC wanted this job. And really, if thats Kellys stance no real DC will ever want the job. You gotta let a DC come in and have total say on the defense.

        These next 5 games could either restart the Kelly bandwagon, or things could get really ugly really quick. If we dont start seeing any progress that is, on the offensive side of the ball mainly.

        If people think im negative now, just wait if they continue on the current path for 5 games. Ill be all over the fire Kelly hire Horton bandwagon.

        I didnt anticipate my fuse for this new coach being so short. I guess the end of the Reid era beat me down. And all the change I hoped for just hasnt happened. Its much closer to just a continuation of the last era.

        • Richard Colton

          That’s what happens when you hire interns from Atlanta. They’ll probably spend the morning telling you the interface is your problem. That you have a personal vendetta against fast loading webpages. And that after 13 years, this is the first time this software has ever had a “real” chance to show what it can do.

          Just suck it up Token, otherwise you’re a bad fan.

        • JofreyRice

          The things I liked about Kelly–the innovation, the aggressive philosophy–he’s not doing anymore. Is it because it’s been “figured out”? Sure, he can pile up yards, but they are kind of meaningless without scores, and the offense has not looked anywhere near as effortless as it did at first. Now they’re relying on Vick to take off and scramble, and Shady’s world-class running ability.

          I do believe Lurie wants to bring a Superbowl to Philly. I’m worried that this was more of Lurie looking for a “quick fix” when he hired Kelly. I’ve mentioned before that I thought one of the reasons he broke with Banner was that he was getting impatient. The huge free agency splurge of ’11 seemed to be a sign saying that the conservative model of player acqusition was not working. Firing Andy Reid after the third installement of his 5 year plan kind of supported that, as well as going with Roseman as the new man at the top. I mean, it certainly appears that he hired Kelly for Kelly’s system–the way he talked about leveraging inefficiencies (the hurry-up no huddle), whatever else, in the PC where Kelly was announced. Unfortunately, I don’t think quick fixes happen very often in the NFL.

          • anon

            To be fair i think Chip is a good hire. He’s a great system coach, got mediocre players to play really well O and D worked well together.

            NFL is a new beast. I think he can’t run his system b/c he doesn’t have the personnel. He needs blocking TEs, he’s only got one, he needs WRs who can block and get open.

            No head coach is going to have a bomb offense if they have to keep up w/ a D that lets 40 points every game. Originally he thought he could cover up the D transition with offense but i too think he’s taken aback by how bad things are — especially the D. The on field mistakes (ST, D, pick 6s, penalties) that are killing the team aren’t his fault, though i think he’s gotta do more to control them.

            But at the end of the day i think he needs a lot more time to figure it out.

          • JofreyRice

            He looked way overmatched in that Broncos game, and he looked like he was trying hard not to be embarrassed. Totally understandable, but he wasn’t even coaching that game not to lose, he was coaching it to not lose that badly.

            They spent the 1st, 2nd, and 4th rounder of the draft on offensive players, trying to improve that side of the ball, to make it a strength. They went out and got a TE, and never use him. He hired his DC, he hired his ST’s coach.

            He may turn out to be a good hire, but I’m not quite as optimistic about it at the moment.

          • anon

            It’s sad that you guys have lost faith after 3 games, two if which were against 4-0 teams, all of which have beaten everyone else in our division. Redskins got RGIII last year and sucked through 7 games — and people got on the coach for throwing in the towel and you guys are doing the same thing after 4.

            The offense moves the ball — yeah we’re stalling in the red zone but there’s no reason we can’t figure that out. Most of the stalls have been because of penalties and dropped balls.

            The scheme has been great for shady and djax but i knew there was in issue when they were the only two players producing. I think Kelly thought Ertz was better than he is, he’s not the only rookie ever to underperform. Its been 4 games…lets hold the fire the coach until after the season is over.

          • Token

            Dont think you can call him a good hire at this moment.

            He spent a bunch of picks on offense when we needs D. Now you are telling me he picked the wrong type of TE for his scheme? Lol, come on. I get we all want him to work out, but to go out of the way making excuses like that is crazy.

            You can overlook the D. We knew that stunk. Expected it. I didnt expect them to put this awful scheme in place though. Thats not supposed to be the Kelly way. Clearly hes forcing it on Davis, who stinks in his own right.

            ST? He kept bums that cant play NFL positions specifically because they are ST aces.

            His specialty is supposed to be offense. Hes not getting it done. We can blame players all we want. But theres enough talent on offense to score points. Hes done nothing the last 2 weeks that even show a effort to change that around. And its against MAN coverage. A offenses dream scenario.

            You expect some clock management, decision making issues from a rookie HC, especially a college one. But hes not been good there.

          • Token

            I dont get whats happening. We all got carried away after the first 2 quarters of the season. Me included. Turns out the Skins are just awful and their QB was very rusty.

            But not only that, since then its kind of a different offense all together. Way more like the Reid offense than the Kelly offense. We are back to basically an adventure every pass play. Its like the play call is, Mike run around for 4-5 seconds and try to hit someone deep. Thats not at all what I thought this offense should be.

            Most players are already playing like they dont care IMO. Especially defensively.

            Chip kept all these dogs. He thought his coaching alone would change this thing around. And apparently so did Lurie and Howie. For whatever reason Lurie is a big Howie fan. Not sure why. All hes done is waste a bunch of his money and draft picks.

            I really dont like thinking like this about the Coach already. I wasnt a big fan of the signing in the first place, but I wanted to give him a chance. But the things im seeing so far are flat out not good signs. Like you mentioned, where is that innovation and aggressiveness? Its like hes playing scared. A guy who preached all that crap in the offseason totally did a 180. Hes basically playing the worst defensive scheme possible for the players we have.

            Yards are meaningless. Defenses could care less how many yards we rack up.

            The scary thing is where would this team be right now without Shady? Chip has kind of lucked out having him at the top of his game. He takes bad plays and turns them into good plays. He alone can hide some flaws.

            Like I said, 5 games will tell me a lot. All not very good football teams. I want to see progress. I want to see a vision of some sort. I want players to actually play hard or be sat on the bench.

            If it continues the way it is right now I dont care if its year one.

            More often than not if a coach tanks hard in year one it doesnt end up good.

            This team needed a complete tear down and rebuild including Coach AND GM, and probably most of the scouting department. Lurie decided against it.

      • Richard Colton

        I was one of those guys. Man was I wrong. This defense makes no sense to me. It’s depressing to watch. The analysis is great, but to read Wolff’s diagnoses pre-snap – him realizing he was “doomed” and that his only course of action on that play was “hope” – I mean, wow. Just…wow.

        • anon

          Yeah why you would call a blitz in the red zone, where you take a player off Wes Welker makes no sense to me. Especially when it’s Boykin.

        • JofreyRice

          In fairness, no one should have realistically believed that Davis was going to do something so asinine as regularly as he does. I mean, this is really, really bad. Trent Cole on Wes Welker? WTFFFF?

  • BlindChow

    What’s interesting is I’ve seen plenty of stories about whether the Eagles will “buy in” to the Chip Kelly method on offense, but very little about them buying in on the Davis defense. It must be clear to them it’s not working; the question is, do they see the problem as their own failure in execution or as a fundamental flaw in scheme and playcalling?

  • j

    Doesn’t two gap 34 need a NT who clogs the lane which eagles don’t have so how is this defense going to improve when the guy the signed to play that position is invisible in the field

  • Will

    The Eagles Defense is the 30th in the NFL because we have sub-par 30th talent. Doesn’t matter what scheme or coach. The Defensive side of the ball needs to be over hauled. This is not an easy fix. It took 5 seasons to get this dreadful. Gonna take an concerted effort over a few years to fix.

    • Token

      Werent you and GEagle saying this D would surprise everyone this year?

      • Will

        I was being sarcastic, my thoughts was this would remain a 30th ranked Defense or worse simply because nothing was done to improve it. The Eagles jettison Patterson and Jenkins. Bring in a sub-par NT. They part ways with Nmadi and DRC and bring in Williams which is an upgrade. They bring in Fletcher who is just a minor down grade compared to DRC in my opinion. They bring in Chung at Safety who has shown he can’t stay healthy. Last they add a rookie to the Safety mix. On top of that which is little to none in upgrades the Eagles move 2 DE to OLB. They did add Barwin to the LB equation. So in essence to play a solid 3-4 Defense the Eagles need a NT, 2 LB’s I would keep Barwin and Kendricks, and 2 Safeties. Till then it will remain what it is. The 30th ranked Defense in the NFL. I posted before the Denver game 2 prediction an Eagle’s loss by the score 56-24 then went with 42-24 Eagles loss. I personally bet an $100.00 on Denver and gave up 11 and a half points. I do think the next 5 games for the Eagles are all winnable if they play mistake free. I have be banned from the Eagles message boards and Bleeding Green Nation for openly criticizing the Eagle’s Defense and speaking the truth. Defenses win Championships! To get the best out of what is the Eagles Defense we should consider a 4-3 under scheme!

  • hawaiieaglesfan

    Sean Mcdermott looking not so bad now. Losing him was the biggest mistake the eagles made as far as d coordinator.

    • BlindChow

      I think after 4 years even Juan would’ve looked decent.

  • JTHC75

    I can understand why they want to move to a 3-4 with all the running QBs in the NFC. It will pay off in the long term, but the 3-4 requires more specific personnel and discipline to work well.

  • Dominik

    Davis: “and I’ve watched that [Denver] game probably 10 times on tape”

    So, he’s a masochist. Explains some things that are going on. :)

  • kstagg

    New Coach. New Scheme. Why switch now? Are we looking to all of a sudden move on to the Super Bowl? It’s just going to get worse (admittedly, can’t get much worse) if we switch from the 3-4. Stick with what we’re doing. We’ll get there, if only on points scored this year.

    • Token

      Two other teams have did it in one offseason, Browns and Saints.

      The reason we shouldnt be doing it is

      1. We have a horrible DC overseeing the switch.

      2. We are throwing away the very few guys we have that could play.

      staying with 3-4 means you may as well try and trade Cox, Graham and Curry. Instead of having 3/4ths of a starting 4-3 line, we are starting with nothing. Not to mention we need a completly new set of ILBs and OLBs if we are staying with 3-4. Thats in addition to the completly new secondary we need regardless of what we play.

      The switch to a 2 gap 3-4 will take at least 2 years after this with what we currently have. I like the 3-4, but for this team it makes zero sense. Chip will be fired or quit by the time this defense has been rebuilt from the ground up. Theres just too many things we need and too little time. Basically a entire new defense in addition to finding the franchise QB and another weapon at WR.

      • kstagg

        Point taken. Thanks for this.

      • BlindChow

        Are the Browns and Saints 2-gapping or 1-gapping? I wonder how much more success we’d have as a 1-gap 3-4. (Though soft-zoning on every play isn’t helping either way.)

  • Lenny A Duncan

    Hey I’m petitioning the Birds to let me spread my Fathers Ashes at the Linc. I know they have turned this down before but if your right and it will never work, whats the harm of taking 2 seconds to sign. 4

    http://www.change.org/petitions/philadelphia-eagles-let-me-spread-my-dad-s-ashes-at-the-linc

  • Dominik

    “The Eagles are averaging 24 minutes and 58 seconds of possession time
    per game this season, which is the lowest total in the league. That’s a
    tough way to win for any team, let alone one that has a rebuilding and
    undermanned defense.”

    We should put Kelly in a room with Burke, I think it would be fun.

    What Billick says is more concerning. The pace of the Offense isn’t there in the last two games. That’s a problem, not the ToP.

  • Token

    Comments are all messed up for me. Anyone else? Like comments from other articles show up on this article for instance. Sometimes from days ago.

    • nicksaenz1

      It’s happened a few times to me, as well.

    • anon

      one of the few times i agree with your comments.

    • BlindChow

      Must be a glitch with the re-design…

      • nicksaenz1

        We just went ahead and…fixed the glitch

    • Birds4Life

      Look at the top of the comments section. Mine had “best” selected. Click the drop down arrow next to it and select newest. That fixed it for me.

      • Token

        Mine is newest. The problem is it combines other articles comments into this one etc….

        It used to be each article had its own comments.

        Now its almost like they are all combined into one. Or just randomly spilling over into other articles.

        • Always Hopeful

          yup, having same problem

        • Birds4Life

          That’s true. There are comments in here from days ago and this article was written at 10am this morning. Must be a glitch.

          • Token

            Hopefully they notice it and get it fixed.

          • Birds4Life

            We know they read the comments section since the writers will respond sometimes. I’m sure they are looking into it or will have someone look into it.

        • EaglePete

          I noticed that on the “what theyre saying” article. It was not the same comments as yesterday, strange. Might be Disqus

    • jabostick

      You didn’t hear? Bill Davis was the successful applicant for the 24/7 Intern posting!

      His first order of business was getting on reformatting the comments section. Conventional wisdom says a separate comment section for each article but Bill is trying to transition to something different, use the tech in different ways.

      Just trust him…

  • Engwrite

    Key game vs Giants. Winner may salvage the season with another 4 games vs NFC East plus a relatively soft schedule. Loser gets to pick early in next years draft.

    • Brian

      I get the feeling that the Eagles would love to have an early pick in next year’s draft. We may end up with one or two wins.

      • nicksaenz1

        I respectfull disagree. We’re too close to being 3-1, instead of 1-3, to make me believe we’re playing to get just 1 or 2 wins.

        • Brian

          Yeah. I’m just being pissy. What I hope, is that we’re about to go on a streak. Just trying to justify losing ahead of time.

  • Token

    We have a DC still obsessed with his days as a Steelers gofer.

  • cliff henny

    Thanks for all-22 on Wolff. he’s grown on me. when pointed in right direction, he’s not half bad-about the highest praise i can give an Eagle safety since days of #20. he’s probably only 1 of 5 guys seeing anytime this yr that matters (cox, kendrick, boykins and logan..maybe a thornton, poyer or fletcher will play their way into future plans). i get as fustrated as everyone else that this defense blows, but than realize most wont be here in another yr, 2 max. defense is just playing a 20 game pre-season schedule. honestly, figure kelly/davis have till ’15 to get this mess corrected. ’14′s going to be no picnic breaking in rookie qb.

  • All In Eagles

    Just spotted this little nugget: Fletcher is leading the NFL, allowing 0.44 yards per cover snap, in 2013 according toPro Football Focus.

  • Always Hopeful

    I know Sheridan gets a lot of flack around here but, he actually makes a cogent point. I don’t think I’ll go read the whole article but, I’ll acknowledge he brought something worthwhile to the discussion.

  • Byter

    I’m not being negative but we’re going to learn if the defense is competent in the next 10 days? No we’re not. They will be bad for a while. New coaches, some new players, some previous players learning new techniques, what is the expectation here? I’ll be more disappointed in Chip if he drops his long term plans and switches back to a 4-3, even if it would be more successful in the short term. I have no preference of 4-3 vs. 3-4, I just don’t think you bail on your plan after 4, 6, 8, or 12 games.

  • morgan c

    Wow. Thanks for the analysis Sheil. This is even more damning of Billy Davis that I expected. He really is terrible.
    Can we just get a competent / mediocre D coordinator? That’s all I ask.