Eagles Wake-Up Call: Davis Growing Into Role?

Eagles Defensive Coordinator Bill Davis in thoughtSince before the season started, Billy Davis has cautioned that his defense would likely be a work-in-progress in Year 1.

A new scheme, a new staff and six new starters. Davis knew there would be hurdles and growing pains along the way. But now that the season is seven weeks old, there are signs of progress. Part of that is due to Davis gaining a better understanding of his players and how he goes about calling a game.

“I think I feel a lot more comfortable,” Davis said. “I think the players feel more comfortable in the calls. All of it is a growth that’s happening. I feel more comfortable. Knowing what the strengths and weaknesses of the individual players are now that we have almost half a season under our belt. So that’s growing. I think more importantly, we as a staff see the players understanding the concepts of the coverage, the techniques within the coverage and how they work with the concept. All of that is growing.”


The Eagles have limited opponents to 19.3 points per game in their last three contests. The Cowboys entered last week second in the NFL in scoring, but they managed just 17 points. The late, great Jim Johnson made 17 points or fewer his goal for the defense on any given week. Davis said the Eagles have adopted the same target.

"That's the goal we have," he said. "Seventeen will get you in the top 5 to 10 every time at the end of every season."

As for the players, they sense that Davis trusts them more now because fewer errors are showing up on tape.

"I think he's becoming more familiar with the players," said Cary Williams. "I think he's becoming more familiar with the guys that are out there. Some of the things that we like to do, some of the things that we're not necessarily good at. I think he's becoming more confident in what we can do."

Added Connor Barwin: "I can sense that he probably trusts us a little bit more because we're playing better and we're having a lot less mistakes."

There's still plenty of work to be done. Overall, the Eagles' defense is 29th in Football Outsiders' rankings. But Chip Kelly, the man who hired Davis, offered a ringing endorsement for the job he's done through the first seven games.

"When you watch him in the room with our defensive staff first and foremost and making sure that everybody understands, and then with our players, if he doesn't get his point across the first time, then he'll find another way to get his point across," Kelly said. "The interesting thing for me, and I'm really happy with how Billy has done it, is the defense we ran against the Cowboys is the same defense we ran at the beginning of the year when we were much maligned in terms of what are we doing and all those other things. But Billy has conviction in what he's doing. He's sound in how he approaches things.

"I think he has answers. If they're doing this, we need to do that. But he's also really in tune with where our players are and how much they can handle. A lot of times the answer is, hey, we should do this. But I don't know if our players are prepared to do that. ...He's a great communicator. He's a really, really smart guy, and I'm really happy we've got him right now."

WHAT YOU MISSED

"I didn't show up," says LeSean McCoy. More on the Eagles' RB and some All-22 analysis.

Kelly provides an update on Michael Vick, who participated fully during Wednesday's practice.

Kelly gets questioned, Nick Foles gets criticized in our national media roundup.

T-Mac looks at the unique relationship at corner between Williams and Bradley Fletcher.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Chris Burke of SI.com has the Eagles 23rd in his power rankings:

Rookie Matt Barkley threw more interceptions in 20 passes Sunday (three) than Nick Foles and Michael Vick have fired all season in a combined 222 attempts (two).

Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com notes that the Eagles will have company if they plan on targeting a QB in next year's draft:

If the Eagles do indeed have their sights set on any of the aforementioned QBs, they are going to have plenty of competition from other teams around the league for a franchise QB. If the Eagles want to get their hands on "their guy," they're either going to have to give up a huge package of draft picks to go get him, or start losing... a lot.

COMING UP

We'll hear from Kelly, Vick and other players down at the NovaCare Complex. Plus Birds 24/7 radio on 97.5 The Fanatic. We'll be live at Smiths in Center City from 6 to 7.

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  • Bullwinkle

    I think Billy will be successful, if given the time and the talent. One of the big things the defense needs is a tough guy with strong leadership, such as a Ray Lewis, Lawrence Taylor, or Brian Dawkins. The return of Lewis to the Ravens and the end of last season is what won them the championship. They instantly played much better when he came back. Conversely, the Eagle’s defense seemed to fall apart when Dawkins left.

    • 1972

      So in other words, a once in a lifetime hall of fame player lol
      I get what you’re saying though. If Davis played more press man against the chargers and chiefs I think we would have won those games.
      No more 3 man rushes. Oh and I don’t know what he was thinking having the NT cover the flat. I dont ever wanna see that again lol

      • Adam

        It’s easy to say we should play this type of coverage. But if you don’t have the talent then you simply can’t do it. Cary doesn’t have the strength or speed to play tight press coverage. Fletch might have the strength but not the closing speed.

        No more 3 man rushes from a 3 man front? I get that they aren’t getting success, but the onus is on the players to do their jobs. You can’t just completely abandon something because it doesn’t work right away.

        • 1972

          I f he doesn’t have the strength nor speed, then whats he doing in the league? youre either physical or fast. They played plenty of press man coverage against dallas and were successful. I didn’t see many 3 man pass rushes sunday.. Not being a smart ass, but did you watch the game?
          there were a lot of zero blitzes with press man coverage.

          • GEAGLE

            Cary and Brad will start for ATleast another 2.5 seasons

          • 1972

            I like em. Definite upgrade over nnamdi and drc

          • Adam

            I was at the Linc on Sunday. I’m not saying they’re slow and weak, but they aren’t as fast as or physical some of the teams top receivers like say a Dez Braynt. I wouldn’t really say 8 catches for 110 yards for Dez and a 300+ yard game for Romo is successful. Especially considering the Cowboys had zero run game. Don’t get me wrong, I think the team tightened up when it matter but with a few less penalties going the Eagles way and a Demarco Murray this game would have been ugly.

            I stand by what I said. We don’t have a corner on this roster that can press man up against a top receiver in this league. Cary and Fletch’s skill sets are more suited for off coverage. They’re strong tacklers and can make plays on the ball. Keep everything in front of you. You might give up some plays, but tighten up in the RZ and bend but not break.

          • Dutch

            I agree, neither has the speed to be an effective corner in the NFL. Thus any crossing route takes either out of position. Speed is weak up and down the defensive side of the ball with the exception of Boykins.

          • 1972

            The points were a success. The chargers and chiefs didn’t have top receivers, and you saw what that got us.
            It took too many games to figure out that on third and long teams were running shallow crosses on that lame bend but don’t break defense. Top defenses rarely use that strategy, which is why it was done less last game

          • GEAGLE

            To be honest, I think the main problem with the shallow cross was Nate playing like a scared little BLEEP!!!! he had no condense and was playing scared to death of getting beat deep. He just isn’t a good enough tackler to be able to defend the short routes when he is playing 20 yards deep on 3rd and 7….I don’t think it’s a coincidence that as Nate got better and more confident these past couple weeks, that we started tightening up on the short routes…I think the safeties were much more of a problem early on then the CBs…glad to see Nate and Wolff both moving in these right direction…even if I despise Nate! I will always give credit when it’s due

          • 1972

            Great points. im still scared of nate though. Get me a hard hitting ball hawk in the draft. or byrd from buffalo

          • GEAGLE

            ABSOLUTELY!!!!!! Nate HAS to go!!!! But I will give him credit when it’s due and he has played much better these past few weeks. But we can’t re sign him

            One of these guys have to, I repeat HAVE to become an eagle:
            1) Byrd
            2) Clemons
            3) TJ Ward
            Draft:
            1) haha Clinton Dix
            2) Craig Loston LSU

          • RIP illa

            But thats been Nate’s job all year…to provide deep help for the outside corners. I wouldn’t say he’s scared of getting beat deep as much as I would say Davis is scared of getting beat deep. Davis has admitted this, it’s been discussed several times. I get the Nate hate, but Chung and Wolff have been mainly responsible for the short in the middle stuff as they are normally the Safties that play up towards the line in our D.

          • GEAGLE

            Disagree? When KC is running the same damn WR screen to the side that Nate is on, and they aren’t sending ANYONE deep,Nate has to adjust! not line up 20 yards deep on 3rd and 7, come up and make a tackle on WR screen….if there is NO one deep for Nate to run with! and the screen is coming at his side! he has to come up and make that tackle short of the first down mark….Wolf and Chunger had PLENTY of Their own struggles early on..but when a teams are constantly converting short routes to Nates side while sending no one deep, then a 4th year, second round safety has to come up and shut that ish down! Not only should he be making the stop, but he should be BLASTING WR so damn hard that they start hearing foot steps and dropping catchable balls by the 4th quartet.

          • RIP illa

            No doubt he has to step up and play the short stuff after reading that there is no deep threat. But you were talking bout his assignments and being “20 yards” behind the LOS. That’s where Davis has him lined up. His 1st responsibility is not to get beat deep!!! Has always been.

            And c’mon…we’re talking bout Nate Allen here…kid has never stepped up and “blasted” anything in his life so why expect him to now???

            I agree that he sucks and must be upgraded, but he is not stupid, and he’s to scared of making a mistake and losing his job to abandon his primary responsibility and sell out to play the short stuff. You can bring up the KC game, and rightfully so, but there are a whole lot more games where teams are sending Fletch’s or C-Will’s man downfield forcing Nate to follow or keep track of while the slot or TE does damage over the middle or underneath stuff. Hell, a couple times in the Giants game they sent Fletch’s man deep while another WR ran a seam, that more mirrored the route of the outside WR, forcing Nate to pick the inside guy and leaving Fletch trailing behind his man on the outside. This is nothing new for teams attacking us.

          • GEAGLE

            This is dumb,,,we are basically saying the same things and arguing over semantics…

            I don’t blame Nate for playing 20 yards back on the first or second 3rd and 7 and not making the stop…but after you get beat on it twice, you have to adjust and shut that ish down…and Nate just started doing that recently…basically I think he was horrible the first month! much better as of Late, but Ultimately not good enough to have his contract extended,,,hasta. La vista,,…BABY(in my best ARNOOOOLD voice)

          • RIP illa

            True. I just don’t get how you can praise Davis like you do and then rip Nate, not seeing that it’s Davis who is the one setting his responsibilities and is somewhat comfortable in the job the Nate is doing.

          • cliff henny

            might be realitive comfort. davis knows that’s all he has to work with. davis cant turn nate into dawkins. nate stinks, get davis real safety then see what he does.

          • RIP illa

            Somewhat but if Nate was not doing what Davis wanted him to do and/or shite-ing the bed he most certainly would be benched despite the lack of talent behind him. Davis is the same guy that kept Curry on the bench inspite of his disruptive abilities, and also the same guy that kept blitzing Boykin from the slot. It’s been said by Davis himself and reported on many times, that Davis is trying to institute assignment responsibility over production and flash plays. So if Nate wasn’t doing what Davis wanted him to and abandoning his responsibilities, Davis would have yanked him.

          • cliff henny

            what talent, coleman? curry had to beat out thornton, who seems like a pretty good player. allen stinks…coleman REEEEEEALLY stinks. you know going in allen is going to f up cause he’s not good. actually, allen doesn bother that much, cause i know he’s gone. just dont screw up so much that he hinders the developement of other players.

          • RIP illa

            Whaaat??? What the hell are you talking about? I said “DESPITE THE LACK OF TALENT BEHIND HIM”!!!

            And in no certain terms and/or shape or form did Curry “have to beat out Thorton”! THORTON IS PLAYING BETTER THAN EVER and has been for a minute! Curry 1st had to so called, “beat out” square just to see playing time…even though almost everyone knew he should be at least active over him on gamedays. He had to “beat out” Logan to see more time on the field in obvious passing situations. And that’s disregarding the fact that Davis has been running more 4 man fronts and that on obvious passing downs, while running a 3 man front, Soap is benched and Thorton and Logan rotate at NT more often than not!!!

            You guys love to kill Allen, and we do need an upgrade, but then turn around and try to completely absolve Davis! That’s f’n ridiculous. For pretty much the entire season, Allen has been playing responsible…never great. Sometimes decent and sometimes bad, but nonetheless, he still has been playing responsible to his assignments on D. Those assignments and the one who holds him accountable to those responsibilities, is none other than Davis. Davis has been preaching, since he got in here, about playing w/in the system over productivity!!! So once again…if Allen wasn’t doing what Davis wanted him to do and playing w/in the system…he would be benched. So how do you guys, week in and week out, kill and rip a guy for doing what his coach is demanding making it an emphasis to do??? W/o raising questions on the coaching??? Oh cause Coleman and Anderson suck…this year that doesn’t matter, as it has been stated by Davis, reporters, blog sites, and commenters…that Davis is more worried about implementing the correct way to play the system over anything else.

          • RIP illa

            Not to mention, how saying that Allen sucks is just really real lazy analysis!!! He’s not costing us games, or hindering anyone else’s development, since Coleman “STINKS”. On the other hand, he’s never gonna be Dawkins. He just has to play sound, as you eluded to, and do what Davis ask. But again, game in and game out he’s continually ripped apart for not F’n up??? Weird!

          • GEAGLE

            It’s that when you see me praise Davis, it has very little with the now..I Genuinly don’t care about today. Heck it’s that first year in god knows how long that I don’t wake up Mondays depressed over a loss…so while for today, there is plenty that I saw from Davis and the players that I didn’t like, but I’m a firm believer in the building process, the natural progression of players and a defense as a unit. I don’t ever expect instant gratification, and after how historically pathetic we were last year, I think it would be foolish to expect gang green two so soon in the process even if Buddy Ryan were our coach….but what I see from Billy mostly trends upwards…I adore his pedigree, I like that he has had experience even if his units weren’t successful..I just think he is a bright young coordinator and that timing is crucial in life! and I get the impression that this is the right time and the right situation for Davis to take the next step and arrive as a coach…and considering what he is working with, the lack of cohesion since everyone and everything is so new, I’m impressed with the steady progress he is getting out of us and I believe that he has a very good chance of establishing himself in this city….could be wrong! but I like the man, and would hope that I am right, since that’s what’s best for the organization

          • Adam

            You scheme with the players you’ve got. I’m not sure why we’re even throwing the term top defense out here. To scheme like a top defense would require.. oh I don’t know, talent? We don’t have it. Bend but don’t break is a sound strategy for a team that doesn’t the talent to man up against a good team. Dallas took their foot off the gas pretty damn early that game. No running game and ton of penalties causes me not to put as much weight in the score as some might.

            The defense did enough this game, no bones about it. They held a very potent Dallas offense to enough points to put our team in position to win, but I think the strong play of our front 7 had more to do with then the back end play.

          • 1972

            Fletcher has some of the best stats in the league. Cary, not so much.. They both played very well lately… We got zero pressure when we didn’t blitz against dallas

          • JofreyRice

            I’m actually pleasantly surprised by Fletcher’s ball skills. He could stick as a viable #2. I think the skills were always there, but we’ll have to see if he can stay healthy, which I think, is why STL let him go.

            I don’t see tackle #’s as proof of Williams’ value as a corner, though. He’s just not good in coverage, which for me, is a much better way to judge a CB. He’s probably gone after this year.

          • Adam

            Fletcher is putting together quite the solid campaign so far. So far so good as far as health goes, hopefully Chip’s soft tissue science can help him stay healthy. I don’t hold the concussion against him as far as injury history goes, those are just part of the game.

            Agreed on the Williams. His only hope to come back next season would be to start making more plays on the ball and getting some picks.

            What do we do next year though? Try and get a top corner in the draft, or try and get a slot corner in the mid rounds and send the Boy King outside? I love the dude but I have some serious concerns about his height.

          • RIP illa

            If those are the two choices the my vote’s for getting an outside corner through the draft. Boykin has yet to show that he can consistently handle the outside (IMO) and although he’s a freak athlete, I would be more comfortable w/ him on the outside if we ran a 2 man zone, ie Chicago, due to his size.

          • GEAGLE

            Too many other needs to be investing valuable assets in CB..When you add a top safety Cary and Brad will be good enough, especially since they are getting continuity that they really haven’t gotten much of in the past…
            ..
            Fot next year, I put CB in the category of needs with Oline and Dline in that we have much more pressing upgrades to make, but it’s a valuable position so you take fliers in the late rounds and Undrafted pool every single year and hope you find a player that can develope into a starting steal, while providing good ST play in the process…

            My expectation is that No Major starting caliber CB is added in FA and that NO CBs will be drafted before round 5

            Because I think we will put a much higher premium then adding a CB, on making sure we land a safety like: Byrd, TJ Ward, Clemons, Haha Dix, or Craig Loston,,,

            I really expect Brad, the anti NNamdi and Boykins to start in 2014

          • 1972

            If we land loston or dix I’ll be shocked .This organization has whiffed so many times on safeties. Please god!!!

          • GEAGLE

            Yeah but the 49ers and gamble don’t whiff on safeties…your GM is really only as good as your personel department,,and we can talk all we want about our past safety failures but the reality is that our current personel department, gamble and the new scouts have only drafted Earl Wolff, and early indications suggest that their is a good chance that they plucked a 5th round Gem…upgrading safety significantly allows them a chance at possibly no needing to upgrade CB, it’s such a pressing need that they have no choice but to dump valuable assets into getting it RIGHT!!!….here’s hoping we get it right!!!

          • cliff henny

            get a safety, and get someone who can consistantly hit qb, every corner will be better. though i’d love a true #1 cb, move c-wills to 3rd, with byrd at safety. be a nice secondary. draft late rounder to develope. graham, cole and barwin all have big numbers next yr, not sure olb will be addressed till ’15

          • GEAGLE

            Cliff we gotta agree to disagree on the draft bud, because we believe in two drastically different approaches…if you believe that we are drafting a franchise guy this year then I can see how you can say we aren’t getting an OLB til 2015..
            …..
            But I believe the exact opposite, in that we will go OLB as one of our top 3 most pressing needs this year and wait til 2015 to get their QB…if they are on the clock in round 1 and there is a QB that they have an infinite belief in sitting at the top of the board, then yeah they aren’t going to let him pass,…but I don’t see us trading valuable assets to move up and get our guy….and because I expect a feeding frenzy of QB hungry teams fighting with each other to trade up and get their guy, I just think we have too many holes to be willing to pay such a steep price trading up, and that a guy we adore won’t be sitting on the board if we end up competing for this division…

            If I were an odds maker I would set the highest odds at us not adding a QB this offseason unless it’s a late round flier

          • cliff henny

            actually, i’ve come around to thinking qb maybe in ’15. mean right now 8 out of top 10 teams need qbs. think cost just might be too much. i didnt mind alittle cost, a 2nd, but at this point, could take damn near whole draft to get Mariota. why i’m watching manziel, he might fall within range.
            .
            i’m just looking at cap, cole and graham are 10m dead combined next yr, we just might live another yr with them. think ryans 7m is ugly number considering no dead-not opposed to renegotiated paycut either, might be looking ilb.

          • GEAGLE

            I think Chip adores Meco, and if we have second half success we will be talking about a probowl quality season out of him. I’m convinced he will start for us in 2014, and has a chance at being here in 15(not set in stone)….ideal scenario is that Meco and Knott hold the fort down until Gordon Bombays Ducks form a Flying V and Migrate to philly(Kiko,long, Dion) lol it’s all in chips master plan(joking)…

            I look at the birds differently then you..I don’t factor the cap situation into decisions like upgrading the most important position in a 3-4(rush OLB)…our cap situation is always so damn good that I will never worry about it until there is a reason to ba alarmed. Normally I would agree that cap figures would factor into upgrading OLB with all the money that Trent and Brandon command…but because we are starting fresh with a new coach, I think he will be able to turnover the roster with his guys. Cole isn’t the answer, and I don’t know that Graham will even get the opportunity to prove that he is…

            You have to get double digit sacks out of THAT position since we decided to switch and commit to this scheme…it’s the most important and highly valued position in a 3-4, like DE is to the 4-3….because Brandon and Cole aren’t Chips guy, I think he can purge that mistake if he isn’t happy with them regardless of having to eat money. Right now we are at the top in terms of cap space and we are carrying over 18 Mil…also guys like Nate and other free agents won’t be re signed and come off the books clearing more money..

            if you have come around to no QB til 2015 because of the cost, and you think we aren’t upgrading Safety, what are your top 5 needs? Last year we were forced to add quantity in FA, let’s assume this year Howie “splash” Roseman shoots for quality…give me your offseason wish list( 2 free agents, and the first 3 rounds in the draft) you can goby player names or position,,,

          • cliff henny

            just meant eagles have layer cake issues. it’ll take 2 more off season to fix all, but no reason ’14′ can get them to winning team. should be able to fix majority, leave olb and qb till ’15. 10m dead is ugly to eagles, cant see it happening. both have cap numbers and dead that are equal, not gaining any money cutting them. really, just have them ride pine and play in specialty package. no sense in messing up cap for 1 position.
            .
            we have 18m, and if all bloated contracts are kept, still 4m under. easily find 20-25m, that’s with extending jax and peters. eagles will have a crapload of money, while keeping graham herrmanns cole and williams, who all come off the following yr, freeing up another 20+m. i’m with you,be smart, look at who and when it comes off, by ’15 be ready to make push

          • GEAGLE

            Fair enough…

            My ideal scenario would prob be:
            1) Byrd safety
            2) BJ Raji..versatile NT/DE..you can play musical chairs and keep an Oline off balance with a line of Thornton,Raji, Cox, with Bennie and the Jet(curry) and hopefully Kruger coming off the bench
            ….
            1) Barr or Vic Beasly OLB
            2)!Adrian Robinson WR
            3) Odell Beckham WR
            ..
            Extend peters for 3 years. Extend Thornton, cheap prove it deals for Maclin n Rejus..

            Late round and Undrafted fliers on OGs. Dline, CB

            What’s the deal with rookie contracts. I can’t remember if it’s 5yr deals for 1st round picks, and 4yr deals for rounds 2-7?

          • cliff henny

            great start. yeah, you are way more into the who, which i appreciate. i look at macro. need #2 rb also. brown isnt cutting it, and with fumbling issues not sure i want to give him a chance. who is rejus….arillious benn? he’s broken, twice in fact, no need to spend money on that. get one of those little white slot guys, like cowboys beasley. jesus he was annoying me sunday. m-f i end up likin the guys who annoyed me during game. the catagory of ‘why is the pos f’r keep making plays’…we need one of those guys.
            .
            barr and robinson would be insane. who’s getting AR the ball?

          • #7

            I thought Chad Hall would be that for us. He’s playing for SF I think now and don’t hear his name much there either

          • cliff henny

            top 5 needs are tough, cause about 11-only non need is #1rb. you mean free agents or thru draft? should have enough money to get impact safety (my only definite free agent need) and 2 more above average players. lots of decisions go into this, peters is 10m no dead, ryans 7m no dead, thornton rfa maclin(maybe gives us discount being hometown team and injury) and d-jax (12m cap number, needs extended and reduced). lot of ways to go. what howie and gamble get paid to do. i can see the field thru the forest if done correctly. havent even discussed who qbs if dont go qb in ’14 draft.

          • Maggie

            Don’t always agree with you but the statement that the GM is only as good as the Personnel department is absolutely true! Even if the Roseman haters refuse to acknowledge it.

          • Clamdigger

            I really don’t think Boykin is moving outside any time soon. It takes a different skill-set to play nickel and when you have a guy that can do it, you keep him there. I could possibly see him moving outside in base, but the nickel spot isn’t necessarily the “#3″ CB.

          • JofreyRice

            There are guys Boykin’s size that have played outside, without as much athletic ability. I mean, it’s not like he’s 5’5. He’s 5’9 with hops.

            I’d like to see him play a little bit out there this year, so they can assess what kind of move they have to make. It would be great if we didn’t have to draft a starting corner, and could use a 3rd or 4th rounder for a guy that’s slot-only.

          • anon

            Please boy king on dez? No way — he’d get bodied no matter how high he could jump. Cary held Dez to 88yds (held being the key word). I think picks and turnovers will increase as safety play gets better. Gotta know you have overtop coverage before you can jump routes.

          • JofreyRice

            Not sure I understand where you’re getting the 88 yards from. Bryant went for 110. He’d be a tough draw for Boykin. He’s a tough draw for any CB in the league. I don’t think Williams did anything particularly impressive with him, though.

          • cliff henny

            not much anyone can do to stop dez if cowboys go his way often enough. guy is good, in fact really good. he got his numbers but wasnt running wide open and all over secondary. we get into it about eagles offense,yards without points doesnt mean much, with new rules.

          • JofreyRice

            well, when they had Trent Cole on him, he was pretty wide open, but I know what you mean. Didn’t he give up 100 plus to Hakeem Nicks, too? Huge game to Eric Decker–who is not a burner by any stretch. PFF has him as the 101st of 107 corners.

          • cliff henny

            meant anyone in plural sense…not huge on williams either. secondary is getting better. coming together is allowing for tighter coverage. denver game everyone was giving 10 yard cushon. williams has cut that down to 8. he should be 3rd cb next yr.

          • JofreyRice

            what do the numbers look like, as far as Williams? Is his salary benchable?

          • cliff henny

            i have him thru next yr, guarenteed, when tossing out those available cap numbers. 6m but 3m to cut, not exact but close. he 8m and 1m dead in ’15.

          • Dutch

            That’s not something you see much, a OLB checking Dez Bryant. That’s a strategy destined to fail.

          • RIP illa

            It’s funny cause C-Will is the only one, out of the two, w/ picks. I do think his tackling is very valuable to us this year, but who knows going forward and especially if we pick up a better cover corner than him.

            Fletch has played well, and a lot better than I thought he would, but I think that’s more cause of Davis providing so much help over the top so he doesn’t get beat deep. Yes he has a lot of PBUs but no picks, and has given up a lot of yards, so I’m still not ready to say he has great ball skills. There’s something about his game, something that I can’t put my finger on that’s missing (IMO) and keeping me from really being comfortable w/ him for now.

          • theycallmerob

            wait, what? Fletch does have a pick. It only takes about 11 sec to research that.

            In fact,

            Player A: 6 GP, 25 tkl, 0 sk, 1 int, 11 pbu, 3 penalties (PI)

            Player B: 7 GP, 35 tkl, 1 sk, 2 int, 5 pbu, 3 penalties (PI)

            (I’ll give you a hint, both of them start for the Eagles.)
            Would you really say one has better ball skills than the other? And they both get safety help.

          • RIP illa

            Wow way to be a gigantic D-bag Rob!!! Takes about 11 secs to look it up but 8 hours for you to be a douche! Props to you for catching my error about Fletch not having an int…gold star for you!!! BTW…wasn’t arguing one was better than the other. Just expressing my opinion on them and disagreeing that C-Will would be gone next year as a reply to JR’s original comment!!! Said good things about them both and things that I irked me, such as how we could pick up a better cover corner than C-Will next year, meaning I don’t think that he’s that great in coverage and that something still bugs me about Fletch’s game!

          • anon

            He’s got guaranteed money — he’s not an injury flier like the rest of the guys. We brought him in specifically b/c he can tackle — i think he had the fewest missed tackles or something like that from last year. I’d prefer tackling against what we had the last couple of years — aka not tackling.

          • Dutch

            He still in the league because he came as a cheap signee from Baltimore where he was headed back ot the bench in favor of Webb.

          • 1972

            He’s not great dutch, but youll take em over last years stiffs.admit it

          • Dutch

            To slow for my taste……. I can’t get beyond Williams or Fletcher chasing a receiver with the ball down field.

          • RIP illa

            I getcha, but they are playing reasonably well. So don’t be a hater and completely disregard their play!

      • Bullwinkle

        Valid point, however; I think most truly dominant D’s have 1 or 2 great players with close to HOF potential. Way back in the 70′s, Bill Bergey made a big difference when he came to the Eagles from the Bengals. J. Trotter won’t make the HOF, but he ignited the Eagle’s D with his physical style of play.

  • knighn

    Billy Davis will never be successful as a defensive coordinator unless he turns up the Cool and starts having people call him, “Billy D”.

    • Johnny Domino

      “Works every time.”

    • Mr. Wu

      maybe he can get a Colt 45 endorsement

    • GEAGLE

      And once he becomes a SB winning DC, he will then have reached the top level of coolness and be allowed to change it to Billy Dee!!!

    • #7

      They probably already call him that

  • B-West

    Just keep building Birds… Nice signs of progress in a lot of different areas. I was skeptical of Davis at first, but I should have had more trust in Chip. Everything else about Chip has been pretty impressive, why would he hire a dullard as a DC?

  • GEAGLE

    “Give it a year, and philly will fall in love with Billy Davis”-GEAGLE

    • Mr. Wu

      “If the Eagles don’t draft Dion Jordan I am going to jump off of the Ben Franklin!” – GEAGLE

      • GEAGLE

        “BASE jump” off the Walt Whittman…lol
        ….
        Btw, I was referring to passing on Dion Jordan which didn’t happen…and if you are so intuned with my oppinion you would know that I had lane at #2 on my wish list, and I was probably the ONLY person that had him higher than Joekel and Fisher…if you remember my wish list was:
        1) Dion
        2) Lane
        3) Jonathon Cooper
        4) Star
        ….
        can anyone tell me how Sharrif Floyd is doing?

        • JofreyRice

          For a guy who was touting Manti Te’o for months, and claiming Poyer woudl be a pro bowl player, it seems weird you’d be this smug.

          • GEAGLE

            Lol claiming Poyer would be a probowler? Really? Valuing backup players and their importance to a team is very very different from expecting probowlers lol…

            Any I’m not exactly sure why you would be talking trash about manti teo right now? Inspite of his ridiculously embarrassing situation the kid still came off the board in round 1, which is pretty darn impressive….rather be smug, then a constant petty hater lol

          • JofreyRice

            Yeah, I think it was on one of your other banned handles, not going to bother looking it up. So you’re saying you stand by your stance that we should do whatever we can to draft Manti Te’o, o wise one?

          • GEAGLE

            O stop it you pathetic hater…Teo’s value was highly predicated on his leadership!!!that went out the window when he was having phone sex with dudes….what kind of petty pathetic hater needs to start a petty argument? And if you are going to be a petty pathetic hater, ATleast don’t each to make your arguments”.
            ..
            You sound pretty silly using an Undrafted rookies play in his first 2 months in the NFL in your argument…what kind of ridiculous fool would even bother judging or using a player in an argument that’s an Undrafted talent, who couldn’t even practice til he graduated to make an argument two months into his career? On top of it, an Undrafted player whom TWO FRANCHISES thought was worth bringing in…how petty and pathetic do you have to be to start an argument with THAT as your point? Lol
            ….
            Excuse me because my oppinions are drastically different then the BS analysis you read and Bow down to every day like a mindless sheep…I don’t care how anyone feels, if I. Have watched a player enough, then my oppinion is the only one that matters until proven otherwise,..and since every single time I’m wrong! I man up front and center without anyone having to point it out! you sound pretty pathetic! or shall I say DUTCHish, talking trash for no reason…you KNOW my oppinions..sadley I can’t throw anything in your face because your oppinions aren’t significant enough to register in my memory bank. Sorry, I’m smug, guess you won “your important, well thought out argument” lol have a great day prince Geoffrey lol

          • JofreyRice

            haha, what kind of responses did you expect to a self-quotation? Congratulations? You made the comments, bud. I’m not making anything up. I can see why you’re so sensitive that a guy you were claiming the Eagles should take in the top 5 ended up going in the second round, but you opened yourself up for it.

          • GEAGLE

            Why would I expect congrats on something that hasn’t yet proven to be true? I didn’t expect any response, merely sticking to my guns…what I certainly didn’t expect is someone acting like a petty bitch and taking shots for no damn reason….but to each his own prince Geoffrey, go wet your bed and torture puppies :)

          • Richard Colton

            calling a man DUTCHish is hitting below the hat that wears the crown. Take it back immediately.

            up vote for hidden GoT reference.

          • JofreyRice

            see, I actually took that as a compliment.

          • B-West

            You got stones trying to call someone out for being smug.

          • Brandon Boykin, OLB

            Every time Geagle returns to this comment board I swear he hasn’t been gone long enough. He’s like a Lady Gaga or Rihanna single.

          • RIP illa

            He’s always smug

          • Token

            He has amnesia over most of the things he says.

            I think his general rule is to just love every player and coach. Then when they suck just never talk about it again, at least until they have one good week then its gloating time.

            Funny that he goes into hiding like he did for weeks when the defense was terrible.

          • JofreyRice

            Maybe it’s a side-effect of the meds or shock treatment?

        • Mr. Wu

          oh damn….hahaha was just a jokeman …couldn’t help myself…looks like I started some ish..lol

          • GEAGLE

            Wu: was my response disrespectful towards you in any way?

          • Mr. Wu

            Naaa, not at all. idc. It is just funny how you respond…I think thats what everyone is reffering to.

          • GEAGLE

            That’s what I I thought…I wasn’t mad at your response,,it’s all in good jest for me…even when I’m ripping pathetic prince Geoffrey a new one, i do it with a smile on my face lol..I prefer a respectful exchange of oppinions, but I’m not above “slumming it” with the rif raff

  • evanphilly

    Davis is doing well ,especially the last three weeks, but he hasn’t exactly faced a top-notch offense. I know Dallas has Dez and Romo and Witten, but who knows what happens and how the game plan changes if Murray is healthy. Still, a lot of encouraging signs and the D should have a nice day against the Giants. Really can’t or shouldn’t be scared of Hillis, so the D can guard against the pass more

    • aub32

      You know that the Cowboys were the second most effective offense in the league. Coming into the game they were averaging 31 ppg. I’d call that a top notch offense.

      • evanphilly

        Sure, but Murray had a lot to do with that. He wasn’t playing last Sunday, so it made things easier for Davis and the D. For the most part, they still shut down Witten and Bryant and that is no easy task. Just saying the game plan would change if there was a respectable RB in the Dallas backfield.

  • Stuart Philp

    I wasn’t thrilled by the hiring after seeing what he did with the Cards and 9ers, but they’ve made some progress this season so we’ll see where we are in the off season. If we can rank above 20 by the end of the year, I’ll be happy with that.

  • Dr. Killinger

    I think there has been steady improvement in the defense, especially along the defensive line. Still a long ways to go.

    • GEAGLE

      Yes sir…very steady and encouraging improvement but yeah we aren’t even close yet to getting where we need to be. by this time next year, we will be able to see what this defense really can do..
      ….
      our front 7 is really improving and they are some development, and a stud rush OLB away from being a serious PROBLEM for opponents…

      just look at Cox and Thornton…these guys are playing some darn good football so soon in the process especially when you take into account tenet are playing the game in a drastically different scheme from last year, that asks them to use different techniques from last year…it’s impressive for them to play at this level so soon in the process but they aren’t even close to being finished products yet which is very encouraging.

      just think back to all the holding penalties and intentional grounding penalties this front 7 has forced this past month…we would have a nice number of sacks if QBs we played against weren’t avoiding them like the plague, instead choosing to take intentional grounding penalties, or force throws under pressure which have allowed us to force as many turnovers in 7 games, as we forced all of last year..

      Azzinaro, The Lord of Bones, is doing a heckuva job with our young animals on the line, but I m sure Soap also has a hand in our BOYZ to men development on the he Dline

  • JofreyRice

    I’m not in a rush to pat Billy Davis on the back. If we’re basing this turnaround on the last 3 games, I think we should take into account that the Giants offense is trainwreck this season, and the Bucs were rolling out a rookie at QB. I thought the team did a really good job against the Cowboys until about 5:00 minutes left in the second, when Romo saw something, and convinced Callhan to go to more empty set formations and spread the Birds out. From that point on, the Eagles D was just “OK”–letting up a bunch of 2nd down runs that went for 6 or 7 and setting up easy 3rd downs, and allowing a lot more catch and runs to Bryant. Let’s not forget that at one point, Davis’ scheme had Trent Cole on Bryant. That’s pretty awful, to have a scheme where an opposing OC can create a mismatch like that.

    I thought the Cowboys kind of took their foot off the gas a bit, and started running clock pretty early, because it was clear the Eagles offense wasn’t going to come together–especially with Captain Zero and Commander Noodle at the helm. Kind of like the Broncos, I think the defense would have shown a bit worse, had they not let up.

    Davis’ unit is near the bottom of the league, right in line with where his other units ended, historically. I’m still very skeptical of this guy’s ability to put out a consistent product week to week.

    • Dutch

      Dallas was as horrible as either the Giants or Bucs before them.

      Dallas seemed to toy with the Eagles and Davis minus their mediocre running back and run game.

      • anon

        Still picked up a coupe of sacks/picks and held them to 10 pts until late in the game. If we had a producing offense D would have been even better. Just b/c we aren’t a Rex Ryan D doesn’t mean we aren’t playing well. Performance is helping to build confidence which is half the battle.

        • Dutch

          The Eagles could have a dominating d line if they were allowed to penetrate and cause mayhem in the backfield. It’s just they don’t have solid linebackers in place to cover the vacant gaps if the D Line sold out to a philosophy of killing the QB

    • Brandon Boykin, OLB

      Cosign. I really really hope Chip hired him as a stop gap. At his previous stops he installed the system then someone came in and simply ran it better. See Ray Horton and Vic Fangio.

      • JofreyRice

        The best case scenario, obviously, is that I’m wrong–that Davis has somehow changed his spots–and we’ll see a unit that is moving towards being in the top half of the league the end of the year, rather than 25th-32nd.

        After that, I think a better coordinator that doesn’t muck with the system is the best outcome. I really don’t want another switch–just let the guys get some continuity, and exchange the holdover 4-3 guys for 3-4 players.

        • Dutch

          There’s not going to be a lot of continuity building. A lot of the guys here now have to be switched out.

          • JofreyRice

            I think you can keep Thornton and Cox on the line where they are, essentially, with Thornton playing more nose. If they were to move to a 1 gap system, I think Vinny Curry could be an end. I don’t think he’s ever going to be a 2 gap player. I think they play a lot of 1 gap on passing downs already.

            They have to have OLBs for a 3-4, and I think ILBs need to be looked at. Maybe Knott can show something?

        • Clamdigger

          You know it’s going to be Azzinaro.

      • Dutch

        over his career that seems to be what he does best, he’s the install guy and once he’s up and running there is someone else that comes along to run the outfit.

    • Token

      Why are some so quick to jump up and praise this guy? As you said, we have one of the worst units in the NFL right now. Everybody is already sentimental over the guy.

      Davis is still doing some goofy stuff. But its lessened over the last few weeks I think.

      Hes still not getting a lot of pressure. Blitzes are often picked up.

      Basically we will see over the next half of the season if hes worthy of keeping his job. At some point they just gotta have some continuity at that spot. Id prefer to get a proven defensive mind in the offseason. Im sure coaches would be more willing to take on that DC job here now.

      But we’ll see. Maybe the unit will progress nicely from here. And we cant forget that hes working with mostly bums.

      • JofreyRice

        Besides the organizational lapdogs, I think most people just want him to be the answer.

      • Dutch

        Juan was a better Coordinator so far. I am not impressed with Davis. I can’t get beyond playing Cox his best defender out of position. And will never understand the decision on holding Curry back.

        • Clamdigger

          No, Juan was not a better coordinator. Juan was awful. Cox is a DT. He’s better 1-gapping (for now, at least), but he’s still a force in the middle of the line. The reason Curry was being eased in is because, unlike Juan, Davis doesn’t like giving up 30+ yard runs every other play.

    • RIP illa

      Still hoping the Jets have a downward spiral and Rex is fired so we can hire him next season…lol. I hear ya. I really think the Dallas game was his best called game, so I’m gonna give him credit where it’s due. However despite the state of our opponents, over the last 3 games, there have been incremental improvements to his play calling, use of personnel, and adjustments. So it seems to be that he’s trending in the right direction. Will see if he is truly putting “it” together as the season goes on, or if the D stays at the bottom of the league, or worse, play like they were at the beginning of the year.

    • jabostick

      I thought that the refs also let our corners be pretty physical. There were a few pretty close PI’s that could’ve been called. I’ll take ‘em when we can get ‘em but, yeah, I’m a bit skeptical still.

    • Clamdigger

      The defense held Romo to stats similar to what the Chiefs did. You can make an argument that they let their foot off the gas, but that doesn’t account for Romo’s completion percentage.

      Also, OC’s make their living creating mismatches for their playmakers. Occasionally you’re going to get stuck in some unfavorable positions.

      • JofreyRice

        Like I said, I really liked the job they did on Romo until they adjusted, and then they weren’t quite as good. Overall, like many, they exceeded my expectations. The thing is, Davis get’s “stuck” like that quite a few times every week. Brandon Graham on Demaryius Thomas. Cole on TE’s. Demeco on Witten. Tight games, playoff games, you can’t have that happening as consistently–a huge catch and run could mean a big deal. That’s what we’re talking about, right? A DC that can win–or at least not lose–playoff games? I mean, it’s nice to celebrate not losing by as much as we imagined we’d lose by, but the long term goal is to field a unit that can play with the best in the league.

        Getting beat because their guys are better than your guys is one thing, but letting an opposing offense get mismatches as often as they do worries me. It means there is some systemic flaw.

        • cliff henny

          idk, regardless of how eagles advertised/spun guy, he’s an install guy. for what he is, he’s doing a good job. get him playmaker at olb, and corner and safety, see if he can step up. nothing wrong with having moving measuring stick. defense is getting better.

          • JofreyRice

            I have heard that, Cliff, but I’m not quite sure I understand it. If he’s a good DC, he’s a good DC. If he’s just good at teaching the overall philosophy, of say, DLine technique, then why isn’t he a DLine coach? To me, “he’s an install guy” strikes me as a weird argument for Davis.

            I hate the idea that they brought in a stopgap, and will have to go out and get a 5th defensive coordinator in 4 years. I think you’re bound to fail with that much turnover. The team needs a D-coordinator that’s just THE GUY. There are teams that have switched to a 3-4 that are producing now, not at some nebulous date in the future, with some unknown coordinator putting together the pieces Davis has assembled.

          • cliff henny

            well, the turnover meter was reset when kelly was hired. by ’15, who from ’12 team will still be here from defense, ’12 draft probably. so, not worried about that, more of a fan deal. juan fiasco is not even afterthought to kelly, but fresh in our minds.
            .
            whether he is install guy or ‘the guy’, who knows, understand doubts. for now, we’re installing, defense just doesnt have talent that other switching teams have. now, get him byrd, really good corner, invest in say 2nd rd rush backer, i’ll happily move my measuring stick. how much can you call when olbrs are really d-ends and nate allen is safety. that’s not davis’ fault. davis wouldnt be 1st guy to fail at couple stops while very young only to find a home. but yeah, rex get’s fired, i’m helping you pack davis’ crap too

          • Token

            Davis was like the 5th choice. Everyone turned Chip down, probably for various reason. But assuming the offense does well the rest of the way more actual quality defensive minds would probably be interested in the job.

            On a team like this, where Chip is giving pretty much full control to the DC, we just need to do better. Have a guy that can not only identify talent but also put together sound gameplans and call a great game. Davis isnt that guy IMO.

        • Clamdigger

          That’s fair, I just think it’s more fair to judge his ability once he has a draft or two to grab personnel for the system. It’s far too early to rush to judgment on the guy.

          More than anything, the defense needs continuity. You want to be able to bring in a couple pieces a year and integrate them in as quickly as possible. Retaining guys that are good players that have already bought in and learned the system is a good way to help with that.

          Personally, I think Davis is implementing this system while picking Kelly’s brain on team/program development so that he can take a shot at HC’ing in a few years. I really think Azzinaro is the heir apparent at DC.

    • BlindChow

      If you’re going to use the weakness of the opponent to discredit the Eagles defense over the last 3 games, then you have to apply the same argument to the first two: the Denver and Chargers have two of the best offenses in the league this year, and will have skewed the D’s stats downward accordingly.

      Maybe they’ve improved, or maybe they’ve been the same the whole time. I’m not sure we can draw any conclusions yet.

      • JofreyRice

        fair point–not trying to discredit them, just offering some context that I didn’t see in the main article. I’m really not even talking about stats, because they can mislead. For instance, in terms of “taking their foot off the gas”, the Broncos pulled Peyton and their first string running back 3/4 of the way through the game. I mean, if they really wanted to humiliate the Eagles, they could have probably rung up 70 points, IMO. I don’t think the Eagles and Davis are as bad as they were on that day, and I don’t think the numbers over the past three games should be viewed without context either.

  • Ray

    Silly question but shouldn’t our defense target 0 points? Even if it’s unrealistic, you’ve gotta aim high…just sayin’