Eagles Wake-Up Call: Defense Finding Identity

ryans_400_111113Entering the 2013 season, the identity of the Eagles’ defense was a mystery.

New scheme, new coordinator, new assistants and six new starters.

Four games in, they seemed to be developing an identity: a unit that would give up a lot of yards and a lot of points and was very much a work-in-progress.


But times have changed. In the last seven games, the 'D' is allowing just 17.4 points per game. And there's been an unexpected consistency too. No opponent has scored more than 21 against the Eagles since Week 4.

"The thing that jumps off the table or the film is the effort our guys are playing with," Billy Davis said. "They view themselves as a high-effort defense. We're not a bunch of Pro Bowl names, pretty faces. We're scrapping and keeping people out of the end zone. It's hard work and high effort that's getting it done."

The defense is littered with guys who were under-appreciated or unwanted elsewhere. Cedric Thornton was an undrafted free agent. DeMeco Ryans was traded by the Texans. Houston let Connor Barwin walk in free agency. The same goes for Cary Williams (Baltimore) and Bradley Fletcher (St. Louis).

There's still plenty of room for improvement, the the defense has played well together and exceeded expectations after a rocky start.

"I like it when there's not a lot of recognition given to our guys, not a lot of people talking about the defensive side of the ball and you have just a lot of hard-working guys who put their head down and just work," Ryans said. "They're not concerned with publicity or press. They're just worried about: 'Did I do my job well enough to win on that play?' And when you have that type of attitude, the recognition and those types of things, they will come. But guys aren't worried about it, so it allows us to play together as a unit and unselfishly."

Many within the organization drop not-so-subtle hints when asked about the difference between last year's defense and this year's group. You'll hear words like selfishness and chemistry used frequently.

"It's totally different," Ryans said. "I feel like we have great chemistry. A lot of younger guys. We have fun together not only here during the day at work but outside of here. We go eat dinner together. We just have a good time being around each other and it's really becoming like that brotherhood.

"You care for that guy not only just on the field - are you doing your job? But off the field - how's your family? Just talk about real-life situations, not just football all the time. So it's good to have our defense come together in that manner, and that's why you see us maturing and playing better."

Ryans is the leader. Barwin is the rock - consistent on a weekly basis. Fletcher Cox is the most talented. And Williams is the loose cannon.

Different personalities and different roles. The offense will grab many of the headlines, but the Eagles will need the improvement on defense to continue if they want to capture the NFC East title in the coming weeks.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Rounding up some Eagles links, including a Grantland piece on Connor Barwin, NFL Hipster.

An All-22 look at what Nick Foles and the offense showed against the Redskins.

Shawn Andrews says his time with the Eagles was a "living hell."

T-Mac on Brent Celek and the sports science factor.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Mike Sielski of the Inquirer caught up with Donovan McNabb about Andrews' accusations:

"I don't really understand why this would come about, one, and two, how this would even be an accusation. If there's anything I can say, I was more than open to Shawn. I always tried to be open to all the guys. I'd invite them over to my house. I'd have holiday dinners or team functions, especially for the offense, every year. I'd buy all the guys gifts, if I made the Pro Bowl or not, for an appreciation. Shawn was one of the most talented offensive linemen we had. I was always happy to have him."

Good assessment from Tommy Lawlor of IgglesBlitz.com on where things stand with Foles right now:

Is Foles a product of the system? No. He showed NFL ability last year when playing in a very different attack. Some loved him in college. Trent Dilfer thought Foles should have been a 1st rounder and one of the first QBs taken. Foles isn’t a talentless guy that is being propped up by a gimmicky system. Foles is thriving in Kelly’s offense, but the numbers he is posting go beyond this being just a system. Foles is putting up special numbers right now. The system enhances his performance because it takes advantage of what he does well. Joe Montana was great in the WCO, but he would have been less effective playing for Norv Turner. Joe wasn’t a system guy. He was legitimately talented. He just happened to play in a system that was a perfect fit and helped him to maximize his ability.

COMING UP

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  • addicted2mula

    “They view themselves as a high-effort defense. We’re not a bunch of Pro Bowl names, pretty faces. We’re scrapping and keeping people out of the end zone. It’s hard work and high effort that’s getting it done.”

    • Eagles4Life

      I love it.

    • JofreyRice

      Yep, and they are covering each other’s mistakes, rather than pointing fingers (inside elbow-length Audrey Hepburn gloves). Totally agree with what Davis is saying here.

  • DirtyWaters

    How solid have the back-ups been? I think we have the youngest, most athletic NT in the game, who is technically not a back up anymore. I like Goode. Even Roc showed promise. Next man up? No problem. Can’t believe its December, we’re leading the division and I’m more excited about next years’ draft

    • UncleCarm

      I agree. When Jimmie Johnson was here, when someone got hurt, the next man up would be almost as good as the starter. He at least knew the plays and wasn’t lost. Then under McDermott, injuries were magnified. McDermott even said (and I paraphrase) that the replacements don’t know all the plays. I screamed back, “Why not, as their coach you should teach them the plays. That’s your fault, not theirs.”

      • Bullwinkle

        McDermott did not get a fair chance in Philly. He is a very young and talented guy. He needed time to establish himself and upgrade the players. He’s doing an exceptional job for the Panthers.

        • theycallmerob

          good for him. but still glad he moved on. in fact, just the other day he credited his “adversity”, if you will, in Philly to making him the coach he is today. and boy, did they provide him with some talent down there.

          • nicksaenz1

            So much talent that they made a trade that hurt the NFC East in sending Jon Beason to NY. When you can get rid of such an above-average MLB, the guy replacing him must be a stud.

        • southy

          Lots of criticism and at the end of the day his defense held up pretty well statistically. He did show a bit of confusion with scheme, and I didn’t necessarily disagree with moving on from him, but I think you’re right that he didn’t get his fair shot in Philly. He was roundly criticized for making TCole drop into coverage; meanwhile, Billy D has TCole playing OLB!

        • morgan c

          Until recently, I felt that he was really the guy we should have kept. He’s flat out become a very good defensive coordinator. Carolina is playing lights out, and their secondary is rags. McDermott has become a very good coordinator, straight up. That said, Billy Davis has really come on now. I was all over him at the beginning of the year, but this guy is making me shut up. Well-done… KEEP IT UP!!

      • DirtyWaters

        It’s Jim or JJ. He was very clear about that. He didn’t want to be confused with that other guy.

        McDermott wasn’t ready and therefore neither were his players. Isn’t that the year we lost JJ, Dawkins, and then Bradley went down. Not a whole lot of leadership. It’s amazing they did as well as they did.

    • Adam

      Holding an RG3 led offense to 16 points with 3 backups in the game is HUGE.

      • Richard Colton

        yeah. and you know what? it wasn’t just guys making plays. it was the scheme too. Billy Davis flat out-coached the Shanahans. It was so bad, the Redskins still haven’t recovered.

        • anon

          Not that big of an accomplishment. They’ve been out-coached all year.

          • Richard Colton

            OK. You’re right. Nobody’s knocking down the doors to hire Kyle Shanahan, still nice to see the wheels come off – public sniping between Moss/RGIII, talk of the proverbial “hot seat” etc…

          • DirtyWaters

            I wish nothing but bad things for the Shanahan family. Does that make me a horrible person?

          • GEAGLE

            I wish that damn family would sign a 5year extension….actually, better yet…I hope Shannahans get fired and then become the coaches of the Dallas cowboys or Giants lol…….tell me what I have to do to keep the Shannahans in our division and consider it DONE! Lol

          • DirtyWaters

            Being the coach of the Cowboys is a bad thing. I totally wish that upon him…oh, maybe Mike can go to Dallas, Kyle goes to NY and Snyder decides to coach his own team!

          • GEAGLE

            Wow, now THATS the DREAM right there!! I will co sign the hell out of that comment

          • nicksaenz1

            I wouldn’t go as far as to the say that they’ve been outcoached all year. Haslett has been outcoached all year hands down. But the Shanahans have had them putting up points most of the year. Hard to fault them for such an awful D that even Christian Ponder was throwing TDs against them and put up 34.

  • nicksaenz1

    Billy Davis basically just said: “Well, I have a bunch of typical Andy Reid, high-motor guys, and we’ve just really come together.”

    • DirtyWaters

      Fastballs.

    • anon

      fast motor, not undersized.

  • Richard Colton

    “Ryans is the leader. Barwin is the rock – consistent on a weekly basis. Fletcher Cox is the most talented. And Williams is the loose cannon.” – almost makes you feel sorry for Carson Palmer in two weeks.

    • theycallmerob

      when reading that paragraph, my mind went a different way….

      • Adam

        “… and I’ll form the head!”, Billy Davis exclaims as he attempts a running jump onto Connor Barwin’s shoulders, missing completely.

        • Richard Colton

          Yeah. That’s the first Voltron reference on 24/7. Mark it down.

        • theycallmerob

          although, on the flip side, Sconces would make a tremendous pink ranger

          • Adam

            Damn that’s flawless.

        • G_WallyHunter

          GZA can come in and form the head

      • bill

        Barwin: Uh, guys, the brakes aren’t working…
        Williams: I cut the brakes!
        Ryans: Cary, why would you do that?
        Williams: Wildcard, [female dogs]! [jumps out of speeding van]

        • Sig

          This is right where my head went! 1 vote up is not enough.

        • Chris

          always +1 for sunny!

        • Joe from Easton

          Love it.

  • Eagles4Life

    And we’re still 2nd in the league in toxic differential. http://www.sportingcharts.com/nfl/stats/toxic-differential/2013/

    • theycallmerob

      8th in TO differential (+4, 19/15, including the Barkley Factor)

      7th in Team Net Turnover Pts (+23, 53/30, including the Barkley Factor)
      love it

      http://www.sportingcharts.com/nfl/stats/team-net-turnover-points-statistics/2013/

      • Eagles4Life

        Key stats heading into this last stretch. Those are playoff contending teams we are amongst.

      • nicksaenz1

        Love the Barkley Factor. Team game or not, the team didn’t throw 4 picks and fumble it twice in 5 quarters.

  • Adam

    UGH We get Albert, Moose and Goose for the Arizona game.

    • cliff henny

      it wasnt flexed, darn…living out of town, prime time games are little more fun

      • theycallmerob

        bet chip doesn’t mind much. seemed to be a big fan of the schedule after the first few weeks, what with most games being 1:00. that was the whole reason he set up camp practice times the way he did.

        also, kinda nice looking at the schedule; with us finally breaking the curse at home, we have the 3 toughest opponents at home and the weakest (vikings) in a dome. I also don’t see Jerruh’s Palace as much of an advantage, basically a neutral site bowl game.

        • cliff henny

          yeah, sure it’s better for the eagles, purely being selfish. sc still nice during day and get that extra hype for prime time games. what i miss most about philly, big game sundays.
          .
          think/hope it all come down to @dallas.

        • nicksaenz1

          Really curious to see how this team looks on turf. As for Jerruh’s Palace, it’s so neutral that it’s Eli-friendly, so I’m starting him this week in fantasy.

        • G_WallyHunter

          Was peepin that yesterday, really thinking a 5 win run is do-able, but these are the Eagles here let’s not get ahead of ourselves

      • bentheimmigrant

        I’m really happy with that. +5 hour time difference is a killer.

  • killer kylowski

    Ryans is the smarts, Barwin in the looks, Cox is the muscle, and Willaims is the WILDCARDDD. Always Sunny style.

    • cliff henny

      does that mean Billy Davis ran the D.E.N.N.I.S system on rg3 last week

      • Chris

        Let’s see if we can break this down:

        D-emonstrate Value: “we respect RGII and his ability to play, he is a multi-threat QB”
        E-ngage Physically: This one is self-explanatory (football)
        N-urture dependence: “we need to play a full 60-minute game to beat these guys”
        N-eglect Emotionally: “WOW 24-0 at halftime? Did the skins even show up to play??”
        I-nspire Hope: “Wait, is this a comeback? It’s a one score game? The skins have a chance!”
        S-eparate Entirely: “Brandon Boykin with the game ending interception! Eagles sweep the Skins!!!!!!!!!!”

        As you all can see, i’m VERY busy at work today. We can confirm that Billy D ran the DENNIS system on RGIII and the skins.

        • cliff henny

          haha, too funny…which part does Dennis call the girl with stalking voicemails? maybe Davis did that, why RGme was so rattled early

          • Chris

            oh man I can imagine it now…Davis’ voicemail on RGIII’s phone: “I’ve got a huge Cox (Fletcher) that’s going to penetrate that O Line all day”

            maybe i’ve gone too far

        • nicksaenz1

          That’s outstanding.

        • Adam

          Post of the day

        • Joe from Easton

          They need to offer you a job. I don’t know who “they” even are, but you are obviously, supremely talented.

          • Chris

            When you find out who they are, let me know. I blindly accept!

        • theycallmerob

          you seem to be about as busy as I am. well played!

          • Chris

            Must be a Baltimore thing

  • pkatz

    That Lawlor article begs the question we’ve been asking all year: Is CK’s system a great fit for Foles or is he a talented QB that’s producing despite the system? Or, to rephrase, do we need to find a QB that will (could? has the potential to?) run CK’s system even better?

    “He just happened to play in a system that was a perfect fit and helped him to maximize his ability.”

    • cliff henny

      i get the arguement ‘if foles looks this good, imagine a mariota (could be combo of best of vick and foles)’. which, would be freaking awesome to fantasy gm about. issue is, every win adds another valuable draft pick. 6 months ago, was a 5-6 qb in top 15 draft, now it’s down to 3, and most have them going top10, even top5. with foles, a, he’s not a finished product, guy is improving, b, he’s working with less than ideal weapons (same arguement for getting mariota can be used on cooper), celek has seen his better rec’g days and avant is not a kelly slot wr. then have kelly factor, heck of a system, developing players and i’d say he’s not a finished product yet either. it’s almost an Alex Smith SF situation, build team up and around foles, used a pick on developemental guy like hundley-if he comes out- or logan thomas. i was all prepared to leverage most of ’14 draft for qb, when thought eagles would pick nearer to 10. towards 20, i cant even imagine the cost to get in top3-5. and then 2 yrs to develope guy, and no guarentee he’d get to level foles is at today. hope foles puts up 4/5 wash/gb/tb games, then we can all relax. he tosses a couple near dallas game in there, it’s going to get ugly

      • nicksaenz1

        Assuming no QB is drafted courtesy of Foles’ play. Let’s say we get a OLB in round 1, and by the time we pick again around 50, Evans, Robinson, Benjamin, Moncrief are all gone. Thoughts drafting De’Anthony Thomas?

        • cliff henny

          mid 2nd can get laundry or beckham, moncreif is a 3rd everywhere. benjamin isnt that highly rated not even sure can come out till next yr, sort of 1 demensional,. have sammy watkins, lee out of usc, pushing those guys back. guy out of vandy, jordan matthews, all he’s done is kill SEC secondaries without any help. 6’3 205 4.5 40, and vandy smart. in 2nd, steal.
          .
          DAT is listed as a rb, and 4-5th rounder. rather have laundry or beckham, both play inside and out, and if using 5th, get isaih crowell, got tossed out of georgia, or left before getting tossed out, but lordy, that young man can run like the wind.

          • bentheimmigrant

            Why “Laundry”? (You got my hopes up at first that there was actually a player whose name was Laundry… Could you imagine the potential headlines?)

          • cliff henny

            yeah, sales calls and proof-reading, bad combo. that guy can play though. as guys slotted with realistic possibilities, him in 2nd, or moncreif in 3rd would be fine concellation prizes if evans isnt taken in 1st for me, which is probably as much a pipe dream as mack falling within range.

          • nicksaenz1

            I have yet to look at any Mocks or rankings of potential rookies so the question was more a shot out of a cannon.

          • cliff henny

            most i’ve ever been into profecting draft till this yr. started off watching only qbs, not going to lie, i was 99% beginning of season, dallas game was 100% qb shopping, just sort of ended up watching lot of college games. helps in SEC country too, pretty easy to scout, seems like one could build a pretty decent draft/team just going all SEC

          • Richard Colton

            For what it’s worth, I saw one today with DAT going in round one to the Bengals. He’s an offensive weapon – a Sproles type. Wouldn’t mind seeing him at all in round two if that’s how Chip feels. Be a nice compliment to McCoy.

            And yes, we’re crackheads for talking about the draft this early.

          • cliff henny

            talking rb that early, seastrunk out of baylor look pretty good

          • Richard Colton

            depends on where you slot them, right? haven’t seen much of Baylor this year, I’ll look for him.

          • cliff henny

            play #10 ok st sat at 8pm. who knows, could be offense, hanging 60 on everyone.

          • nicksaenz1

            Just checked out the E!SPN big board for starters and he’s a top 32 guy there, too.

          • cliff henny

            like the guy, but 5’9 170. can he do in pro’s what he does in college. austin and guess d-jax, they play out in space. 5’9 170 and he is primarily rb, just seems really small to pick that high. projected as 3rd down back, if he can pick up blitzers, 5’9 170, and punt returner. fun to watch, hope eagles stay away till 4th, bigger needs than him.

          • nicksaenz1

            My thinking was moving him to the slot. Austin went in the first, so if he happens to be the best option remaining, assuming the desired big body WRs are gone and we took a OLB in the first, I wouldn’t get mad about him in the 2nd or 3rd over a lesser WR.

          • GEAGLE

            Lol never too early to talk draft

          • anon

            didin’t they just get Gio Bernand? He’s been alright i think.

          • GEAGLE

            Cliff, the more I see the Mathews kid the more I like him. Let’s play a WR prospect game…who does their ceiling compare to?

            Jordan reminds me of a Jordy Nelson type of ceiling (he is the 3rd WR on my board, ahead of Lee
            ..
            Mike Evans: ceiling of a Anquan,David Boston type. basement of a Micheal Floyd

          • cliff henny

            think i’ve just come around to your side, olb in 1st. there’s so many wrs that kelly can work with in 2nd and 3rd rounds. worst case, end up with moncrief by using 3rd and extra 5th.
            .
            unless mike evans falls…if somehow he gets with 5 picks of eagles, i will be going bonkers. just cant see evans having big downside, 6’5 230 with great hands and timing on jumpballs. man, i want him so badly in eagles green!

        • anon

          no

          • nicksaenz1

            Care to support that or are you just feeling contrarian, today?

        • GEAGLE

          I have NO thoughts on DAT..no need to think about it because by then Chip will have had NFL experience and he will know how much DAT is worth in the pro’s…feels so good to have a coach you trust to not outsmart himself…if we draft DAT, I won’t question in it no matter where we draft him…

          But if Chip weren’t here, DAT probably wouldn’t be on my radar for us

      • EaglePete

        Im already tired of the SF Alex Smith comparisons.

        • GEAGLE

          I feel your pain brah

  • Token

    Dont know if its been posted yet……

    Chip Kelly Mic’d up

    http://sports.yahoo.com/video/sound-fx-philadelphia-eagles-coach-033539497.html

    • southy

      Love it.

    • EaglePete

      this is great, eveyone should watch this. Im still always amazed at all the grunting of the lineman battling it out, so cool. Seems like both Foles and CK are very respectful of the refs, I think that can only be a good thing in the long run. I want one of those sweet beige hoodies they wear on the sidelines.

  • GEAGLE

    Remember when Meco couldn’t play in a 3-4? Lol

    Remember when Barwin and his 4 sacks was an underwhelming signing?

    Remember when I thought Nate was a wimp?
    ..
    Remember when our secondary was a joke?

    Remember when we had an Oline coach, coaching the defense? Now our ILB coach knows MORE about coaching defense Graham our DC did last year.
    ..
    remember when we were soft, wouldn’t hit anyone, missed tackles left and right..

    Remember when opposing QBs looked like hall of famers against us?

    Remember when we couldn’t force a turnover if our life depended on it?
    ….
    Thank you Billy Davis! and to the new personel department…6 months is all it Took you guys to rebuild this thing from the mess Andy created!!!

    DEFENSE! DEFENSE! DEFENSE!!!

    • cliff henny

      hey, on sixers, why’d they release kwame? thought he his salary was usefull to match in trade…not that his bs contract didnt turn my stomach.

      • GEAGLE

        As soon as they released Kwame and Darius…I’m like here we go, ET will be traded by the end of the week…I thought they were making room to trade ET for a few lessor players and draft picks, but then they signed two guards, so I’m assuming it was just a case of needing room for these two guards that we liked…

        • cliff henny

          hopefully that happens sooner or later. ET will come back to earth, he has james metrics right now, no way that continues. guess i was under the impression brown’s contract would be needed to make an ET or young trade work. if that’s wasnt the case, sure hinkie got sick of writing kwame freaking brown 75k gamechecks. sure each in memo section had ‘you suck’ or ‘f u doug’

          • GEAGLE

            Hahahahahahahaha. If those cuts weren’t made to make room for a trade, I would assume the same thing as you, that we use it as a trade Chip at the deadline….if a trade ain’t coming, the only thing that makes sense to me for why we would get rid of an expiring trade Chip like Kwame is that we had our eyes on the kids we just signed for a while…

            Do you know if those two kids were recently cut? Or have they been available for some time now?

          • cliff henny

            vaguely remember kid from duke. think they’ve been available for awhile. neither sounds like more than 8-10th bench type guys, max.
            .
            maybe kwame just wasnt worth keeping around young guys vs tradable asset? never heard him as a bad guy, but certainly not a pro’s pro. get more young hungry gus in, build and cultivate that type of culture.

          • GEAGLE

            Thanks..I really starting to like Orton And Wroten,,and James Anderson has a chance to be our Danny Green of these future

          • cliff henny

            maybe this yr is like a full pre-season tryout for sixers. just bring in and rotate guys. doubt these are the last 2 to come thru the rotating doors this yr. hinkie will probably be 10 day contract king come jan or feb.

          • GEAGLE

            Totally agree…Im expecting like 10 more players to come thru this organization this year,..just keep trying out guys until you find an uncut Diamond for Brett to work with

          • cliff henny

            or, ensure losing, get parker and exum/seldon. need to catch AZ game, that alex gordon sounds like hinkie/brown’s perfect 4. him parker noel starting front court might work! wayne seldon at 2, mcw pt…not bad

          • GEAGLE

            A lot of Blake griffin in Gordon…
            This draft drives me crazy because there are SOOO many prospects that would look incredible with MCW, but there are also a bunch who look great with Nerlens:
            Nerlens:
            put an offensive Beast like Julius Randle next to him could be scary
            Joel Embiid and Nerlens would be the best defensive and rebounding FRONTCOURT in the NBA 3 years from now..but for a 7footer to be so raw but athletic explosive and coordinated, his offensive skills are soooo much more advanced then you would think….That kid ain’t getting past the 7th pick in the draft. Defensively,MCW,Nerlens,Embidd, that’s scary!!
            ..
            If we pick up a 3rd first round pick outside of the lottery, Gordon’s Arizona team mate Terzcewski is a strong and powerful Roy Hibbert type of center that would allow Nerlens to get out and guard stretch 4′s while the white Hibbert anchors the middle…
            ..
            As for MCW, my dream is pretty simple lol:
            MCW at point guard
            Wayne Seldon,Marcus Smart or Mario Hezonja at SG
            Jabari Parker at SF, but I’m willing to settle for Wiggins haha

            Also really hope we find a way to get that McDermott or Dekker type of SNIPER!

          • EaglePete

            anthony bennett is making the Nerlens pick look that much better ha

    • cliff henny

      6 months ago, figured defense was dead in philly, as we have come to love, outside last 3 yrs. i like watching offensive battles, but only for entertainment purpose, why i watch more college than pro lately. glad i was wrong, maybe eagles wont be in 45-42 shootouts every week. no issue with 45, 42 makes my skin crawl.

    • Andy124

      On the first 2 points, there were some who said that, but it was far from consensus iirc.
      Yes to the rest. No qualifiers needed.

    • southy

      Easy now. We’ve far from arrived. We still give up an atrocious amount of yards. Bend but don’t break can work, but it’s not all that far from just being bad. Just glad we seem to be moving in the right direction.

      • Marilyn Monbroe

        JJ was all about bend but dont break. With our offense, as long as we dont give up tds, we are going to win.

        • southy

          JJ’s defenses weren’t 31st in the league in total yards allowed, either.

          • GEAGLE

            The offense JJ coached against, and the rules that governed the game were much different than what Cool Billy dee is facing…JJ was my Favorite coach in the history of philly sports, as high as I am on Billy Dee, he has a long ways to go before be start comparing him to JJ

          • southy

            That would be fine if my argument were based around some absolute number of yards. Unfortunately, the 30 teams ahead of us in those rankings are playing with today’s rules, too.

          • GEAGLE

            Come on man,,,yards means very little today:
            I would GLADLY give up 600 yards per game for the next two years if it meant:
            We are holding teams under 20, forcing 2 turnovers per game

            If we want to discuss what we NEED to improve on to get where we wanna be defensively, it would be:
            Getting off the field on 3rd down!
            THATS what we need to improve,the yards per game is pretty insignificant IMO

            We also have been playing with a nice lead during this last stretch..when you have a lead, teams are going to throw more, you worry more about not giving up the big play, and start giving up more yards underneath…

            For Example, if FOles wasn’t throwing 7 TDs against the raiders, do you really think they would have racked up THAT many yards against us? I certainly DONT

          • southy

            Points are more important than yards. No one is arguing that. But yards ARE important. Just ask Seattle or Carolina. Teams that are strong in the red zone are good at converting those yards into points, like Denver did against us. We are bending A LOT. And if you bend too much against a top qb, he will break you.

            Right now we are an ok defense. We are playing with heart and tackling well. If we want to be a TOP defense, we’re gonna have to stop letting guys drive consistently down the field from their own 5 yard line. Getting off the field on 3rd down sure helps.

    • Token

      Remember when you went into hiding the first 6 weeks of the season?

      Yea, I liked that much better.

      • Andy124

        C’mon man.

      • JofreyRice

        I have seen an improvement from the defense, but this is starting to remind me of the last 4 games of ’11, when guys like GEagle were probably over the moon that Juan Castillo beat Stephen McGee, JP Losman and Mark Sanchez. Probably saying Jamar Chaney was the best MLB in the game, and the wide 9 was a can’t miss system.

        The overvaluation of that stretch probably wrecked the Eagles D in ’12. The run D looks good, but I’m anxious to see them face a good QB, playing well. I think that there is a chance beating up on weak sister’s can help a defenses’ confidence and swagger, enabling them to beat better teams, but I’ve got to see that happen before I’m totally bought in.

        • GEAGLE

          Ha. Hi hater…drown any puppies lately? Or shoot prostitutes with a bow and arrow lol

          • Isaac

            GEagle . . .

            You’re missed back at IB.com

          • ACViking

            GE . . .

            I second that point.

            Hope to see you back there.

          • GEAGLE

            Thank you brother…but I just posted there about 20 min ago lol

          • Andy124

            C’mon man.

          • GEAGLE

            Game of thrones reference man…not that deep
            ..
            “Shot Fired, so SHOT RETURNED. We done? Or we can do this all day”-Chip Kelly

        • Richard Colton

          its fair to be skeptical. here’s another fly in the ointment. is anyone 100% convinced that Kendricks is the ILB for the next five years?

          • GEAGLE

            I am 100 % convinced that Mykal will get extended and never even sniff free agency

          • anon

            Coaches love him but i’d even look at goode over him. He’ll have to fight for that job in TC.

          • southy

            Goode got his name called a few times against the skins, but I’m convinced if we had Kendricks in there he would have been central to the game plan. Would have spied RG3 like he did with Taylor.

          • GEAGLE

            Absolutely!!

            The good part about Goode is that we were playing our ILBs 99% of The snaps…Goodes emergence will allow them to get a breather and be fresher

          • southy

            I still need to see more from him. Not saying he didn’t do well, but remember when Colt Anderson came in at safety a couple games and made some nice plays against the run? Looked good on the TV…

          • JofreyRice

            We’re all completely shocked.

          • GEAGLE

            And I’ll end up being right…no shocker there hahahah

          • JofreyRice

            Like everyone else, he’s looked better. Like I mentioned before, he was playing slower, which really helps him. It sounds cliche, but it’s really true that he’s got everything you want, physically–except maybe height. If he can get a feel for where he needs to be at half speed, and then go back to using his athletic ability to leverage that understanding, I think he could be the guy we’re hoping for.

            I’m just glad he didn’t tear the ACL. That looked like a bad hit he took from Earl Wolff. Right on the kneecap.

        • anon

          I think being able to stop the run really limits what 80% if qbs can do. Even solid qbs like RW make their money on play action.

        • cliff henny

          d-line is legit. ryans can play mlb behind that line. barwin is solid, and sure you’ll agree stub rush olb will only make him better. allen, he is just proof that coaching is better, still think upgrade is needed. fletch, boykin can play. sniffing ’85 bears, of course not, but further along than anyone but Geagle thought, yes. by this time next yr, could be pretty solid nfl defense, whatever that is.

          • JofreyRice

            Do you think they’ve beaten a good QB yet? How would you define a solid NFL D? It’s tough to put an absolute definition on it, but I think it’s a little bit more than the ability to beat Dexter Tolzein and Mitchell Pryor. You give them credit for those games, sure, but I don’t think you lose sight of the fact that neither of those guys is probably an NFL starter next year. And right now RG3 isn’t playing very well; very dysfunctional scene off the field, and very poor throws from RG3 on the field.

            I’m not looking for them to shut down Peyton Manning to define them as a solid D, and I’m not interested in pushing the goalposts, either. I think ARZ’s offense is kind of rounding into the shape Arians wants, and although flawed, I think Palmer is still capable of playing QB at a starter’s level. Beating the Cards will go a long way towards showing me they are a vastly improved unit.

          • cliff henny

            have no idea what a solid nfl defense is. Seattle obviously, but eagles wont ever spend those type resources. i’d rather be 60/40 offense nowadays anyways. just be opportunistic, and good in red zone, and hang 35 often.
            .
            i agree, i’m not sold, am encouraged, and can see final product a heck of a easier and sooner than i ever imagined.

      • GEAGLE

        Hey idiot…if you are going to throw my comments in my face, ATleast be real about it..there is plenty I have been wrong about:
        1) I knew we had a better defense then people realized, but I thought it was going to come in the form of a 4-3U and that there was no way we were two gapping when the season started. And let’s not pretend that I actually thought we would be THIS good, THIS soon!!!

        2) I Thought NATE was a lost cause like a dog that needed to be Euthanized

        I never ONCE thought we would see a good defense in September, and NEVER ONCE did I make THAT statement. What I said OVER, and OVER and OVER. And OVER and OVER. And OVER about to is defense was:

        We aren’t going to see a top defense this year, but we will see a defense if takes big strides of improvement from one month to the next, and by the end of this year, THIS CITY will Fall in love with Billy Davis and THIS city will realize that we already have about 70% of the pieces for a future TOP defense, already on THIS ROSTER!!! That’s my exact statement, so why in the world would I need to hide at the beginning of the year from clueless clowns with inferiority complexes such as yourself? If I don’t post on this site for a week! you can still easily find my opinion online,,my opinions don’t change depending on the site I posted. So if I’m not around to eat crow from a fool like you, I still have to eat it from posters from another site lol..so you sound kind of dumb, then again That’s kind of the norm for you…

        • cliff henny

          if you want him to read all that, probably shouldnt start off with ‘hey idiot’. went to howard eskin school of debate?

          • GEAGLE

            Lol I don’t need a fool to read what i wrote..rather those who’s opinions I respect read it and know what a fool he is lol

          • Richard Colton

            I miss Eskin on the PM drive. “Beat it, Nitwit!”

          • cliff henny

            was always good for one ‘you’re a dope, you are a dope! why do i talk to all these dopehead out there. trying to help, but just too many dopeheads’. generally someone bashing mcnabb

          • Richard Colton

            his kid is becoming a carbon copy – and he hates Foles. rips him constantly.

          • cliff henny

            read something he posted on libertyballers about tanking. was mostly right, but in such an arrogant obnoxious way, just wanted to disagree with him out of spite.
            .
            well, he hung around cataldi, didnt he? can make a living in philly sports radio by taking an extreme anti-stance and shout everyone down with more and more extreme verbal diarrhea

        • Token

          Everyone can have their opinion.

          I just think your shtick is funny.

          You, as usual, said how amazing the Eagles would be in every way. And then the entire start of the season you were nowhere to be found because you looked foolish. Now you gloat multiple times in each thread.

          Im not ready to diddle Billy Davis. They have made big strides since last year certainly. Have been good in the redzone. But there are still times where they are getting exploited but the QBs cant take advantage of it. The wide open TE last week that Allen let run right by him is a prime example. How does the game go if that ball isnt way off the mark?

          Nate Allen still isnt good. I hope he isnt fooling Howie into thinking hes good enough. Im willing to roll with Wolfe and give him a chance, maybe I was wrong about the kid, but he needs something better next to him.

          Im excited about the Eagles future, especially if Foles continues to show hes got what it takes. But there are still a number of pieces missing.

  • BigWhoopWannaFightAboutIt

    One thing is for certain, for McNabb, the world revolves solely around him. Notice in his reaction quote he constantly referred to himself? He only mentioned Andrews’ name once, everything else is me, me, me for McNabb. I appreciate his time in Philly, but I don’t think I could stand being near him for more than 5 minutes.

  • addicted2mula

    Who do y’all want to win Sunday? Cowboys or Giants?

    • Andy124

      Meteor.

    • BlindChow

      Giants. Need to get the Cowboys’ division record to 3-3.

      • Andy124

        Plus, I just can’t root for the Cowboys.

        • bentheimmigrant

          Plus plus, there’s nothing quite like seeing Jerruh during another lost season. The Giants are pretty much out already.

          • Andy124

            I think I’m more worried about the Giants than the Cowboys at this point. 5 game winning streak (after Sunday) is no small deal.

          • bentheimmigrant

            Maybe, although it’s mainly been their D stopping 4 bad O’s (including ours). I don’t see it continuing once their schedule gets hard again (Chargers, Seahawks, Lions).

          • Andy124

            Good point. But weird things happen with Eli and the Giants. Weird things man.

          • theycallmerob

            and they still wouldn’t be at .500!

    • Richard Colton

      Please swap “y’all” for the grammatically correct “you’s” or “youze.”

      • bentheimmigrant

        What about “yuns”?

        • Richard Colton

          OK. But now we’re being specific to Fishtown, Kensington, and Gloucester City, and I don’t like to discriminate.

          • EaglePete

            yuns is Pittsburgh and theres never anything wrong with discriminating against Fishtown and Kensington

        • Andy124

          Isn’t that a pittsburg thing?

    • cliff henny

      giants. just cant see them running the table. @skin @SD @Det with Sea and Was at home. giants win, almost have to think eagles @ dallas is for nfc east

    • nicksaenz1

      Giants, keeps Cowboys at a game behind us, allowing a little wiggle room before the week 17 showdown. As Cliff noted, Giants have an all but guaranteed two losses in their remaining schedule, likely three.

  • macadood

    hah, Reno Mahe’s name actually mentioned in that McNabb-Andrews article:

    “Two other Eagles from that era, running backs Brian Westbrook and Reno Mahe, said Wednesday that they never heard McNabb discuss Andrews’ sexuality and don’t believe he mistreated Andrews or gossiped about him.”

    and poor Jeff Garcia gets dragged into it all too with his own gay rumors. meanwhile he’s married to a italian-puertorican ex-playmate.

    and found poor Jeff in bleacherreport’s 25 Incredibly Hot Women Married to Incredibly Untalented Athletes list.

    • bentheimmigrant

      Good catch.

      >.>

    • southy

      Hank Baskett? Sure. Garcia? The dude had some great years in the NFL.