Billy Davis spoke with the media for about a half-hour before the team went on break. A few takeaways:
– Opinions vary on the state of the nose tackle position. Some saw enough out of Bennie Logan as a rookie to believe he is the answer. Others wonder whether this team would be better served with a space-eater in the middle.
Davis was asked if having a giant nose tackle in this particular scheme is overrated.
“Well, those monster noses are ideal," he said. "There’s not very many of them out there and they come around every five years maybe. And what we do is we have good football players, like I said, and we get them at the heaviest weight that they can function well at and make ‘em fit and ask ‘em to do the things they can do the best. And when that monster comes along and you’re in a position to acquire him, you acquire him. And that’s the old 3-4 where the guy just eats up three blockers inside. But they’re hard to find. They really are. We’re really happy with the D-Linemen that we have and how they’re progressing. So we’re excited about the group that’s in there. It’s a good young group, really eager and energetic and they’ve been working hard.”
Howie Roseman noted at the combine that Logan's frame "can easily withstand 320 pounds." The 24-year-old played at 309 last season. He is currently listed at 315. Not quite Haloti Ngata (6-4, 340) but Davis seems comfortable with what he has.
“I think every player’s different with what they can handle and what they can’t. You get a good football player and you find the strongest and heaviest he can be and still get his job done and use the techniques we ask him to do," said Davis. "Bennie’s come a long way and he’s gaining some weight. He’s going in the right direction.”
Beau Allen (6-2, 333) has more of that traditional nose tackle build. He was on the field primarily on run downs last season for Wisconsin and finished with 20 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.
-- Davis has been coaching in the NFL since 1992. He has coached for nine different teams, including stints as defensive coordinator for both Arizona and San Francisco -- neither of which went quite as well as Davis would have hoped. All things considered, his first year in Philly was encouraging. Does he believe this job could define him?
“I hope so. I hope so partly because the staff I’m on right now and the group of men that I’m working with on the defensive side and the whole staff… Chip has really put together a great group of guys that have a pretty tight-knit chemistry," he said. "Defensive staff in particular is my world. We work extremely well together. There’s no egos. The best idea wins. It’s not my idea. It’s whoever has the best one. I think we’ve got a group of teachers Chip put together, which makes a huge difference. I think it’s highly undervalued, the ability of professional coaches to teach fundamentals at the fundamental level. And I think collectively as a group, we’re excited about being there. And I think that spreads into the players who see us excited about working with each other and how we interact. We pass it to them and they’re doing a similar thing. We’re excited about the second year.”
The best idea wins...Who decides the winner?
“Well I do at the end of the day," Davis replied.
-- Kelly once said during his time at Oregon: "Instead of trying to outscheme your opponent, put your players in an environment where they can be successful because they understand exactly what they have to do."
The vibe coming from the offense is that there won't be any major schematic changes this season, but rather a focus on fine-tuning the system that is installed and familiar. Similar on the defensive side of the ball, sounds like.
“We didn’t add, change and re-name a bunch of stuff. We said, ‘Guys, we’ve installed it, we’ve re-taught it.’ So they’ve had a lot of time hearing us teach it. I think that’s gonna be a big difference for us,” said Davis.
"Defensively, when 11 men play as one with high energy, you’ve got a good defense no matter what your alignment. But when you have fractured communication and fractured understanding of what their job is, then you’re gonna lose no matter how talented you are. So we’re not trying to be cute, we’re not trying to out-wit anybody. We really need our players to be on the same page playing together. And that’s good defense.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
Josh catches us up on the latest happenings around the NFC East.
One national writer believes Nick Foles is the most overrated player on the Eagles.
"He came back a different player." Ifeanyi Momah has a better chance this time around.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Vinny Curry went back to his old stomping grounds to encourage the youth at a free football camp in Neptune, NJ. From the Asbury Park Press.
The proper perspective can serve as a powerful instrument for change, and Vinny Curry's viewpoint is clear and focused.
To him, they weren't just 300 or so local kids spread out on the football field behind Neptune High School on Saturday morning. What he saw as the free camp got under way was a collection of dreams lined up arms' length from each other, most of which will require some level of nurturing to become reality...
"Now hopefully I can help the next kid in line. The next kid can see another example that there is a promising world outside and that anything is possible. Me being from here, I'm somebody you can touch, somebody who can relate to your story. Just know that anything is possible and stick to your dreams."
LeSean McCoy did some good for his community as well. From Pennlive.
Rainbow Hills pool in Swatara Township is set to reopen soon thanks to a nearly $10,000 donation from the charity of Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy.
Tom Connolly, manager and pool board president, said via email that Shades of Greatness, Inc., the LeSean McCoy Foundation donated $9,743 to the private swim club as reimbursement for a filtration pump and well pump installed at the pool.
"Before we had the funds, we did not have funds to open," Connolly said.
Hard to believe it's the last day of June already. Football is creeping closer.