Expect More Base Looks From Eagles ‘D’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Billy Davis and the Eagles made a decision going into last year’s playoff game against the Saints: Commit resources to stopping Drew Brees,and force New Orleans to move the ball with its ground game.

In the first half, the gameplan worked well as Sean Payton’s offense managed just six points. But in the second half, the Saints got going, scoring on four of five possessions to secure a victory.




In reality, it was a pick-your-poison situation. Against the Saints' prolific passing attack, Davis wanted Brandon Boykin on the field. But against the Eagles' nickel package, New Orleans ran 13 times for 84 yards (6.5 YPC).

Fast-forward to 2014, and Davis feels like he has more options - specifically because of the addition of Malcolm Jenkins.

"Absolutely," Davis said, when asked if Jenkins' versatility will allow him to stay in base more this season. "I think all of our safeties have the skill set of being able to come down and cover a third wide receiver. I don't have to put nickel on the field.

"A lot of teams will put you in three wide receiver personnel groups and run at you. You're always going to nickel, and you guys have seen... if I go to the nickel package sometimes, Boykin's getting run at. I don't want that. I [can] stay in base, but a safety's gotta be able to cover that third wide receiver now."

The situation Davis describes is one familiar to the Eagles' offense: spread the defense out and run the football. If that's a tact opponents want to use, Davis can now keep Bennie Logan on the field and have Jenkins cover the slot from time to time.

"With the addition of Malcolm Jenkins and his ability to cover the No. 2 receiver on the slot man to man, we’re gonna be able to play a lot more base this year than we did last year," said assistant defensive backs coach Todd Lyght. "Last year some of our biggest letdowns were against our nickel package when the team was able to run the ball on us. So now we’ll be able to keep the regular defense on the field much more and won’t be susceptible to those nickel runs."

An obvious question is: What might that mean for Boykin? Arguably the top nickel corner in the game, he had a combined 23 passes defensed/intercepted last year, fifth in the NFL. It's clear by now that Boykin isn't going to get a shot on the outside, but might he see fewer snaps if the Eagles use more base?

Asked how Jenkins' role could affect his playing time, Boykin said: "It doesn't at all. He's a safety. Our scheme doesn't change. No matter who's the safety, they're gonna do the same thing. I think that just means he has the ability to cover the slot, but when we need a nickel personnel or there's three receivers on the field, they're not gonna stay in base, so my job will be the same."

Boykin played 51.6 percent of the defense's snaps last year, but 22.8 percent of those ended up being run plays, per Pro Football Focus. He noticed that teams sometimes would spread the Eagles out to run it, but as one of the best tacklers on the defense, he doesn't see that as a major issue.

"They started to do that last year a little bit," Boykin said. "But I think whatever personnel you have, your people gotta be able to tackle. So if we think it's a pass and I'm out there and they run the ball, I've gotta be able to take on a block and make a tackle, which I feel confident in myself I can do."

The feeling here is that the Eagles view this option as another tool in the toolbox. Playing Boykin less makes little sense, considering he's one of the most talented, productive playmakers Davis has to work with. But against teams that like to spread the defense out and run the ball, Davis feels like he has the resources to come up with an answer, unlike a year ago.

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  • PaoliBulldog

    So Boykin is a defensive version of DJax (minus the petulance and so forth)? Geez. The guy is the best pass defender on the team and you’re gonna keep him on the bench because of the run threat? C’mon.

    • Token

      He has no future here. Its a shame that if this Kelly thing runs its course in a couple years we may be left without guys like Boykin or Cox on the roster.

      My thing is, why not trade him? Its obvious you dont see him here in a big role long term. May as well extract the value now then let the kid rot on the bench half the snaps for the next couple years.

    • miketd1

      “…some of our biggest letdowns were against our nickel package when the team was able to run the ball on us.” We lost our playoff game and our coach feels they’ve identified what needs to be changed. What’s the problem? No player — not even Boykin — is above the team.

      • Token

        First of im tired of that BS excuse. Davis had all game to change his attack. Do you think the Saints running all over us had more to do with Brandon Boykin getting run at of Logan getting blown off the ball? Or maybe Kendricks and Ryans getting stomped?

        Blaming your corner for your defense getting ran over is laughable. Its a weak attempt to make some excuse for likely playing one of your best defenders even less snaps this season.

        • miketd1

          Actually, it kind of does. Many teams specifically aim to run the ball when they see you trot out a nickel CB — it doesn’t matter if it’s Boykin or Al Harris. Denver and New England in particular have a penchant for that sort of thing.

          • Token

            A plan and being able to execute it are two different things. From what I gather you are inclined to not blame Davis or the rest of the defense. You know, the guys whose main job it is to stop the run.

            Along with the Kelly era has come this weird thing of fluffing every word this staff says as if its gospel. Think for yourself and again ask is it Brandon Boykin’s, a corner, fault for getting stomped on in the run game against the Saints?

          • miketd1

            There was nothing wrong with Davis’ gameplan — we were a missed catch and/or a missed tackle away from winning that game. We dared New Orleans to run by playing nickel and that’s exactly what they did. Kudos to them. The article is saying that next time we are faced with the same situation, we won’t necessarily need to play nickel. Being condescending doesn’t make you right.

          • anon

            there are lots of things that went wrong in that game. Think the reality is that we hadn’t been able to get off the field on third down all year, run or pass and NO OL was better than our DL that day.

            I think we got out coached a little but nothing to be too ashamed about

          • aub32

            That’s the biggest issue in my mind. There’s no way our DL should have played so poorly. NO was having trouble upfront the majority of the season. So much so that they moved up their 7th round pick to play LT. Cole should have eaten that kid’s lunch. Yet the DL is seemingly getting a pass due to this whole nickel nonsense.

          • anon

            yeah that guy handled cole though cole only had one move — made me wonder if we made the wrong decision with the no. 4 pick.

          • Corey Dawson

            You have less guys in the box, then their line can put more of the blocking focus on the DL.

          • JofreyRice

            Terron Armstead was a 3rd rounder that had a workout on par with Lane’s. And more experience at LT–albeit at a much lower level, Arkansas Pine-Bluff. Some people around here would have preferred coming out of that draft with Vaccaro & Armstead (not naming names).

          • aub32

            My mistake. I got the rounds mixed up. He still should not have beaten Cole like that in only his second start, especially after the trash Cole talked prior to the game.

          • JofreyRice

            You’re right. He dominated Cole. Even with Cole near the end of the road, that shouldn’t happen.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Cole got dominated most of the year though. I love the guy, but I’m very ready for his replacement to take over that spot sooner rather than later.

          • JofreyRice

            I agree, but that’s how I felt when the season ended. As it stands now, is there a better passrushing OLB on the team? We hope Marcus Smith does that, but like aub32 and anon said, he’s not even learning the ROLB position. The plan can’t be that pressing.

            This is where our hesitance to embrace Davis comes from.

          • aub32

            Thank you, thank you. We aren’t hesitant to buy in for no reason. Our hesitance stems from what we have seen, whereas the fans buying in are basing it on projection and hope.

          • Corey Dawson

            I am thinkning for myself. Like i said above, it’s not Boykin’s fault, it’s the fault of having nickle on the field, like I said above. But against the Saints, it’s a pick your posion deal against their 3 WR set. Put nickle out and get run on or put base out and get thrown at.

          • aub32

            Their rushing attack isn’t that good though. They aren’t the 49ers with Gore. Our D line cam up short, not Boykin. Yet the team all but ignored any upgrades there. So saying “nickel D” over and over seems to have distracted people from that fact.

          • Token

            I think this nickel excuse is just nutty. At the end of the day who was off the field in nickel that could have saved the day?

          • miketd1

            It’s not nutty. Schemes are driven by player personnel. NO’s Jimmy Graham presented us with a match-up problem. Our response was to go into nickel. Next time around, we are more confident in our S’s ability to cover receivers (including Graham) that we can afford to stay in our base package. It’s more about our confidence in our upgrade at safety rather than a dig at Boykin.

          • aub32

            You missed the question. Who was missing from the field in favor of Boykin that would have stopped the Saints from rushing up and down the field?

          • miketd1

            There is absolutely nothing wrong with our nickel defense or BB. However, it was our gameplan to come out in nickel to force the Saints’ hand. Saints like to come out in posse personnel and then split out Jimmy Graham on your LB. Our gameplan took that away and forced them to do something else. It was as if we said “Don’t let Brees & Graham beat us.” Next time our gameplan might be different. My God, I know Boykin’s a nice player but would you want to see him in there on goaline too!?

          • aub32

            You are missing my point. I know what the gameplan was. We stopped the passig game for the most part. My problem is that our D line should not have gotten run over like that. The Saints aren’t some unstoppable run team. I am not sure why you don’t get this point. Cole, Cox, Thorton and Barwin should have been able to hold their own against that O line that had struggled in previous weeks. Where were our LBs? My point is that our DL and LBs fell short. Yet we didn’t make any real upgrades to the front 7.

          • miketd1

            Actually, they did: Marcus Smith. The problem last year was that because Cole wasn’t very good in coverage, he was typically one of the pass rushers. The offshoot of that is that Barwin was used in coverage more. Teams could scheme protection-wise around that because there was some predictability as to who was coming and who wasn’t. As we have read here on 24/7, the end game is to have outside LBs with mirroring responsibilities. While this probably won’t move the needle much this year, it may pay dividends down the road.

          • aub32

            I am talking about 2014 not 2016. If you are here to debate whether or not the moves made today will turn out great 2 or 3 years from now then I am not here to debate that. However, I am looking at this season, and no they have not done enough to improve the front 7 for 2014 in my opinion.

          • miketd1

            The gameplan was to force NO to run. Do you accomplish that with Boykin or a LB..?

          • JofreyRice

            Right, I’ve said it before, but Sean Payton saw that Logan could be had that way and put it in the gameplan to exploit him. He did it on the first Saints drive of the game, and would have probably converted if not for a false start. At the end of the game, when NO was running out the clock and converting on 2nd down with ease, what happened then? That wasn’t a nickel package. Everyone within a 5 mile radius knew they were running the ball.

            Reminded me too damn much of Deuce McAllister running all over the Eagles D in the “fbck da eagles” playoff game.

        • Corey Dawson

          Davis is not blaming Boykin for getting run over, he’s blaming being in nickle vs the run. In nickle, there’s only 6 in the box vs. 7 in the 3-4 base, so it’s easier to run on. He was forced into nickle against the 3 WR sets NO trotted out because he didn’t have safeties who could cover the slot, and it made him more vulnerable against the run in those situations because of the numbers above. Had he changed his attack and left the 3-4 on the field to better defend the run, Drew would have lit the safeties up in the passing game.

          Davis’s point now is that he can now stay in 3-4 more often against 3 WR and better defend the run in those situations and still not get lit up in the passing game because the addition of Jenkins means at least one safety isn’t a liability in coverage.

          • Token

            Why do people think Jenkins isnt a liability in coverage? Where did that myth come from?

        • Eagles1018…Please no more du

          Couldn’t agree more. You nailed it when you said “Davis had all game to change his attack.” Really that’s the point of it all. And Boykin is our best secondary defender. Not by a little bit either

      • aub32

        That’s a cop out. Boykin is not the reason our front four got no penetration. Boykin isn’t the reason Kendricks and Ryans couldn’t get off their blocks. Boykin isn’t the reason why Trent Cole got manhandled by a rookie LT with one start. I am so sick of this nickel defense excuse. What about the other six guys?

      • PaoliBulldog

        The problem is that Boykin is a playmaker and Jenkins isn’t, and I worry that CK is disregarding production for the sake of metrics. The anti-RAJ, if you will.

        Boykin is *not* a liability in the run game, and I expect that after 2014 we’ll be hearing Davis complain about how our base package gave up too many big passing plays.

        If Jenkins is expected to cover the slot, I think we’re going to see the back of his jersey a lot as he follows the opposing receiver toward the end zone.

        My SWAG: A nickel package of, say, Cox/Allen/Thornton, Barwin/Ryans/Kendricks and Jenkins/Wolff/Carroll/Williams/Boykin ought not get carved up by third down rushes.

        • aub32

          You’re running a 3-3-5? I would take Ryans off in favor of Kendricks and put Cole on in favor Smith. Lastly take out Allen and put in Curry.

          • PaoliBulldog

            I edited my post a bit while you were replying and put Kendricks in ahead of Smith. Cole would be a better run stopper but more vulnerable to the pass.

            I like Allen at NT to keep the running game honest. But my overall point is that Davis needs to find a nickel package that can also defend the run tolerably well.

          • aub32

            The point of a nickel package is to produce pressure. That’s why I would take Allen off the field. We aren’t going nickel on 3rd & 2. Cole should be a better rusher than Smith at this point. So that’s why I have him over Smith who I don’t know how he would do lined up in a 4 man front in the pros.

          • PaoliBulldog

            How about a front three of Thornton/Cox/Graham and a middle three of Barwin/Kendricks/Curry?

          • aub32

            I am not as high on Graham as others. I prefer Cole. Graham isn’t really a better rusher than Cole and Cole to this point has been better at stopping the run. Also, I would put Curry on the line. I don’t think he should play in space.

        • Token

          Could it possibly be that Davis is the bum many of us thought he was from the start? How last year unfolded covered up a lot of things. That 8 game stretch or whatever it was against decimated teams or just bad teams really made the situation look better then it was. If Davis has a plan to play Boykin even less then I think that answers the questions/

          • anon

            lots of turnovers. if we keep getting those the rest of this stuff doesn’t really matter.

  • aub32

    This is exactly why I’m waiting to get a Boykin jersey.

  • Token

    Yea…. have more of Jenkins covering a WR over Boykin. Its no wonder im not that excited about this season yet. Ive never given less of a damn about camp.

    • peteike

      seriously? wow if that turn around didnt get you excited nothing will. I still appreciate the candor

  • Whiskeybill

    This is just a prediction but I think Boykin is leaving after his contract is up. The Eagles won’t move him outside because he is too short even though he is our best corner (arguably our best defensive player) and he is gonna get a bigger deal to go to another team and be their outside corner. The Eagles have already proven that they have no problem jettisoning talented players if they don’t fit their ideal mold for the position (DeSean).

    • Token

      Coaching over talent. Ill say it time and again. Thats their philosophy. If Kelly burns out in a couple years we are gonna be left with a pretty bad roster.

      • aub32

        They’ll all be good guys though. Well 52 good guys and one racist.

        • Token

          Hmm the comment I wanted to respond to is awaiting approval. So ill just post it here. Not a direct response to you. But About this guy saying the roster is very improved…………..

          Has the roster improved really? That can be debated. I think Chips offensive scheme was pretty good. Still has various things Im hoping he has addressed in the offseason.

          But roster wise, eh. This isnt a very talented team overall. The defense mostly a train wreck. And thats not even talking about the “depth” of ST aces that cant play NFL positions. And still some dead weight from the Reid era remains.

          The offense has some talent there. But I dont think quite as much as is perceived. At least its hard to really say at this point. Maybe Foles is truly a stud. Maybe Ertz becomes a beast. Maybe Maclin can rebound. But the truth is McCoy makes the engine go IMO. Without him last year I suspect many would already be calling for Chips head. The Oline has some talent, but is very old with nothing in the pipeline. Their top pick last year is hopped up on PEDs. Not surprising considering his post season combine draft climb.

          Maybe coaching wins out. But I think talent in this league is so important. Its not college where you get some fast kids and make it work. Right now I dont like our roster very much. You are counting on a ton of progression of players based on coaching.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            Look at every great team in the league: more than not, they’re separated from the rest by Coach and/or QB. NO, GB, SEA, SF (more coach than QB), BAL (more coach than QB), NE. Those 2 things matter more anything else. Plenty of wasted talent all over the league.
            We have by all accounts an elite coach, and quite possibly a great QB. Our team, talent-less and all, put up historic numbers in his 1st year.
            defense is a train wreck? OL has some talent? your hyperbole is almost at Dutch-levels

          • Token

            You think Philly is at the level of many of those teams talent wise? Id disagree with that. Our roster is just not as good as many want to believe it is IMO. SEA and SF have 3rd stringers who probably start here.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            Really?

            http://www.ourlads.com/nfldepthcharts/depthchart/SEA http://www.ourlads.com/nfldepthcharts/depthchart/SF

            and you do realize those teams stunk for years, and were turned around by (1) years of good drafting, and (2) the hire of a good coach?

            Without him [mccoy] last year I suspect many would already be calling for Chips head.

            —> sums it all up, just asinine to expect change overnight. If only the world was so simple where the best collection of individual talent won the SB every year…..

          • Token

            You dont need THE most talented team to win the SB. But you better have a top 3 or 5 team. I dont think the Eagles are near that level roster wise. Where are you seeing all the talent? And im talking starters. Not even depth where we have zero.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            I’m not arguing we’re very talented.
            I took exception to your extreme inability to realize that (1) players grow, especially into schemes; (2) Chip and co. have had little time to bring in their guys and their talent, although you’ve already written off guys like Jenkins because what they are is what they always will be; (3) that we have plenty of offensive talent, at least enough for us to put up historic NFL #s which is better than, well you know, almost every team ever; (4) SEA and SF 3rd stringers are not better than us; (5) coaching and QB beat out almost everything else, and we may just be 2/2 in that field.

            Chip could have gone 6-10 last year, and we wouldn’t be calling for his head. Unless you really are Pete Prisco, which just explains almost everything you say.

            And compared to many NFL teams, we have pretty darn good talent. Take a look around our division if you need cold hard evidence. For christ’s sake, the league is so bad that Dalton just got 6 yrs/$120M. There aren’t even 32 good QBs! I’m guessing you were just super excited about all the dream team talent, too

          • aub32

            I would argue against the offensive talent point you brought up. I can see the hesitance there. I for one am not sold on Maclin, and it’s a lot to expect rookies to come in and be studs right away.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            Sure, we have plenty of holes, but would you say we’re far behind any other NFL team? I mean, DEN, GB, and NO are some of the best offenses I can think of off the top of my head, and while they are of course well rounded they all have HOF QBs (and great coaches). Which gets back to my earlier point.

            And we did lose DJax, but I think our WR group is better overall than last year. TE should be better, at the very least equal; RB looks better. Of course, it all hinges on Foles stepping up, but even his biggest detractors say the scheme will make it work to an extent.

          • anon

            You think we’ve done anything that would make us not get blow out by DEN? You think we could handle GB with rogers? SEA manhandled NO twice last year so it’s hard to put NO in that same group.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            I was talking specifically about offense. At no point am I justifying or condoning the state of talent in defense. Do I think one of the other historically great offenses (DEN ’13) would blow us away? sure. can we score with them? better than most. are they out of our league? I’d argue no

          • aub32

            I think it would be hard for us to outscore them if Talib is healthy and ward is left to account for Ertz.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            eh, Ward has never been a great cover safety; they also don’t have the greatest DL anymore, although I am scared of Von miller/ D ware. And the rest of their secondary isn’t great.

            again, though, you’re setting the bar against one of the very best teams in the NFL. I’ll gladly have this conversation, vs. wondering if we’ll beat out the cowgirls for 3rd place.

          • aub32

            I have faith in Kelly and think that even at worst this team is 8-8. We are just in that middle ground. If everything goes right and players make the leap, we could be viewed as favorites. If Foles struggles or the defense takes a step back then we could be viewed as mediocre.

          • yoant702

            I Read the article, afterwards I got caught up reading aub32 and you debate. Gotta love your optimism, though, I agree with aub32. Not that my opinion matters of course, but you totally lost all your ground with this last comment. Who else are you suppose to set the bar with? The bar is set by the best team. Like a class that grades on a curve. The best student sets the bar. No one is shooting for third place. The goal is to win the SB. Not our division, or just make the playoffs. You wanna win the whole thing. Thats the goal. Thats where the bar should be set, and nothing less. To do so, the team would be cheating themselves. This isnt youth soccer. They dont give trophies to second and third place. Go Birds!!!!!

          • aub32

            I hope you are right about the WR corps. I just don’t see how these guys stand a chance in SEA. No one really demands extra attention. I’ve made this point before, but Sproles isn’t a real mismatch against a guy like Wagner or Willis.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            I hope you are right about the WR corps. I just don’t see how these guys stand a chance in SEA.

            that’s a 2-parter, though; I said they’re improved, but I never said we’ll succeed against (probably) the best secondary in the NFL. c’mon, how many teams have WRs that beat them?

            I do think, however, we improved collectively, obviously weaker at top but IMO stronger throughout
            1) Djax 2) Cooper 3) Avant 4) Maehl/Smith
            vs
            1) Maclin 2) Cooper 3) Matthews 4) Huff 5) Smith/Benn

            It’s all about dearth of weapons. Maybe Wagner/Willis can play Sproles well; but how many teams can cover Maclin, Cooper, Matthews, McCoy, Sproles, Celek, Ertz? We have probably as talented and deep a group of playmakers as almost any team

          • aub32

            We differ in that I don’t think Maclin or Cooper really pose a threat when going against man coverage. I am not saying they are bad. I just don’t think a defense to make adjustments for either guy. This frees up the safety to focus on Ertz/Celeck instead of shading to one of our WRs. Our RBs will pose a mismatch for most teams. Though I think DJax gave us that when he lined up I the backfield. Ultimately it will depend on how quickly JMatt can mature. If he can be a major upgrade over Avant, we saw last year there’s room in the middle of the field to make some things happen. I just think we differ on philosophy. I prefer one stud and the others can be decent to good over a collection of #2 type players and what we project Ertz “might” become.

          • RIP illa

            Does it bother you that our DB’s (which are not the greatest) are yeasting :-) on our receiving corp, on multiple instances?

            It’s starting to become a real honest concern for me and with the Eagles Hype Machine in full throttle, I think it’s getting lost and deserves to be an actual area of concern. Now this does not mean that I do not think that Chip will scheme and stretch the field horizontally, to move the ball and keep things going. But pound for pound and man for man, I find it hard to think that our WR corp is better than last year, aside from the Matthews/Avant upgrade (which is a definite upgrade).

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            depends what school of thought you’re from. aub said something similar, wishing he had a #1 WR and bunch of others vs. a bunch of #2’s. Which is fair; I just philosophically disagree. McCoy and Djax really stressed a lot of defenses; while Huff and Matthews aren’t there yet, they have the skills and work ethic to hopefully contribute.
            I mean, 3 years ago, did anyone think Pete Carroll was a DB genius as he was scooping up late round picks? Maybe in a few years, we’re talking about how Kelly can make seemingly any WR a star.

          • B-West

            Rolling this convo foward, how many games do you think the Birds win this year?

          • aub32

            I have no idea. I am not sold on Foles. I was hoping to see more when I went to camp but left disappointed. So now I have to see preseason. Other teams have improved this offseason too. So I can’t say how I think we will do until I see something on the field.

          • B-West

            I mean, you seem pretty convinced that defense is sub par and the offensive talent is overrated. Don’t get scurred to predict overall team success or failure.

          • aub32

            I never said the offense is overrated. This is the problem with some of you. You think any knock is a knock against the whole team. We have one of the best lines in the NFL. Shake & bake (Shady and Sproles) are going to cause fits. Some teams would kill for our TE depth. I think we took a hit at WR and will start out slow there. I like Matthews, but I don’t expect him to have #1 production. Nor do I know if Mac can stay healthy. So I think we are worse there from a talent standpoint. However Kelly can scheme around that.
            ….
            On D I like the upgrades to the secondary, though I would have preferred bringing in Revis or Talib. However, I expect the group to be significantly better than last year when it comes to 3rd & long. I in no way think we did enough to improve the front 7, and many of our guys are still playing out of position. I am shocked to see that. So I was hoping to play more nickel to get more from guys like Boykin, Cox, and Curry. Yet Davis seems to want to play more base personnel.
            ….
            All that being said it ultimately comes down to the QB. If Foles is the guy then this could be a double digit win team. If Foles struggles then I expect the Redskins to take the division with us finishing 2nd. I have stated many times that I do not know if Foles can beat the better team in the league. We face the NFCW and have a first place schedule. So you can see why I don’t know how we will do.

          • B-West

            Haha. Aight my man, I’m good with this then. A direct quote from like 3 messages above… “I would argue against the offensive talent”. And for the record, I said offensive talent.

          • Morganc

            You were always one of the biggest Vick supporters though, so your reluctance to believe in Foles is in line with that? Just an honest question here.

          • aub32

            No. My reluctance to buy into Foles is that he hasn’t had big performances against the better teams in the league. He underperformed against the Saints and against the Cowboys. We may not have won that game had Romo been playing. He has yet to beat a playoff team. (GB not a playoff team w/o Rodgers) He has a tendency to hold onto the ball too long. However, unlike Rodgers or say a Cutler, he does not have the ability to make things happen with his legs (Rodgers) or a cannon to gun the ball in late (cutler). He also doesn’t have a history of staying healthy despite people constantly pointing out his size. Keep in mind I think he has plenty of positives. I am just pointing out the reason I am not sold, since that was the question.

          • peteike

            exactly, starting the 2nd year of a rebuild and this team can probably compete with the GB, NO, SEA and SF teams, Im ecstatic. This division is def winnable and those are the teams we are trying to reach. They are closing the gap. I think SF starts to take steps back, some changes in their secondary and Kap may improve, may not. I actually think GB takes a step back up with a healthy Rodgers. A retooled NO scares me but a lot of these teams windows will start to close as we rise hopefully.

          • aub32

            I agree. I think we are below the teams you mentioned, but we have a chance. You only have to beat a team once in the playoffs. NO definitely have a limited window, but SEA may be around for a while.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            and again, getting back to my point to Token– look how long it took SEA to get there after Carroll was hired!!!
            Plus- they lucked into Lynch coming to them, getting a 3rd rd (cheap) QB starter, and developing late draft picks who many considered talent-less until they proved it on the field.

            so somehow that’s ok when SEA does it, but after 1 year here Token is ready to say that without Shady Chip may have been gone already???? Pure absurdity

          • aub32

            That’s his thing though. I try to see his points while ignoring his hyperbole.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            you’re a better man than I.

          • RIP illa

            I do the same, but for that post…I woulda given an upvote based solely on his hyperbole. “The defense mostly a train wreck.” That line had me lmfao’n! Yet, like I eluded too…I see his points.

          • hrtak

            Also – look at Seahawks rooster, when Caroll came in…

          • 370HSSV 0773H

            Name the 3rd stringers on Seattle and SF that would replace our starters.

          • aub32

            HAHA I saw the same post and wanted to say something very similar. The roster has some talent, but I don’t think CK is solely responsible. McCoy, Maclin, Celeck, Foles, Cox, Kendricks, Ryans, Thorton, Cole, and 4/5 OL are all Reid guys. Also, DRC was talented. He was just poorly coached. Now Kelly has cut one of the most talented guys on the roster. So I can give CK a lot of credit for coaching up the talent, but he hasn’t yet proven he can assemble talent.

          • peteike

            DRC zero heart, good riddance. Sounds like HIcks is going that same route in Indy, not in shape just doesnt care. Dude couldve been amazing.

          • aub32

            Nicks may just not have the body for the NFL. It’s hard to stay in shape when you can’t even stay healthy enough to workout.

          • peteike

            Nicks, not hicks duh. Right, thats possible, hes never really recovered but it sounds like the coaching staff is not happy with effort there

          • aub32

            I just find it hard to believe the guy isn’t trying. He got his ring, but it’s not like he had a big money deal. He came in with Mac. So I don’t think he’s gotten a big 2nd contract yet.

          • peteike

            I was wondering if he did and is just resting on that money. Probably not though

          • 370HSSV 0773H

            Everything you said about the Eagles can be said about every NFL team.

        • Amar, CB who bought in

          All that matters is the racist ‘bought in’ to Kelly’s system.

      • B-West

        So, I see your side of it and the Boykin situation annoys me too. But, coaching and system over talent is pretty much a great philosophy. If your coach/system depends on elite talent to succeed, its doomed. The NFL draft slotting and salary cap ensure that no team ends up with elite talent at every spot.

        The exception being the QB. You need top tier talent there. If you’re team is top tier at coach and QB, you’ll be in the mix. That’s why this season IS so exciting. Chip and Nick showed us signs last year that they both may be in that upper echelon.

        • aub32

          You still need talent. Brady and BB are he best QB and coach combo in the game. Look how much Brady’s numbers declined when Gronk was not in the game. They only made it as far as they did because they play in the AFC and specifically the AFCE. Every player doesn’t have to be an All Pro, but you need some stars outside of QB to really have a shot.

          • B-West

            Look at some of the schlubs that go to the playoffs every year and have played in multiple AFC championship games because they were on that Pats team. Some of the patchwork defenses that BB has put together have been remarkable. BB put Matt Cassel on the map.

            I know you need talent. Of course. But I’ll take the elite coach first and foremost.

            (As an aside, I don’t think there is a mutually exclusive situation in Philly. I think this roster is pretty talented, and they’ve also been drafting well as of late. I’ve admitted tho, the Boykin thing annoys me too.)

          • aub32

            I am not sold on the 2014 draft class yet. They are all guys who will need time to develop. That’s evident since none will start this season.

            An elite coach and QB always give you a chance, but look at the QBs that have won the past few years. You’d have to go back to 2010 to get to an elite QB. Having talented WRs and defenses go a long way. Would Dalton even make the playoffs w/o Green? Look what happened to the Falcons when Jones went down.

          • Guest

            I’ve read this entire conversation and lost track of all the times aub32 weaved convoluted logic or contradicted himself.
            Not sold ont he 2014 draft class yet? No crap, they haven’t played a game yet. To summaraize all your points- “I want to be negative but don’t have a clear message about it. I’ll just lash out and hope I hit on something.”
            You act like you are bringing unrealisstic people back down to Earth but the problem is that you misunderstand how people feel about the team. No one is claiming the team is a 12+ win SB contender. There is no need to lash out when most people expect 8-9 wins anyway.

      • shady25

        Just look at the Saints when Sean Payton was suspended for a year and look at them last year. Only new additions were Rob Ryan and Kenny Stills.

    • Corey Dawson

      I’m starting to get this feeling as well. They want versatile safeties so they can keep the 3-4 on the field against 3 WR sets and only bring the nickle/dime out against 4+ WR sets or 3rd and long 3+ WR sets.

      It’s the same football decision as getting rid of DJax here, just on the other side of the ball, if the DJax decision truly was purely a football one. Boykin simply doesn’t meet Chip’s measureables for what he wants in a corner, so he won’t see the field on the outside, and they’re not going to pay what he is worth if the above is all they’re bringing him out for. He’ll get a large amount more somewhere else, so I odn’t see him resigning no matter how much he likes it here.

      • Token

        I cant help but laugh when people bring up versatile as if its the same thing as being talented. Understand that just because Jenkins can in theory run, jump, tackle, cover WRs, play deep safety, play SS…..doesnt mean hes good at any of those things.

        If the plan is more Jenkins and less Boykin I promise you that will make this defense even worse.

        • Corey Dawson

          Correct, it means he’s not a liability in them.

        • cheapmeat.mariota.crackwh0re

          Cowboys have talent. Lions have talent. F’n Jets even have talent. The Eagles believe that football is the ultimate team sport. I’ll give them every opertunity to prove it.

          • aub32

            The Cowboys have talent on offense. So they had a good offense, but their D was the worst in the league and void of talent. The Jets have had the talent on D, but their offense has suffered due to lack of talent. The Lions were just undisciplined, which hurts no matter how talented the roster. I will give you that. However, the Seahawks and Broncos are 2 of the most talented rosters in the league. Where’d they end up last year?

          • cheapmeat.mariota.crackwh0re

            Sure. My point is they deserve a chance. Still think the Broncos were more talented than the Seahawks.

          • aub32

            The Seahawks defense might be all time great. Their offense wasn’t bad either. I’d say the teams were on par with one another talent wise. The Broncos just had no heart after breezing past the AFC.

        • PaoliBulldog

          Jack of all trades, master of none.

    • aub32

      They are going to have to jettison a lot of guys then. (Cox, Curry, Cole, Graham, Bokin, Kendricks, Foles)

      kidding on the last one

      • anon

        there is a chance half those guys aren’t here once their deals are up.

      • Whiskeybill

        It’s not too hard to see Curry, Cole, Graham or Boykin out of here when their deals are done if not sooner.

        • Jason

          Agreed, possible that two of them don’t make the first regular season game.

    • daggolden

      Other teams selling point to Brandon Boykins. We see you as very comparable to size as Joe Hayden. He survives just fine on the outside. Come join us and you will play 100% of the snaps instead of 50%.

      • Whiskeybill

        Exactly, and we aren’t going to give him outside corner money to play the slot.

  • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

    Why aren’t more people OUTRAGED about what’s happening to BB? He is our best defender, why get rid of him because of height? At the end of the day a playmaker is a playmaker.

    I think is actually why we got Nolan Carroll… To be ready for BB’s inevitable departure.

    • anon

      This team has a habit of letting it’s best guys walk. That said, BB will only leave if he cant get paid, I think we’ll offer him a competitive deal. The reality his market will only be so high — a guy like wes welker (great WR but a slot guy) is only making $6-7m a year. BB’s not big and he hasn’t been used outside so hard to see a GM on another team giving him a monster deal.

      • aub32

        Plus he’s still under contract next year for less than 1M. Is he really going to turn down some guaranteed dollars in hopes of having a great 2015 without getting injured and hitting FA? How much more would another team offer that would make up for what he loses next year playing under his rookie deal?

      • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

        On point one, you’re right and it’s infuriating. I think Token has been hitting the nail on the head here lately, we really are just chalking this all up to coaching. Who needs players when you have the most innovative coach ever? Amirite?

        On another note, you gotta love this thread between folks with no avis.

      • peteike

        I certainly wouldnt go as far as calling it a habit just yet. Besides Djax who are we talking about here?

      • Travis Papa

        There’s going to be at least 1 GM to throw starting pro bowl cb money at Boykin. Some of the best cbs outside of Sherman and Peterson are all under 5’11” but this is not an issue for this season or even next he is still under contract for 2yrs. A lot can happen in that time.

        • aub32

          How much did Thurmond get?

          • anon

            $3.5mm but he had a lot of issues.

            Was looking up salaries for slot corners and came up w/ efficiency rates for slot coverage. Nate Allen was top 5 (lots of catches but for few yards) (115 snaps 64 yds allowed, though he allowed 11 of 13 catches).

            Jenkins had 176 snaps, 324 yds allowed (bottom 5 in the league according to PFF)

            Jenkins was also bottom 5 when it came to coverage snaps per reception 176 snaps 45 receptions.

            Argument that Jenkins is going to give us slot coverage in base seems specious at best. Much is made about the fact that we really wanted Jenkins and he has made a LOT of plays in camp, but by his stats he won’t be a great replacement for Boykin in the slot.

          • Travis Papa

            Thurmond is not a starter. DRC and Amukamara r starters. Im expecting someone to pay Boykin to start. Thurmond was not 2nd in the league in ints or did he get half boykins attention.

          • Amar, CB who bought in

            Boykin over DRC all day long.

    • peteike

      outraged? Im already tired of the BB leaving talk and we dont even need to have that conversation yet. Ill believe it when/if it happens. For now, hes on the team and has another great season, works for me.

      • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

        Well yes, outraged. Given his interception to playtime ratio, Boykin is the best playmaker on this defense. Yet, this coaching staff continues to bench him due to this concocted story that he cannot play outside. How do we know? He doesn’t even practice on the outside against the ones!!

        Whether you’re team Fletch or team Sconce, we all agree that corner play could be upgraded. Why keep a kid like Boykin benched? Measurables? You cannot measure heart and playmaking ability. If so, Steve Smith isn’t an NFL receiver, Brees and Wilson are practice squad material.

        I guess I’m just more tired of what this coaching staff is doing to our playmakers. Graham was having a comeback, now he might not make the team. Curry is a rotational player and nothing more. Cox can wreak havoc in backfields, yet he’s told to two gap. Which is basically being told “don’t do what you’re good at.” And then there’s Boykin.

        Of course, I could be wrong a few years down the road and Chip is the Philadelphia Jesus. But we’re not a few years down the road. We’ve barely left the street.

        • peteike

          Im actually in the move him outside camp. I also agree that he could leave, just dont know yet and dont believe there is a pattern to make that call. I dont see him as being benched at all, just playing different spot. Agree with some of other guys you mention in terms of roles but it is tied to the 3-4 so only so much they can do in certain cases.

  • JAMIN67

    So why not eventually move Boykin to safety? I know the kid is a little undersized, but he’s the same height as Earl Thomas, and only 15 pounds lighter (but he’s built like a brick ___house). We know Boykin can cover and he can tackle. Kid is on the field all the time then and can make plays. Am I missing something?

    • anon

      15 LBs of muscle is a lot of muscle. We want all DBs 6+ feet 200LBs

      • JAMIN67

        Yeah, I get the whole “measurables” thing, and I generally agree with it. But a future secondary of Fletcher, Carroll, Jenkins (eventually Wolff, fingers crossed) and Boykins sounds pretty damn good to me. Especially since Nate’s on a 1 year and we have no idea how Wolff or reynolds will pan out. Just sayin’.

    • Corey Dawson

      I don’t believe starting safeties make starting corner money, so you have the same issue as you do now with him probably leaving for more money elsewhere when his current deal is up.

    • aub32

      The fact that he’s already built and weighs 15 lbs less means that he’s not putting on anymore weight, outside of getting some “helpers” from Lane.

      • anon

        yeah his arms look cray.

  • Yes_General

    I’m not sold on this defense. Can’t wait until the preseason. If this defense can sack the QB and stop the run we’re going back to the playoffs. The saints knew we didn’t have a huge NT so they man handled our DLine.

    • aub32

      That’s a bad excuse. Cox should be able to play the run in a 4 man front. You shouldn’t need a Wilfork in order to stop the run.

    • peteike

      exactly right, Im waiting to see some preseason action to really assess the D.

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        unfortunately, they’ll probably play vanilla. i’d give it till week 4…and hope offense hangs 50.

  • TNA

    Before we all get worked up about this, let’s take a look at the bigger picture.
    In terms of contracts, where are the Eagles with CW and Fletcher? Are there under-the-radar CBs out there that will become free agents and can provide more value than the CBs that are currently on the team?
    In terms of value, do the Eagles *know* if Boykin will be a better outside CB than those two next year for the money? Not really because they haven’t played him out there.
    That said, Davis said last year they would start him off in the slot and potentially expand his role once he’s mastered the spot. I don’t think that plan has changed any even with the addition of Carroll and Watkins. I see Watkins taking over for Boykin eventually in the slot/nickel and if Boykin doesn’t have a huge salary demand/other teams throwing a truck of cash at him, Boykin manning the corner opposite Carroll as soon as next year. Eventually, Watkins can become the next Jenkins and play safety with Wolff while they bring in another young guy to play the nickel slot.

    Also this report flies in the face of other reports that they’re going to be running nickel with more regularity with Kendricks and possibly no DeMeco. I think it all depends on what offense they’re facing.

    • JofreyRice

      Every indication coming from the team is that they’re not even going to give Boykin a shot outside. If one of the outside guys goes down, it’s almost assuredly going to be Carroll, not Boykin replacing him. I mean, they put Roc Carmichael in there over Boykin last year. All I’m saying is, give the kid a chance out there!

      • TNA

        My understanding was that logistically for practice, Boykin was working exclusively in nickel/slot to become the best there is at that position. Now that he’s proven he can handle all the responsibilities as slot nickel, Davis will hopefully give him more practice time on the outside as he’d be able to jump back into nickel slot when they go to nickel packages without missing a beat (if 2 of CW/Fletcher/Carroll are out of the game with injury). Only question is, who backs up outside CB after Boykin if this is the scenario? Watkins? The soft underbelly of this defense is the underneath stuff. If the safeties can mitigate the damage there a bit, they might be better off putting Boykin on the outside in those scenarios where they need an outside CB.

        But bottom line is that they need to practice all this stuff and if they ain’t practicing it, it’s definitely not going to happen on gameday. As soon Boykin gets reps on the outside with some regularity, this site is going to explode.

        • JofreyRice

          Like I said, they’ve really gone out of their way to say that they’ve got no intention of playing Boykin outside. I can’t understand why you’re expecting him to start getting practice reps and eventually move out there.

          • Token

            Yea now hes going as far as suggesting his snaps will be even less if they are gonna stay in base more often because of the great Mike Jenkins. Trade the kid. Let him get on with his career and extract some value out of him. Their only defensive playmaker may possibly sit even more often. It just boggles the mind.

            And when exactly did career bum Billy Davis start deserving so much blind faith that he knows what hes doing?

          • JofreyRice

            I think it’s faith-by-proxy in Chip.

  • JofreyRice

    Some of the lowlights of Davis’ 2013 D were the situations he allowed the offense to exploit matchups–thinking of Trent Cole versus Dez Bryant, or Brandon Graham on Demaryius Thomas, and blitzing from the slot. That stuff came out of the Eagles being stuck in their base package.

    Swap the names Marcus Smith & Connor Barwin, and neither of those matchups seems a lot better. Pretending your “versatile” guys are going to be able to deal with situations like that is fooling yourself.

    And once again, we’re valuing measureables over proven football talent. Very hard for me to co-sign that.

    • aub32

      Davis definitely had a tendency to get too cute. Just line up and play D sometimes.

    • B-West

      Some of that is just the nature of the current NFL beast right? Every offense in the league aims to find favorable matchups on Sunday, and they are going to win that matchup battle at times. More and more teams have incorporated a tempo package so they can maintain those matchups for multiple plays.

      I think of versatility in our base defenders as another ‘tool in the toolbox’. I doubt we are going to trot out the same formation every down. More likely, in a situation like the playoff game, Billy can say the nickel is getting killed, lets go back to base and try Malcolm in M2M coverage.

      • JofreyRice

        Everything is a matter of degree. How often did he get caught with his pants down like that, and how often will it happen if he thinks the base D can answer any question the offense asks? We’re reading about career STs OLBs covering guys like Sproles on wheel routes and Connor Barwin 25 yards downfield trying to cover Brent Celek. You just don’t see a lot of 3-4 teams trying to do that with their OLBs. That job usually goes to the rangier ILBs.

        For me, the versatility is the ONLY tool in the toolbox for some of these guys.

    • Amar, CB who bought in

      Davis’ past mistakes should be an indicator to Chippah on when to reign him in and when to let him loose.

  • Eneagled<3

    A little less nickel, a little more dime. It’s anyone’s guess what will happen to Boykin’s playing time. I’m still holding out hope that the Eagles will give him a chance to start against teams that feature smaller wide receivers. And just to be clear he is not the defensive version of Jackson. Jackson couldn’t block, couldn’t beat press coverage… you could say he wasn’t versatile. Boykin can cover, he can tackle he can blitz; you can’t get much more versatile than starting at nickel corner and OLB.

  • Robert Baer

    I’m not so sure what the big deal is. I’d rather teams resort to the running game to try and catch up to our 14-21pt lead. But hey, that’s just me. :)

  • Andy Six Score and Four

    Lots of negative preaction here. A lot of conjecture and theory is all there is that has some people ready to throw in the towel, not counting Token who’s completely run out of towels to throw in by this point. Nothing new though really. Wait and see the product on the field, then react.

    Davis has earned, repeat, earned some trust here. Early last year he said improvements were showing up on tape but not on the scoreboard, but they’d be evident soon. What happened? Exactly what Davis said. He took a defense that seemed destined to be an embarrassment and achieved mediocrity. He says our nickle D got burned in the run game and he wants to play more base, I trust that he’s either right or lying. I’m good either way.

    • EAGLES

      I was just reading through these comments and all I could think was “these are some sad saps”. All negative outlooks get is nothing positive done. I can’t stand when people start projecting and trying to tell the future just to hear themselves talk or type, they live to stir a pot. Boykin is still here and we’re about to have a great season. I’m almost positive there’s nothing out of the ordinary I haven’t noticed. Such a negative nature.

      • aub32

        That’s not fair. People are allowed to have their opinion. I thought we were SB bound in 2011. That didn’t make me right. Some may have thought that bringing in all those guys was going to end badly. Yet you would have called them “sad saps”.

        • EAGLES

          So are you telling me there is not an everlasting black cloud over a majority of eagles fans? I know I’m not the only one to notice. Too much doom and gloom, have some faith think about last year and realize we’ve improved many areas of our game on all 3 sides of the ball, special teams especially. There’s only so much projection that can be done before it wears itself out and the few positive outlooks that float around. I’m guilty of doom and gloom myself but I think I’m good with drawing the line between fiction and reality, random thoughts to known facts, and which direction they go. Chip Kelly tweaked his offense just like every year in college, he makes sure nothing is ever as it seems at the line of scrimmage. Be happy it’s not predictable Andy Reid and more a guy and system like Sean Payton’s. And a defense that finally has some coaching consistency. Just remember how bad we thought the defense was gonna be before last year then realize how well it performed with basically the same players, minus a few of course.

          • aub32

            There’s a difference between being doom and gloom and not agreeing with every move made. Token aside, most fans have a range on how they feel about certain areas. I hated the DJax move. (I’m sure people know that) I like the upgrade to the secondary and the acquisition of Sproles. I am worried about our WR corps, but I have very high expectations of Ertz. I am against any plan to reduce the number of times Boykin sees the field, however I do think our secondary will be better as a whole. You can’t just categorize fans as doom and gloom because they dislike a particular move more than you.

          • EAGLES

            As stated above in new comments, I’m not the only one to notice the doom and gloom . Boykin is still here and he’s not going anywhere. The assumptions and what ifs are the ridiculous part, really. It gets outta control and too much like ESPN for me. We drafted Boykin and Kelly has stated he deploys players based on their strengths, so if they’re talented he will find a place for them to play. We could still move him outside, he has at least practiced there so they gave it a look, the future isn’t here yet. It’s a versatile defense and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him outside with Watkins playing the slot at some point.

          • aub32

            You can keep hoping he is moved outside. I prefer to go with what’s more likely. He hasn’t played outside, nor does he practice outside. So why would I assume he’s going to be moved outside? Kelly may say he will find a spot for talented players, but he also cut one of our most talented because according to Kelly he did not fit the scheme. So why would I think any other player is safe just because they have talent?

            Yes there are some who go to extremes. Others are just expressing their disdain for the moves not made.

          • MagatBrackendale

            Have you been to every practice?

        • JofreyRice

          man, we all thought that!

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Not really.

      • Token

        Anything thats not saying Jenkins is the answer or Chip is the messiah is negative.

        Ive said it before, I see no point in fluffing the Eagles for no reason. I just talk about things the way I see them good or bad. Blind faith is moronic.

        • EAGLES

          I beliee you are the blind projectionist here. ESPN is hiring. And if your outlook on Jenkins is PFF based, I lol. He’s a good safety/cb combo. Not the best but our scheme isn’t Rob ryans either.

          • Token

            What do you expect out of the team this season?

    • aub32

      I gave Davis the benefit of the doubt last offseason. He followed that by having Boykin play OLB. I think the defense faced some very, very favorable circumstances. (GB w/o Rodgers, MIN w/o AD, DAL w/o Romo) My biggest disappointment is that the front 7 doesn’t appear to be much improved personnel wise, and that the majority of depth is once again unproven.

      • RIP illa

        Boykin OLB…Never Forget!!! LOL

      • Andy Six Score and Four

        If your depth is unproven, it means your starters were mostly healthy. That’s a good thing.

        And there are never guaruntees, but as far as gambles go, banking on 2nd and 3rd year players to improve is about as safe as it gets. Banking on guys in their second year in a system to improve is probably the next safest bet. We’ve got Kendricks, Logan and Cox that we should all expect to be better and Smith II will be an upgrade to Cole before the season is over.

        You want to start acting like Token, that’s on you. But you’ll be wrong on this like you were wrong about the quarterbacks.

        • aub32

          Who is acting like Token. Rookies struggle all the time. To assume that Smith is going to be better than Cole is just that, an assumption. He’s raw and not even at the point where he’s learning the predator position. Cox is being limited by the system. He’s a 4-3 DT. Kendricks is not a lock to be a stud. He’s got the tools, but that doesn’t mean he will put it all together. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging the not so good parts about the team.

          • peteike

            I think Cole is our sack leader this season, still producing when everyone cant wait to write him off.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            You are.

            You’re being overly pessimistic about our players and draft picks, dismissive of the success we’ve had and throwing up strawmen left and right. Who said anything about banking on Kendricks to be a stud? I said improved.

            Acknowledging potential problems is not the same as pounding the table about them and acting like they’re far more probable than reality would suggest. It’s an attempt at fearmongering, which is pure Token.

          • aub32

            If you think I am all doom & gloom then you haven’t been paying attention. I acknowledge both the good and bad, what I like and what I don’t. I don’t think we did enough to improve our front 7, and I am not going to just rely on the projection of what many consider a reach in Smith to be the guy who improves our pass rush when he’s not even practicing the predator. That doesn’t make sense to me. So forgive me for being realistic instead of overly optimistic in thinking everything the team tries will work. You sound like the guys who thought starting Casey Matthews was a great idea because the team said he could do it.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            I find it more than a little odd that people are worried by the fact that Smith II is practicing behind Barwin instead of Cole when Davis has made it clear that he wants to move away from a guy like Cole who prevents him from running his ‘mirrored’ defense.

            It’d be pretty illogical having him learn from the specialist, who was pretty bad at that specialty last year, when that’s not what they want him to be.

          • aub32

            It’s not odd. We get where the defense is headed. No one is knocking that. The problem is with the short term. If he’s learning the Jack only, then he will likely not learn the predator until 2015, same as Barwin. That means that he’s unlikely to replace Cole this year. So there really has been no significant upgrade in the front 7 in regard to a pass rusher for 2014.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            They don’t want a Predator. They don’t want a Jack. They want 2 OLBs. Davis said that pretty unambiguously.

          • MagatBrackendale

            Logical Andy. Besides all the strawmen and other doom and gloom about how horrible the whole D is and how there is no improvement and how Smith II is not practicing at the right position, just how far into the season are we? November? Or second week of training camp? Besides wanting 2 OLBs, hasn’t it been stressed that players like Smith II and others are TRAINING at TRAINING camp? Who cares who has been running with the 1s, 2s, or 3s? In TRAINING camp? Btw, that includes players on the offense too. ;~D. I apologize for the caps. Can’t always get italics to work here.

        • Token

          Kendricks, its almost time to give up on that dream. He may be one of those guys everyone is always saying “This is the breakout year” about. I feel like ive read that story about him 2 years in a row now. Logan may not even start at NT and will now probably be too fat to excel at his more natural position of 3-4 end. Smith, honestly theres no way to know what to expect with that. The fact that they arent focusing him as a pass rusher his first year tells me a lot tho. I wouldnt count on him seeing much of the field unless theres a injury.

      • peteike

        I agree with that. I feel like they didnt quite do enough personnel wise on that side of the ball. Now we have to count on familiarity and continued improvement per scheme. I think the depth at DB and safety will help and hopefully overall safety play allows some more flexibility scheme wise. There is a possibility that this D peaked later in the season last year and that is their ceiling but Id hate to think that way. Just feel they are still a few horses short.

        • aub32

          Adding a guy like Carroll over Carmichael and Jenkins over Chung makes me feel much better about the secondary than I did last year. I still worry about the front 7. We are still waiting for guys like Kendricks and Cox to mature. Yet some people are finding confidence in Beau Allen and Taylor Hart? I am not sold. Plus our #1 pick is still a year or 2 away from possibly being as good as Barwin. That doesn’t excite me from a pass rushing standpoint.

          • peteike

            agree, and I dont mind negative projections just surprised at the boykin is leaving talk at this stage per below. They need some playmakers at lb and d line for sure. This is only site in the universe of comment threads that can have civil discussions it seems like. Im still amazed at that sometimes.

      • Token

        Yea the end run of the season clouded peoples view. Davis certainly didnt do anything last year that would make you think hes some great defensive mind. Now they still have no pass rush. And everyone is putting their eggs in the Jenkins basket as if that guy is some cure all. Rob Ryan wanted nothing to do with the guy. He knew they needed to upgrade. Now getting the Saints garbage is viewed as some giant upgrade for us?

        • Andy Six Score and Four

          Except nobody is putting all their eggs in Jenkins’ basket. Nice strawman.

        • Jason

          Isn’t he a huge upgrade over Chung? I for one believe he couldn’t possibly be worse. So if he isn’t worse, then by definition isn’t that an upgrade?

    • RIP illa

      “He took a defense that seemed destined to be an embarrassment”

      I don’t understand why a lot of people thought this. The writing seemed to be on the wall that he was bringing in, not uber talented, but a bunch of try hards with an emphasis on fundamentals and intelligence. You can never have an embarrassment of a D by going that route. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted/want the uber talented guys, along with some sound solid technique guys, but I never ever once thought that we would be a horrid D. The only question that I had was were we still going to be viewed as soft. But we showed enough grit to finally shed that label, granted that we are nowhere near being physically opposing.

      Sorry to detract from your overall point. I just don’t fully understand or seem to see some people’s thinking/expectations about last year’s D and this year’s. I could go on and on about this.

      • Andy Six Score and Four

        There realy was no consensus on last year’s D. Some thought it’d be pretty good, Geagle, some thought it would be historically bad, and some weren’t sure. I don’t think anybody thought it was a good idea to jump straight to a pure 3-4. That sounded off a ton of white flag alarms. And they sure didn’t look like a squad, on paper, that would hold opponents under 21 points for like 2 months straight. Not with that safety corps and Cole starting at OLB and a couple of journeymen-at-best manning the corners.

        EDIT to add emphasis, you’re absolutely right that not everybody believed that defense was destined to be an embarrassment. You got me on an overstatement there.

    • JofreyRice

      He had a good deal of help from some bad teams. Think back to the “fool’s gold” run of 2011 that kept Juan Castillo (and probably AR) employed, after his atrocious D performed admirably against Stephen McGee, Mark Sanchez, Rex Grossman and JP Losman.

      The bottom line for me is that the defense is always going to be the weak unit. Mediocre finish is probably the best we can expect, so when they’re benching guys that can actually make a difference, it’s tough for me to happily accept.

      • Andy Six Score and Four

        4 games is not a significant sample size. That’s what you’re referring to in 2011. This D more than doubled that. That matters.

        Hell, just listen to Castillo talk and then listen to Davis talk. I’m not putting Davis up there with Buddy Ryan, but he knows what he’s doing.

        • JofreyRice

          Agreed that as defensive coordinators, Davis is actually one, whereas Juan Castillo had that job for a short period of time. I’m just talking about over-aggrandizing the effect of a series of games where the team drew some favorable matchups/circumstances. I think anon or aub32 detailed it below.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            That’s why I pointed out that the “series of games” this time around was of a significant enough length to put some stock in it.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Also, had to upvote for the first sentence.

        • Token

          Billy Davis is a career failure DC former Steelers coffee runner that people are putting on a pedestal because he talks to Chip everyday. He has a ton to prove.

          Go back and look at the glorious run last year. See who they played. Hell there were times that were literally if not for Brandon Boykin they may lose. Does anyone remember Kyle Orton shredding this D to pieces? 2nd Skins game. Matt Cassell. Got lucky with a blizzard Lions game.

          • Tikkit, draft crapshoot

            You realize that Jim Johnson was a mediocre, at best, coach before his stint with the Eagles right? Sheesh.

  • ztom6

    boykin will still be in the game on 3rd downs where he can have the biggest impact. As for his contract, they better make him the highest paid nickel in the league… and that still might not be enough.

  • mawst95

    Where the hell is all of this Boykin is gone stuff coming from? I feel like I haven’t browsed the site in 36 hours and the conversation has gone completely off the rails.

    The idea that Chip values system over talent–based on what, exactly? Sure he wants people that fit his scheme, like every other coach. The only example I can think of is Jackson and Jackson was an (arguably) one dimensional receiver (albeit elite at that one dimension) with a big contract, who didn’t seem to fully buy into Chip’s program. The guy already quit on his team over a contract squabble. The most important thing for Chip in his first three years is to build his culture/program. Do you want to invest that much money into a dude who will undermine that whenever the team hits a losing streak, he doesn’t get the ball enough, or he’s unhappy with his contract?

    But what does any of that have to do with Boykin? They are both 5-8? Huh? Who else has Chip released or not resigned? Vick? He signed Jenkins over Bryd and Ward? Bryd is hurt, and I’ll wait to see how Jenkins performs in our scheme before passing judgement. If some team throws a crazy contract at Boykin and he thinks the grass is greener elsewhere, he’ll be gone, just like most other players on other teams in that situation.

    My questions/concerns with Chip are twofold: 1) That he’s the Bizzaro world Buddy Ryan and ignores defense in favor of offense. Using the first rounder this year on a D player made me feel much easier about that; and 2) That he won’t deal with diva types. There is only one example–Jackson–as I said above and I think that was a combination of a few factors. I suspect that Chip will tolerate divas–IF they buy into the program 100%.

    • anon

      An analogy.

      You’re a great salesman at dealership that sells Fords and Mercedes. You’re the no. 1 ford salesman but your only selling cars worth $30k. You know mercedes salesman make a lot more in commission but your boss won’t let you sell mercedes because you’re his best ford salesman and you’re a more blue collar guy than white collar guy.

      Dealership down the street says, come here you can sell mercedes at our shop we’ll pay you 20% more per year, we don’t care that you’re a blue collar guy, we think you’re a great salesman.

      What do you do?

      • cliff h-MOAR white goons

        you do understand that the eagles will be negotiating against no one next offseason, so you anology is off. BB has 2 chioces, really 3 i suppose, either play out for ’15 for 700k, take a 2 yr say 8-10m in a 5yr 30m structure and be free agent in ’16. only costing himself really 1 yr of FA. or, could take longer 3 or 4 yr deal in 7 or 8yr contract. it is crazy to think anyone would turn down guaranteed 8 or near 8 digit money for something in future.
        .
        i’m 100% no doubt in my mind BB plays at least thru ’16 w/ eagles. and 48 games is a lifetime in NFL.

        • Token

          You honestly believe Boykin will sign here after everything? How clear does the guy have to be that he wants to start? I hope he starts asking for a trade next year. Id rather him not walk away for nothing.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            you read any of what i wrote? he does have some control over his extension. he could make 8 or 9 million MILLION dollars, maybe more, who knows the cap is going up so quickly, just to hold of FA 1 year. guaranteed money. he would be insane to not take that.

          • Token

            You realize these guys have agents? They would never advise him to do that. Its stupid. Hed be getting a deal better then that AND a starting job by waiting. You are also assuming he wants to play 40-50% of the time. And your assuming the Eagles would even pay him that much when they clearly dont value him highly.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            yeah, no agent would advise a player to be set for life, plus get guaranteed money so he gets his 5 yrs in league and is now vested into pension. my assumption is you think Howie will offer him unfair contract, while i’m assuming BB get fair market value, minus a discount for not playing out 4th yr of rookie deal. players after fees, taxes, pension dedunctions get less than 50% of their pay, Boykin has money, signs ext w/ Eags he is set for life. i appreciate and want Bryce to say he wants to start, get on field, who would want a guy saying the opposite. but money is money.

          • anon

            You act like he won’t get a deal if he hits FA. Same thing Mac is doing basically taking a 1yr deal in the hopes he can prove he’ll make more $ in the future (or did that not happen).

            Joe Flacco did the exact same thing and it worked out for him as well. If you believe in yourself why not take the chance?

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            where did i write that? he can get paid 8m 10m maybe more to push off FA 1 yr. BB has some control over how his extension is written.
            .
            qb’s are different animals, not fair comparisons. Mac isnt playing for 700k, he’s playing for 3m-6m, and he has 1st rd bank account. Boykin is not set for life right now. great start on it. take crazy stones to turndown 8-10m F U world money.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ Kelce’s Beard

            you read any of what i wrote?
            hahahahaha

          • moesus

            Why do you think that other teams are just going to throw money at the guy when he hasn’t shown anyone that he can play outside?

        • anon

          Lots of players opt to hit FA to test the market. If the eagles really like him maybe they’ll pay outside CB money to keep him. But if I’m hitting 7 picks playing 50% of snaps and then i’m looking at PP or Rich Sherman’s deals maybe I want to see what the market looks like for an outside CB.

          • cliff h-MOAR white goons

            please, very few drafted players that show it in first 3 yrs hit FA. the ones that hit FA, are like Cooper that werent much till contract yr. you do see some of the top 10 picks/1st rdrs, cause they get that 5th yr huge money forced on them by the team. but 2nd rounders on, they are dying for that 2nd contract.

          • Token

            He wants to start. Why do you not factor what the player actually wants into this? He has drive to be a great corner. You dont just turn that off and become content as a half time player. Hes made this very clear. Especially since he will have plenty of chances starting elsewhere.

      • mawst95

        The whole point of my post was that this line of conversation is way premature…but…I’ll answer:

        It depends. I could make more money than I make currently if I was to switch from the public to the private sector. But I like my job–the location, the perks, my colleagues, my boss, the work. To use your analogy, not all dealerships are the same, and money is not the only determining factor of where I chose to work. In fact, money becomes less and less of a factor as I pass a threshold into comfortable living. The difference in QOL between 50K and 100K is much bigger than between 6M and 8M.

        The problem with your analogy is it makes money the only variable (it’s not) and we aren’t talking about the difference between blue and white collar. We’re talking about very rich and slightly less very rich. And the top line contract number ignores number of years, guarantees, incentives, etc.

        And, finally, all of that assumes that the Eagles won’t pay the guy more than your average upper echelon slot CB. Using your analogy, I’d say to my current boss, fine, I’ll sell Fords, but I want be paid more like the Mercedes dealers (commission doesn’t apply here). If they say no, then I add it all up (money, location, teammates, etc.) and make a decision.

        • anon

          Yeah i tried to make the analogy simplistic but it comes down to the last two sentences of your post. What’s the difference between $ for slot and outside CBs?

          How well can his agent market him? He’ll likely have the choice to play 1yr show me deal as an outside CB in another system, or stay here at around $4m/yr. If it gets to the place where people don’t see him as an outsie guy he’ll be stuck, like Welker, playing for less $.

  • Chris Jones

    I can’t stand when this coaching staff throws around the word versatile like it’s some kind of huge advantage. All that says to me is “oh we were too cheap to go and get guys who excel at their given position”. And I can already see the classic eagles stinginess coming back and biting us in the butt with Boykin. Move him outside and let the guy make plays, enough with this versatility crap.

    • Tikkit, draft crapshoot

      1. versatile: able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities.
      adaptable, flexible, all-around, multifaceted, multitalented, resourceful
      Sooo, you see a problem with this? I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

      • Chris Jones

        It’s a cop out on the coaching staff and front offices part. You can be a jack of all trades until the cows come home. It doesn’t make you good at any of them though.

      • Amar, CB who bought in

        I agree. Would the Eagles let go of Osi, Justin Tuck and Strahan for lack of versatility, coz all they do is throw Brady to the ground before he releases the ball ?

        Edit: I mean agree with Chris Jones :)

        • OldDuckMcDoc

          You’re putting me in a hideous position of defending members of the NY Giants, but all of these guys were versatlie.

          Tuck could line up inside or out in a 4-3 and held up well against the run.

          If you think all Strahan did was sack QBs then, I dunno, wow.

          And of course as Shady will attest, Osi was adept at ballet as well as football.

  • moesus

    I’m all for giving Boykin a shot on the outside but it seems like most of you think he’s guaranteed to be Deion out there. It’s fun to throw hypotheticals out but ultimately I trust what Chip and Company choose to do.

    It also seems like a lot of people here are down on our defense as a whole. I think we can realistically hold teams to around 20 ppg, which with our offense will equal a lot of wins.

    • anon

      Chip is pretty hands off on defense, i think aside from his measurables and setting the scheme 34 he’s said he’s not THAT involved in the day to day, i think Azz and Davis make all those decisions.

      • moesus

        I’m aware. That’s why I said “Chip and Company”. He wasn’t too involved at Oregon either. I’m a fan of his delegating, it gives him more time to focus on the offense. Although I’m pretty sure he knows quite a bit about the x’s and o’s on that side of the ball.

    • Amar, CB who bought in

      Chip does not micro-manage defense. He discusses the overall approach and leaves the details to Davis

    • MagatBrackendale

      Someone else with years of experience said today that if a defense can keep the opponent to around 17 points a game, they could win consistently. So you’re close.

      • moesus

        Yeah, I think that most teams shoot for 17 ppg. We gave up 24 ppg last year and I figured shaving a whole TD off per game was asking a bit much. If you take the Denver and Minnesota games away, the D gave up 20 ppg, so I thought that was reasonable.

  • Amar, CB who bought in

    Taking Boykin off the field will make the defense better….are we now taking suggestions from Boys’ and Skins’ fans ?

  • peteike

    I may have to take Celek late in fantasy draft as my TE if I dont take one of the big ones. Every day in practice Foles throws a td or two to Celek in red zone drills. May be good backup if you carry 2 at least. Boykin killing it again in camp along with Jenkins, lookin good. Even Marsh getting some play.

  • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

    “Boy, that escalated quickly… I mean, that really got out of hand fast.”

  • peteike

    “Foles got the #Eagles O into the red zone on back to back drills in a total of 3 throws” Love it, Matthews with some first team reps, even playing some outside

  • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

    In my rare agreement with Token, I, too, don’t think that Boykin will be that quick to sign an extension next offseason and would be very curious as to what the market has to offer in the following offseason. That is where our agreement ends.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      He’d be foolish not to at least assess his market value. Especially if he puts up the same stats as last year. Problem is, with the league moving towards larger CBs, what will that market be? I’m sure it’ll be smaller, but there may be a team hungry to increase their TOs & playmaking ability in the secondary that makes him am offer. If Boykin can suppress the urge to play on the outside, I’m hopeful that they can get a deal done. A secondary without Boykin, becomes a much devoid unit in the playmaking department.

      • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

        There were a few smaller CBs that got paid this offseason.

    • macadood

      Also depends how well the Eagles do this year, make it deep into the playoffs and establish themselves as a serious contender he may want to be back even in his limited role in good hopes of winning a Superbowl with the Eagles.

      • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

        I’d think a player wants the second contract first and foremost, be it an extension or a FA deal.

  • Weapon Y

    Ugh. Not a fan of this idea unless Boykin ended up starting on the outside. Davis is very stubborn though and will likely start a duo of inferior players like Cary, Fletcher, and/or Carroll on the outside. The biggest source of frustration for me is that of the Eagles three best defensive players (Cox, Curry, Boykin), only one actually gets to be on the field for a significant majority of the game.

  • TNA

    FYI – Just to provide some context to the Davis comments…here are the complete quotes from that press conference:

    Question: Does Malcolm Jenkins’ versatility allow you to stay in base more? Is that something you want to do?

    Davis: Absolutely. I think all of our safeties have the skill set of being able to come down and cover a third wide receiver. I don’t have to put nickel on the field. A
    lot of teams will put you in three wide receiver personnel groups and run at
    you. You’re always going to nickel, and you guys have seen… if I go to the
    nickel package sometimes, Boykin’s getting run at. I don’t want that. I [can]
    stay in base, but a safety’s gotta be able to cover that third wide receiver
    now. So if I have a big, physical hitting safety that can’t cover, then I’m
    limited. I’m limited in having one guy always be down and they know our
    rotation. So there are a lot of elements and we’re very excited about our
    safeties being able to cover man-to-man on a wide receiver.

    Question: What kind of progress have you seen from Boykin so far?

    Davis: Brandon is really coming along. We’ve really locked him in the nickel spot and he’s really coming along in the understanding of his leverage and the entire scheme and I think he got better as the year went on and a lot of that was
    understanding leverage component of playing inside. It’s a little bit of a
    different world. You’re playing corner, you’re out by the sideline, you’re on
    number one. Now we bring you to the 2, 3 world and the exchanges, and I think
    Brandon has taken huge strides in his understanding of his role as a nickel
    linebacker as well as getting better at corner and everything we’re asking him
    to do in this defense.

    • anon

      I posted further down — malcolm jenkins was one of the worst in the league at covering the slot, in terms of reception % and yards allowed.

      • TNA

        That’s not good. But I just want to take a look at how the dime defense works and how it’s incorporated into the defense. This defense definitely has holes (as do all defenses), but I’m curious to all the novel concepts Greene alluded to without revealing anything. Is nickel going to be the base defense, with BB serving as a LB? I think what Davis is inferring is that last year, in nickel, offenses targeted run blocking at Boykin because they knew the safety couldn’t make the play with the defense down one LB. This year, offenses would have to account for a more competent safety in Jenkins, and can’t just focus on attacking one defender. But really, who knows what the plan is.
        Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing how the defense evolves with the players it has and seeing if they can ultimately apply more pressure up front while getting off the field on 3rd down.