Whenever he has talked to reporters this offseason, Chip Kelly has been hesitant to put a label on his defense.
And for good reason. He just got them out on the field for the first time last week, and the roster won’t be complete until the draft is over.
While we should gain some clarity on scheme after the Eagles make their selections, it’s worth taking note of what the team is telling prospects.
For example, Florida defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd joined Mike Missanelli on 97.5 The Fanatic today and was asked if he would be miscast in a classic 3-4.
“I know I’m disruptive in a 4-3, but the package the Eagles run is the hybrid 3-4, which is a 4-3 in a sense,” Floyd said. “It’s just the outside linebacker walks out. So it’s not a bad deal. It’s still a 4-3, but it looks like a 3-4 front. It’s more of an under front, and we did that at Florida. We did the 3-4, we did the 4-3, and we also ran under. So it’s all the same, just a walk-down linebacker. That’s all it is.”
Brandon Graham dropped back into coverage once during the entire 2012 season.
Trent Cole? Three times.
Fletcher Cox most often lined up at defensive tackle in a four-man front. Vinny Curry barely saw the field.
So while Chip Kelly, defensive coordinator Billy Davis and the rest of the Eagles’ coaching staff have spent a considerable amount of time watching players on film, they’ve known all along the importance of finally getting them on the practice fields.
The Eagles have dropped not-so-subtle hints about a scheme change all offseason long.
Chip Kelly has talked about preferring a 3-4. And Howie Roseman has discussed the versatility of specific players like Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham.
But one position the Eagles likely will have to address in the coming months is nose tackle.
Here’s a look at what the team might be looking for out of its nose tackle, along with some free-agent options.
Howie Roseman believes the Eagles have some pieces in place to transition to a new defensive scheme – one that will not include Cullen Jenkins or Mike Patterson.
As for the details, there’s not a whole lot we know right now. We know Chip Kelly prefers a 3-4. We know defensive coordinator Billy Davis has a background in multiple schemes, including the 4-3 under. Having spoken to Davis and some of the other assistants, I got the impression that pre-snap disguise is going to be a big part of whatever the Eagles do.
As we look ahead to free agency (March 12) and the draft (April 25), now seems like a good time to take stock of the Eagles’ defensive linemen to see how they might fit going forward.
Tagged with: Antonio Dixon
, Billy Davis
, Brandon Graham
, Cedric Thornton
, Chip Kelly
, Fletcher Cox
, Howie Roseman
, Phillip Hunt
, Sheil Kapadia
, Trent Cole
, Vinny Curry
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Will the Eagles run a pure 3-4? How will they adapt to offenses that are evolving? And why did Chip Kelly hire so many defensive assistants from the college ranks? Here are three leftovers, pertaining to the Eagles’ defense.
There is a host of pressing issues when it comes to the Eagles’ secondary, but you’ll have to excuse new defensive backs coach John Lovett if he doesn’t yet have all the answers.
“I don’t know how long everyone else has been here but I walked into the office today for the first time,” said the 62-year-old Lovett on Monday. “In fact I rode over here with [inside linebackers] Coach [Rick] Minter just so I can figure out how to drive over here and not get lost. We had a full staff meeting and a defensive staff meeting, then the phone guy comes in and a guy comes in to put a computer in. It’s been that kind of a day. Everyone is still kind of rolling around.”
Billy Davis sat at the head of one of the cafeteria tables inside the NovaCare Complex Monday, surrounded by a swarm of reporters trying to get a feel for one of Chip Kelly’s most curious hires. Certainly his most important.
Eventually, the subject of Davis’ less-than-sizzling resume as defensive coordinator came up. His units ranked 32nd and 26th in his two seasons as DC in San Francisco. In Arizona, his defense finished 20th and 29th in yards. Those are not the most comforting statistics for fans who have little else to go off of.
“In my past I’ve got good stats and I’ve got bad stats, like most people,” said Davis. “There are a lot of reasons for all of it, I’ve got no excuses for any of them. Everywhere I’ve been I have had good people, I’ve learned lessons from those experiences and I think I have gotten better because of it. It’s something I’m bringing to the Eagles now, I’ve got some experience in calling games and working schemes and game-planning and adjusting. At the end of the day we’re problem solvers. You learn from your experience and you move forward.”
There has been plenty of buzz since Chip Kelly officially announced his staff on Friday. Here is a sample of what people are talking about.
Using some All-22 shots, we dive into scheme possibilities for new Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis. Which pieces on the current roster fit the plan going forward?
The void Jim Johnson left when he passed away back in July of 2009 has not yet been filled. The Eagles went through three defensive coordinators in the last four seasons, and they all fell short. It is one of the biggest reasons why Andy Reid is now coaching the Chiefs.
The importance of assistant coaches can be lost to a degree when so much focus is on the head man. Chip Kelly is the story, he is the draw. He is also nothing if his staff can’t pull its weight.