Sproles a Hit With Eagles Defensive Coaches

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

While Eagles offensive coaches were thrilled to land Darren Sproles this offseason, it didn’t take long for GM Howie Roseman to hear from representatives on the other side of the ball.

“I know when we played the Saints every year, I was worried about where he would be,” Roseman said. “When we made that trade, the first person to come to my office was Billy Davis, and he said, ‘I know every time we play Darren Sproles, I have to figure out where he is on the field.’ ”

Sproles has immediately become a favorite of Chip Kelly and the entire coaching staff. The 31-year-old practices like an undrafted free agent who has something to prove, not like an accomplished veteran. That’s something Kelly clearly appreciates. Read more »

Why Chip Kelly Delegates To Assistants

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Before becoming the head coach at Oregon in 2009, Chip Kelly was an assistant for four different college teams.

And all along the way, he appreciated that his bosses allowed him to do his job without micromanaging.

“No different than in your job,” Kelly said. “If your editor takes an article that you turn in and hacks the heck out of it, I’m sure you… you know what I mean. It’s the same thing. I think you can give pointers and tips and all those things, but I think any editor will say the same thing: ‘God, this guy, I have to keep rewriting his story all the time.’ Well, that guy is probably not going to have that job for very long.

“It’s the same thing with an assistant coach. And I’m fortunate we don’t have anybody like that. I think we have a bunch of really, really good teachers that we are all on the same page with, and that’s a positive.” Read more »

Davis: Smith Will Help With ‘Mirrored’ Defense

Marcus Smith II

Billy Davis wants a mirrored defense.

The Eagles’ defensive coordinator spoke Monday for the first time since the team used a first-round pick on outside linebacker Marcus Smith. Smith has been practicing at the Jack spot this spring – the position occupied last year by Connor Barwin. Davis provided insight on what the plan is for the Birds’ rookie.

“Marcus is a young guy that we had to start at a position to learn it,” he said. “The positions can be mirrored or they can take on little different variations depending on who’s out there – who’s out there at that time or even in a series. So it’s very flexible what I can do with the Jack and the Predator. But Marcus, we started at the Jack. There’s probably a little bit more versatility and movement. More of what he did in college was the Jack so we started him there. But I’m willing to bet once he settles down a little bit he can go either side.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Will Boykin Get a Shot?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

Towards the end of last year, Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis was asked about the way he handled Brandon Boykin’s playing time and whether there were ways to get the play-making defensive back more snaps.

“I really think, and I believe this, that one of the reasons that he’s grown like he’s grown and made the plays that he’s making is because we’ve allowed him to specialize and really focus on the nickel position and how to play,” Davis said. “He’s a young player that’s still growing and I think that is one of the things that we’ve done that I’m most happy with. And I understand he’s got a lot of interceptions and second in the league, but I think that’s a product of specialization and really knowing exactly and playing a position with confidence and that’s how you win.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Spelling DeMeco

NFL: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles

The number for DeMeco Ryans last year was 1,156.

That’s how many snaps he played, the most of any linebacker in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders.

“I think if you ask DeMeco, he felt as fresh as he’s ever felt in his career,” said Chip Kelly last month. “But I think it’s a byproduct of how we practiced and prepared for him to be that way.”

Ryans is a Kelly favorite – a true professional who practices, trains and studies hard. But the truth is he did play too many snaps last year. And there were a few reasons for that. Number one, Billy Davis was installing a brand new defense and needed someone to direct a young group up front. That was Ryans’ job. Read more »

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