All-22: Forming the Wall And Stopping the Stretch

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Billy Davis was asked Tuesday about the difficulty in making potential scheme changes, given that teams are approaching Week 13.

“It’s tough to change who you are at this point in the season,” he said. “You have to stick with what you have success with and try to correct and get better at the things you’re struggling with.”

Davis’ comment applies to teams around the NFL. In the offseason, coaches assess personnel and decide what they want their squads to look like from a schematic standpoint. They then practice, tweak and practice some more. Wrinkles can be added, and ideas can be scrapped. But as we approach Thanksgiving, for the most part, identities have been established.

And for the Dallas Cowboys, that identity is clear: A balanced offense that is finding success running the football on a weekly basis.

The Eagles, meanwhile, are a team that focuses on stopping the run. Read more »

Wolff Has ‘Mini-Microfracture’ Surgery

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Earl Wolff underwent what he described as “mini-microfracture” surgery to help repair damaged cartilage in his right knee.

The operation was performed by Dr. James Andrews. He will be on crutches for the next four weeks, he said, and the hope is that he is back to full-speed by the end of April or beginning of May. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Welcome To Dallas Week

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Eagles fans kickstarted Dallas week a little early.

With the game against Tennessee pretty well in hand in the second half, “Beat Dallas” chants began to ring out at Lincoln Financial Field.

“There were a few drunk fans yelling more than that,” said Lane Johnson.
Read more »

Why Isn’t Kendricks Making All the Calls?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals

When discussing DeMeco Ryans, Eagles coaches have always mentioned his value in getting the defense lined up before the snap.

For every game since the start of the 2013 season, Ryans had served as an extension of Billy Davis on the field. He watched film, he studied, and everyone on that side of the ball trusted him. Ryans had the helmet with the headset that connected to Davis, and the process went smoothly on a weekly basis.

But with the Eagles’ leader sidelined due to an Achilles’ injury, the coaches now have to come up with a new plan for who will make the calls. Mychal Kendricks is the only three-down inside linebacker on the roster, but he’s not going to take over full play-calling duties. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Replacing DeMeco

NFL: Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles

Billy Davis was singing the praises of DeMeco Ryans last week like he has so many times since taking over as defensive coordinator.

One of the big story lines heading into Sunday’s game was Ryans’ return to Houston to play his former team. Davis was asked to speak to what the veteran linebacker brings both behind the scenes and on the field.

“DeMeco is one of the finest men I’ve been around.  He’s a relentless worker; you can’t outwork him.  He’s a great leader.  He’s a very calm leader,” Davis said. “During the game everybody gets amped up and it takes all that you have, every ounce of what you have, to play every snap.  Tempers get going and emotions get going, and that’s the way you have to play the game.  DeMeco is a calming influence.  He plays at that level, he plays with that intensity, but the way he talks to his teammates, the way he coaches them out there, is a very calming effect on the defense.

“He makes good, quick decisions that set our defense up.  We have a lot of checks and he gets us in and out of calls based on formation or the quarterback audibling.  Without DeMeco, I don’t know if we could do as much as we do.”

At the time, those quotes were about what the Eagles’ defense was fortunate to have. Now they highlight what it has lost.

Read more »

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