Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
The calls for more Brandon Boykin have quieted down as the year has gone along, partly because people have come to realize those efforts are fruitless, and partly because Boykin hasn’t been flashing with the same brightness compared to last season.
That six-interception campaign seems a world away now, doesn’t it? The talk this offseason was all about how to get the young corner’s snaps up from 50 percent. Instead, his playing time has gone south (he’s played 42 percent of the defensive snaps, per Pro Football Focus) and it feels like Boykin has been pushed further to the fringe by Billy Davis and Chip Kelly despite the coaches’ claims that he is viewed as a starter. Read more »
Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco
Here are three leftovers from Chip Kelly’s session with reporters on Monday.
1. Kelly has been peppered with a lot of questions about the Eagles’ lack of a downfield passing attack.
“I think people are playing us a lot deeper than they did last year,” he said Monday. “That’s very evident. I don’t think anybody really lets us get behind them anymore. People are playing coverage from the top down, as opposed to last year; we saw a lot more press-man last year.
“We are not going to force things in terms of trying to throw the ball deep over the top if they are not going to allow you to run over the top.”
Earlier in the season, the downfield throws were available. What’s happened since then? Read more »
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Billy Davis usually sets up shop at the exact same spot in the middle of the Eagles locker room after home games.
He always speaks in the same calm, measured tone. You can never tell by his face whether his defense just played well or played poorly, whether the Eagles won or lost.
Players seem to appreciate that about him. And so does Chip Kelly. Davis believes in the process, and having coached in the NFL for more than 20 years, he’s been on the wrong side of plenty of bad losses, contests where the game plan left room for second-guessing and where the coaches didn’t put the players in positions to succeed.
Sunday’s 38-27 loss to the Cowboys was one of those games. Read more »
Eagles defensive players – well, most of them anyway – know by now not to make excuses.
The offense wants to play fast every week, regardless of opponent, situation or anything else. The defense’s job is always to get off the field and give the offense another chance to score. Since Chip Kelly took over, that formula has worked pretty well. But there are games, like Sunday’s, when the offense is stagnant. And that puts the defensive players in a bind.
For example, to start the game, the defense gave up a 10-play, 43-yard drive that took 6:35 off the clock. The offense went three-and-out in 25 seconds. And Billy Davis’ guys were right back out there.
That is just how it is. It’s why the Eagles train the way they do. And it’s why in a perfect world, they’d like to rotate players on defense even more.
“I think they are fine,” Kelly said Monday. “I don’t think it had anything to do with the fourth quarter. I just think that they are built for it. They are in great condition. They train at a really high level. They practice against us. They understand what it takes. We didn’t come out of it with any injuries or anything like that. I would imagine they will all be ready to go.” Read more »
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY
There was a lot of talk about measuring sticks in the Eagles’ locker room Sunday evening. Questions regarding what the players learned about themselves during a windy afternoon at the Linc. Discussions on whether the team is capable of competing with the best of the best in the conference.
After a 24-14 loss to the Seahawks in which the offense looked completely outmatched, the Eagles are now 0-3 against NFC teams that would make the playoffs if the season ended today.
The overall mood, though, was more upbeat than one might expect. As Russell Wilson knelt down to kill the clock in the fourth quarter, Connor Barwin walked around to his teammates and delivered fist-pounds and hugs. When Mark Sanchez returned to his locker after his press conference, Jordan Matthews greeted him a handshake.
Everyone seemed to share the same feeling.
“I don’t think that anybody in here feels that we can’t beat the Seattle Seahawks,” said center Jason Kelce. “I just think they were much better than we were today. And I think we feel the same way about Green Bay and about any team in the NFL. On any given day, you can win in this league. And it really comes down to us just continuing to improve each and every day.” Read more »
The Eagles have been averaging 30 points on offense over their last five games. The offensive line and (consequently) the running game is beginning to click, their quarterback is playing pretty well and the head coach knows how to scheme it up. There’s reason enough for this unit to be feeling good about itself as it hits the home stretch.
Sunday’s opponent is a different beast, though, and everybody inside the NovaCare seems to be bracing for some tough sledding ahead.
“I don’t think we go into it thinking [our defense] has to win the game but there is a difference between our offense going against anybody else’s defense and our offense going against Seattle,” Malcolm Jenkins acknowledged. “You do realize this is probably going to be a defensive struggle. We don’t expect our offense to go in and put up 35 points on this defense.” Read more »
Here’s a player-by-player breakdown of what we saw from the Eagles’ defense against the Cowboys, after having re-watched. Read more »
Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.
Bill Barnwell of Grantland put out a list of 10 possible future destinations for Robert Griffin III. He has the Eagles at No. 3: Read more »
Here’s a player-by-player review of the Eagles’ defense after having re-watched Sunday’s game against the Titans.
Fletcher Cox – Another solid game out of Cox. The coaches credited him with one tackle, one sack and one hurry. Cox stopped Shonn Greene after a 4-yard run in the first. He disrupted a run play that gained 3. Good rush late in the first half, but Zach Mettenberger reset and completed a pass. Got some help from the coverage in the back end, slipped inside the offensive lineman and sacked Mettenberger in the second. Cox batted a pass on the next play. Drew a holding call on a run play in the third. Fought off defenders and stopped Bishop Sankey after a 4-yard run in the third. He played 62 percent of the snaps. Announcers made it a point to mention how much Chip Kelly praised Cox during production meetings. He’s had a great season. The Eagles need him to be disruptive against Dallas. Read more »
Billy Davis pointed out during the summer that part of the reason the Eagles play a two gap 3-4 is because it’s the most effective scheme against a lot of the things Chip Kelly likes to do on offense.
And as we all know, Kelly likes to run the football.
So almost every week, when the coaches are game-planning for their opponents, they emphasize stopping the run. A rare exception was last year’s playoff game against the Saints when Davis decided to guard against the pass. But the Eagles defensive coordinator did not make that same exception for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
“I don’t think he came out with any intention to run the ball to start with,” Davis said. “I was anticipating some running game coming.
“I think a lot of people try to establish the run early. Green Bay has really worked for a balanced attack. A balanced attack means you run a little bit more than they did. But it wasn’t long until you knew right away they were going pass, pass, pass. He was checking into some runs, I think, but I think they were looking at our presentations, so it makes us have to have a little broader plan against them. Again, I could have done better with the plan, too.” Read more »