All-22: Zeroing In On the Eagles’ Defense

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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 »

Zone Read: Eagles-Packers, the Day After

Photo Credit: Benny Sieu - USA Today

Photo Credit: Benny Sieu – USA Todays

GREEN BAY, Wis. — In all likelihood, this particular line of questioning was nothing new for Mark Sanchez.

Having made 64 career starts, the Eagles’ quarterback understands there will be ups and downs, praise and criticism, wins and losses. Six days ago, the story was about second chances and reinventing himself under Chip Kelly. Today, the conversation focuses on a team that failed to measure up against one of the NFC’s best.

“Now we’re gonna find out who we are, what kind of team we have,” Sanchez said, his left hand wrapped after taking some big hits early against Green Bay. “It’s easy when you’re on the other end of this thing like we were last week. You’re on national TV, and everything’s going great. You can’t miss and score a lot of points, and defense and special teams score. That’s fun, and it’s easy. But now it’s tough. This is gonna be a really good test for this team. So I’m excited because I think we have the type of players that can bounce back from this.”

Sanchez’s final stat line read 26-for-44 for 346 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked three times and charged with two lost fumbles (although one and maybe both didn’t appear to be his fault).

The defense looked like a unit that had no chance against Aaron Rodgers. But in a game where the Eagles needed the offense to keep it competitive, they got a clunker from that side of the ball. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Where Wolff Stands

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland Raiders

Earl Wolff suddenly finds himself in a pretty precarious position.

There was some optimism surrounding the second-year safety heading into the season. Chip Kelly noted back in the spring how Wolff was back to “flying around” the field after being hobbled by a knee injury down the stretch of the 2013 campaign. “Right now we’re really excited about Earl,” he said.

The head coach’s tone was much different leading into the Texans game.

“Earl’s been okay. I think he needs to be a little bit more consistent from [a training] standpoint. But he’s okay,” said Kelly. Wolff started that week in place of the injured Nate Allen and was up and down. The next day the Eagles signed safety Chris Prosinski when DeMeco Ryans was placed on injured reserve. Seven days after being plucked off the street, Prosinski was active and Wolff was on the outside looking in.

Read more »

Midseason Grades: Eagles Defense

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

With eight games down and eight to go, let’s take a position-by-position look at where the Eagles stand. We’ll hand out grades for performances up to this point and project what’s in store for the months ahead.

Here’s the defense. We’ll get to the offense in a later installment. Read more »

Ready Or Not, Wolff Could Get His Shot

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Earl Wolff is running with the first team and is expected to start if Nate Allen can’t get past his hamstring injury in time for Sunday. Asked how Wolff has been progressing in practice over the last few weeks, Chip Kelly didn’t exactly sing the young safety’s praises.

“Earl’s been okay. I think he needs to be a little bit more consistent from that standpoint. But he’s okay,” said Kelly.

Wolff did not seem to agree with the idea that he’s been inconsistent. Read more »

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