Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis met with reporters Sunday. Below are three things that stood out.
1. We’ve written plenty in this space about the high number of snaps guys like DeMeco Ryans and Connor Barwin played last year. Part of that had to do with the defense’s inability to get off the field. Part of it had to do with the team’s lack of depth at certain spots. Part of it had to do with pace and style of the offense.
But going forward, Davis wants to get those guys off the field a little bit more.
“It’s something we are very concerned about,” he said. “We don’t want any of them to play all the snaps. It’s too many snaps for any one defensive player. We know we had way too many. It benefits both us and the player and DeMeco or Mychal [Kendricks] that we get a rotation in there, too. We’ll get that rotation all the time through different packages and with the addition like you touched on of some new players. It will give us a little bit more flexibility. Read more »
Your 2014 Eagles Almanac is now available for pre-order.
If you’ve missed this publication the past two years, it’s a comprehensive look at the season ahead with contributions from a variety of talented writers.
There are also some untalented writers who are allowed to pen chapters. That’s where Tim and I come in.
My piece this year focused on the defense as a whole. What did Billy Davis run in his first year as the Eagles’ coordinator? What were the strengths and weaknesses? What changes are in store going forward?
Below is part of what I wrote, focusing on one of the Eagles’ primary schemes on the back end: the Cover 3.
And remember, order your Eagles Almanac today! Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
If you missed the look at the offense, click here.
Now onto the defense: Read more »
Two snaps into the Eagles’ Week 9 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, Najee Goode got the call.
Mychal Kendricks went down with a knee injury at Lambeau Field, and Goode was chosen to replace him alongside DeMeco Ryans at inside linebacker. He played the rest of that game and then started the following week against the Redskins.
“There was a lot of positive feedback, stuff I gotta work on, but a lot of positive feedback,” Goode said. “Getting in there, not necessarily messing up, doing some good things, showing a lot of good signs and flashes of being a good, consistent player. Making some pass break-ups. Green Bay, was able to disrupt the run a lot different than what they thought they were gonna get. It was a confidence booster for me and to also see what I’ve gotta work on.” Read more »
We covered the offense yesterday. Here’s the position-by-position look at where the Eagles’ roster stands on defense. Read more »
The following Eagles are inactive for today’s game against the Minnesota Vikings: QB Matt Barkley, safety Earl Wolff, CB Curtis Marsh, RB Matthew Tucker, LB Najee Goode, OT Matt Tobin and OT Dennis Kelly.
The list is exactly the same as it was last week against the Detroit Lions. Wolff (knee) is out for the fourth consecutive game. Patrick Chung will once again start at safety alongside Nate Allen. Read more »
The following Eagles are inactive for today’s game against the Lions: QB Matt Barkley, safety Earl Wolff, CB Curtis Marsh, RB Matthew Tucker, LB Najee Goode, OT Matt Tobin and OT Dennis Kelly.
Goode suffered a hamstring injury last week. Emmanuel Acho takes his place on the gameday roster. Read more »
The sleep monitor attached to the player’s wrist begins to gently vibrate when it’s time to wake up.
Instead of a screeching alarm clock that startles you out of your sleep, the device the Eagles wear draws you to consciousness slowly as the vibrations gradually increase.
During the night, the device records when you fell asleep, how well you slept and how many times you woke up during the night. This draws the competitive side out of these athletes. They want to improve those numbers, so they work on it. Maybe they’ll go to bed a half-hour earlier, maybe they’ll alter their night-time routine.
When Najee Goode — the Eagles’ reserve linebacker and special teams player — first moved into his new place, his numbers were terrible. He lives by a train, so his sleep reports weren’t so great early on as he got accustomed to the frequent rattling outside. Now it’s better. He would wake up maybe 10, 12 times during the night. Got it down to eight. Now it’s steadily at five or so.
The players’ sleep reports go right into a computer system that can be accessed by sports science coordinator Shaun Huls. That’s just the beginning of the data that the former Navy Seal trainer collects on a regular basis. Read more »
If you missed the game review of the offense, click here. Now, onto 10 observations of the Eagles’ defense after having re-watched the game.
1. The Eagles’ defense shut out the Redskins for three-plus quarters, but let’s start in the fourth where things got a little dicey. Trent Cole was trailing Darrel Young in coverage, and Patrick Chung was closing in from his deep safety spot down the left sideline. Robert Griffin III escaped pressure and lofted one to Young. Cole went flying at him, and Chung did the same from the opposite direction. They both whiffed and collided into one another as Young got free for the 62-yard score. Then on the 2-point conversion, the Redskins set up with a bunch formation to the right, and Chung completely lost track of Nick Williams.
2. Roc Carmichael had a rough fourth quarter. But his coverage wasn’t bad on the 41-yard TD to Aldrick Robinson. Griffin underthrew the ball, and Robinson made a great adjustment. I asked Carmichael last week when he’s taught to turn and find the football. He said he watches the receiver’s eyes and hands. Obviously he could have done a better job on that play. Carmichael also gave up completions of 19, 9, 28 and 7 in the fourth quarter. The most concerning of those was the 28-yarder. The Eagles had the Redskins with a 3rd-and-25, but they were able to extend their drive with a completion to Santana Moss. Carmichael might have been expecting more safety help, but the safeties are going to play particularly deep in that spot, focused on keeping everything in front of them. Read more »
In the last six weeks, the Eagles are allowing just 17.7 points per game.
Before the season started, a stretch like that seemed unlikely. After the team gave up 33 to the Chargers in Week 2 and 52 to the Broncos in Week 4, it seemed even more unlikely.
But Billy Davis, his assistants and the players have turned things around. Overall, the defensive is allowing 24.4 points per game (20th) and 5.6 yards per play (22nd). Football Outsiders still has the Eagles’ D ranked 28th overall.
So while no one would deny that there have been massive improvements from the beginning of the season, the question is: With six games left, where is this defense?
As always, we go to the tape for answers, breaking it down category-by-category. Read more »