Eagles Wake-Up Call: Offseason Outlook At CB

NFL: NFC Championship-Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks

We’ve got to knock out the final two offseason outlook pieces, so instead of taking a question today, we’ll take a look at the Eagles’ cornerback situation.

State of the roster

The only cornerback from last year who is a free agent is Bradley Fletcher.

Cary Williams enters the final year of his deal, but carries with him an $8.17M cap hit. That’s 13th among all NFL cornerbacks.

Brandon Boykin enters the final year of his rookie contract. And Nolan Carroll is on the last year of his deal as well.

The only cornerback who was on the roster last year and is signed past 2015 is Jaylen Watkins. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Position Switches For Current Eagles?

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

We’ll knock out two questions today because they are linked  by a common thread.

The first is from reader Hassahn, via e-mail:

My biggest fear is Brandon Graham leaving and Trent Cole getting cut. Those moves would decimate the position. In that scenario, I think Marcus Smith II would be in line to start. My question is, what are the chances Vinny Curry is asked to make the switch to OLB?

And the second one comes from Twitter:

Both questions obviously involve current Eagles switching positions (ignoring the jersey question for now, of course). So let’s tackle them one-by-one. Read more »

Making Sense Of the Eagles Inactives

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The following Eagles are inactive for today’s game against the Giants: QB Nick Foles, S Jerome Couplin, CB Bradley Fletcher, C Julian Vandervelde, OL Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl and DL Taylor Hart.

Fletcher (hip) was listed as questionable on the injury report. Nolan Carroll II will start at left cornerback opposite Cary Williams. Fletcher being out and Trent Cole being in is the only change from a week ago. Read more »

All-22: Defensive Failures Against Dallas

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In the days leading up to the Eagles’ rematch with the Cowboys, Billy Davis made it clear that he was expecting to see a different Tony Romo.

On Thanksgiving, the Birds’ defense applied consistent pressure on Romo, and the Cowboys’ quarterback struggled to connect with open receivers when he did have opportunities.

Sunday night was a different story, and Davis ended up being right. Despite a mostly ineffective run game, Romo picked the Eagles apart, completing 22 of 31 passes for 265 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

“I think the biggest difference in the two games that we had… was the play of Tony Romo and the throws,” Davis said this week. “The throws on Thanksgiving were under-thrown and bad, and we were coming back and making plays. The throws the other night were on the money, and they were right where they needed to be.”

Romo certainly deserves credit for playing well in a big spot. But Dez Bryant scored three touchdowns one-on-one against Bradley Fletcher. Was the Eagles’ game plan sound? Was it just a matter of the more talented unit winning? We explore those issues with the All-22. Read more »

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 »

All-22: Dissecting the Eagles’ Defensive Breakdowns

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Knowing that he was about to field several questions about the defense’s near-meltdown against the St. Louis Rams, Billy Davis went for the humor route as he walked up to the podium Tuesday afternoon.

“You guys rather have [special teams coach Dave] Fipp?” he joked. “I can bring Fipp up. He deserves it.”

The first nine possessions against the Rams resulted in one touchdown, five punts and three turnovers. However, the Eagles allowed three touchdown drives of 60+ yards in the final 18 minutes and needed a late stop to hang on to a 34-28 lead.

Davis fields questions about his starting cornerbacks on a weekly basis. On Tuesday, he offered a passionate defense of Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher. He also provided context for some of the team’s late-game breakdowns. Read more »

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