Bowles’ Take: Blitzing, Pressure And the Wide-9

Before today, Todd Bowles was in charge of the Eagles’ secondary. Now, his job is to come up with a game-plan for the entire defense.

That includes finding a way to improve a pass-rush that has gone without a sack the last three games.

The first step is diagnosing the problem.

“It’s a little bit of everything,” Bowles said. “Part of the time, the ball’s coming out quick. Part of the time, they’re max protecting. Part of the time we’ve got to beat one-on-ones. And part of the time, coaching-wise, we’ve got to scheme it better and help those guys get free.”

As for the wide-nine, Bowles said it’s here to stay, also pointing out that he’ll still let Jim Washburn still do most of the coaching on the defensive line.

“It’s staying in-tact,” Bowles said. “I mean, we run a wide-nine. That’s what we do. But game-plan wise, it depends on whether we do other things along with it.

“The 4-3 has been around a long time. This is not a new system. They put the ends a yard wider, and everybody thinks it’s a new system, but it’s been around for a long time.”

Earlier in the day, Andy Reid talked about needing to blitz at the right time. It’s not a case of calling more blitzes, Reid said, but rather making sure the extra pressure is effective. Asked for his philosophy on blitzing, Bowles said, “If it works, it’s great. If it’s not, don’t do it.”

“Hopefully, timely pressure,” he said. “You can’t blitz too much or too little. Too much of one thing leads them to do another. So game-plan wise, and schematically, it all has to fit in during the week.”

As for the secondary, Bowles said they’ll continue to use a mix of man and zone coverages. The new defensive coordinator left the impression that he’s flexible. You’re not going to see the same thing every week. He’ll tweak the scheme depending on the opponent and the situation.

“It all depends on what you’re trying to take away,” Bowles said. “If it’s a quick passing team, all you can do is get pressure, let it go early. Depending on what we have in the back or what’s outside, we’ll either pressure or lay back more, depending on the game-plan.”

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