Bill Davis Gives His Thoughts On The Boykin Trade

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis kicked off today’s practice with a press conference and once again, focus was shifted to Brandon Boykin. Davis spoke at length about the thinking behind the deal, Boykin’s potential replacements and gave his thoughts on the idea Chip Kelly is hard to be around.

  • Davis claimed the team wasn’t planning on trading Boykin, but once the Steelers offer increased and he gauged the players behind Boykin on the depth chart, it became easier to pull the trigger.

“You never want to lose anyone, and I’m a Boykin fan,” Davis said. “I’ve always liked Brandon and he did a great job in the nickel for us, he was a pleasure to be around. I worked a coached a lot with the nickels the last few years so I got to know him even better than some of the other positions. But with the competition and the depth we have, when someone comes asking for a trade and you feel comfortable with the options you have if that particular player leaves, it was a close enough gap that we felt it was a good move for both [Boykin], us and the Steelers.”

  • Yesterday, rookie JaCorey Shepherd took the reps with the first-team defense as the nickel back, but Davis said he is just one of many competing for that spot.

“We had to have somebody take the first practice reps at nickel, JaCorey Shepherd is simply competing like all the other guys that are in there,” said Davis. “He just had the first rack, you’ll see him in there again today, we’re kind of going on a two day basis as far as who’s in group one, group two and group three.

“You got EJ Biggers in there, you got Malcolm [Jenkins] and [Walter] Thurmond who could both do it, you have Watkins, you got the young guys, [Denzel] Rice and [Randall] Evans. Everybody is going to get in there we’ll get a look at them.”

  • Davis also spoke about the comments Boykin made yesterday.

“It’s outstanding, and I say that from all sincerity,” Davis said, when asked about Kelly’s relationship with his players. “He has got one of the most open door policies of the guys I’ve been around. You can look at the guys I’ve been around and make your own assessments, some of the guys had closed door policies. [Kelly’s] is wide open. Boykin went into his office and had a long talk with Chip about his role, about outside corner, about nickel. He came into my office, we had great conversations with Brandon about all of those things.

“I think Chip has one of the biggest open door policies with the players and ask the guys that are in the building, he really does. It’s really being portrayed differently outside than it is inside, because he really has an easy to be around attitude.”

  • The Eagles signed former Delaware WR Mike Johnson this morning to fill Boykin’s roster spot. The team had previously invited Johnson to the rookie minicamp on a tryout basis in the spring.