Eagles Wake-Up Call: Todd Bowles At Ground Level

Philadelphia Eagles secondary coach Todd Bowles.The great question of our time has been answered: Todd Bowles will coach from the sideline Sunday, coming down from his usual perch in the coaches’ box.

“Just his presence on the field I think is important so he’ll be down on the field,” said Andy Reid.

New vantage point, new responsibilities for the veteran assistant coach who will be calling a game for the first time on the professional level. He has not had such duties since he was the defensive coordinator at Grambling State in the late 90’s.

“As a coordinator, you’ve got to make it all tie in together. You’ve got to make sure you’re helping somebody at a certain point in time without exposing the other,” said Bowles. “It’s not just helping Nnamdi [Asomugha] or helping Trent [Cole] or helping  DeMeco [Ryans]; it’s a matter of tying it all in together as a coordinator and you have to [have the] due diligence to make sure you do your homework and get that done.”

Bowles has maintained that there will only be tweaks to the approach as opposed to a philosophical shift in scheme. He will be walking a fine line between  putting his own twist on things, while staying with what is familiar to his players.

“As a coordinator, you always try to do that but you have to make sure it’s within the scheme of what we do, as opposed to just going out and grab bagging things and coming in and doing something that we’re not comfortable doing,” he said.

Bowles talked about the “cat and mouse” game he’ll have to play with opposing offenses to try and get the front-four loose. Sometimes he’ll use the blitz, other times different looks in coverage.

“We just have to creatively find ways to keep things a guessing game each week,” he said.

Bowles has the advantage in that department for this matchup. This is his first week, after all, so the opposition doesn’t know what’s coming. But they should know not to expect anything too crazy.

“I certainly didn’t invent the game and I’m not going to reinvent the game,” he said.


Danny Watkins missed his second straight day of practice with what Reid called a “chronic ankle.” Watkins is doubtful. Rookie Dennis Kelly is likely to start at right guard.

Sheil has his cheat sheets ready for Sunday. Read about the Eagles’ offense here and the defense here.

Was Bobby April sweating during the bye week? Here’s what the special teams coach had to say.


Peter King is picking the Eagles to win, 23-20.

All six wins by the Falcons are against teams currently .500 or less, which is no fault of their own obviously, simply a commentary on the fact they haven’t played a tough schedule. The Eagles, obviously, are the seventh, and a deceiving 3-3. I do believe Mike Vick, as he says, will play angry this week, not only because this is his old team but because he knows Andy Reid isn’t going to put up with his 2.2 turnovers per game, the highest quarterback average in the league.

Eight of the 12 experts at ESPN are going with the Birds as well.

Ashley Fox points out that the sky might not be falling on the Eagles, even if it feels like it.

The Eagles are up against a wall. No one expects them to win. The expectation is that they will crumble under the weight of the moment, press too much, and then fold, another season of great expectations gone. But consider the devil’s advocate. The Eagles beat the Giants earlier this season under tough conditions. They beat Baltimore, too. Will all still be lost if they win?


Eagles have a mock game at 11 a.m. in their final piece of preparation for the Falcons.