What Defense Will Davis Run?

Posted: September 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 82 Comments »

Some of you have asked the question that by going light at OLB, does that mean the Eagles could possibly play more of the 4-3 Under than the pure 3-4?

Sure, that’s possible.

Bill Davis said upfront that the preseason was all about evaluation. Trent Cole dropped back into coverage more in 3 preseason games than he’ll do in 2 months during the regular season. As Davis said, the coaches know Cole can attack off the ball. They wanted to work on his cover skills. That’s the unknown with him.

Davis wanted to see how the team looked in the 3-4. Each week he added more of the defense and got less vanilla. When the season starts on Monday, he’ll either run a more creative and aggressive 3-4 or he’ll run a lot of 4-3 Under. Davis saw this summer that the Eagles aren’t ready to be a traditional 3-4 team.

You have DEs learning to play LB. You have DTs learning to play DE. There is no dominant NT. The ILBs are adjusting to the new scheme as well, although both guys have played in a 3-4 previously.

The preseason taught us a lot about the Eagles offense. We saw the up-tempo attack. We saw 4 TE sets. We saw the read-option. We saw run-pass option plays. We don’t know everything, but we’re not clueless. When it comes to the defense, we really don’t know what to expect. Davis focused on very generic stuff to that he could figure out the players as individuals and as a whole.

The real test for Davis will be to take this knowledge and use it to shape a defense that can be effective. The Eagles won’t be the ’85 Bears. Heck, they won’t be the 2012 Bears. They just need to be “good enough”. They need to make some plays. I think there is enough talent to do that, but it will require creative coaching.

I don’t know if we ever saw Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry and Trent Cole on the field at the same time. That needs to happen. I’m not sure that Curry and Fletcher Cox played much together. That needs to happen. I’m not sure we saw Seth Joyner and Mychal Kendricks on the field together…okay, just testing you.

I haven’t been critical of Davis this summer because I understood he was focused on evaluation and not overall results. That changes on Monday. Oh, he’ll still be experimenting to figure out which schematic ideas, blitzes and player combinations work, but Davis will be held accountable for the way the defense plays. He must find a way to get the right players on the field at the same time.

One caveat to this…the Eagles aren’t the only up-tempo offense in the league. That means you won’t always have freedom to put out specialized Nickel and Dime units. There will be times when you’re stuck with your base defense. As much as I want to see the creative combinations, Davis can’t put them out there for an extended time. Vinny Curry is a good pass rushing DT. You wouldn’t want him on the field as a DT as part of the base defense very much. The opposing offense has to slow down and/or substitute so that Davis can get creative with his combinations.

I’m excited to see the new defense. I’ve got a lot to learn about the 3-4, 4-3 Under or whatever Davis throws out there.

* * * * *

Derek, the hack from Iggles Blog, is now doing some feature pieces for the Daily News. Kudos to them for the hire and to Derek for the gig. He is a great writer and will always “learn you good”. That’s redneck for “make you smarter”.

Derek did a piece on Davis and the Eagles defense, showing how the defense did change during the preseason.

* * * * *

Speaking of hacks…Jimmy Bama is now a full time Eagles writer for Philly.com. Kudos to them for that hire and to Bama for doing such a brilliant job this summer that they had to hire him.

Jimmy and I will continue to do our podcasts. Jimmy and his agent met with Joe Banner and me to talk terms. He wanted a raise. I explained to him that we don’t get paid for the shows and he said “That’s beside the point” and then started doing sit-ups. He stopped at 4 and was in intense pain. He then agreed to stick with the current deal, our 50-50 split of nothing.

Bama wrote his power rankings piece. He has the Eagles at…

I’m confused. Why would a team that will go 16-0 and win the Super Bowl not be ranked #1. Odd.

* * * * *

Sorry for the quiet day on Tuesday. Lots of crazy personal stuff going on and then I spent the evening hanging out with Dave Mustaine, Bruce Dickinson and 10,000 crazy metal fans.

I was lucky enough to go see Megadeth and Iron Maiden play last night. Great show. Megadeth was good. Maiden was epic. Those guys are all in their mid-to-late 50’s, but you’d never know it by how well they play and how active they are. Maiden doesn’t just put on a concert. They put on a show.

I was very encouraged to see kids there as young as 5 or 6. I also saw a couple that had to be in their 60’s.

If you like Maiden even a little, go catch a show sometime. You won’t regret it.


82 Comments on “What Defense Will Davis Run?”

  1. 1 Ben Hert said at 2:15 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I think this is going to be a fun, but frustrating defense to watch. We haven’t had much in the way of blitzing since the McDermontt days. I almost forgot what it was like to watch LB’s shoot the A gap and S’s blitz.

    I really hope we learn to give up less than what seems to be 5-6 yards every time the opposing offense hands the ball off. I don’t know what the problem is, but its only fun when its Shady doing it.

  2. 2 Matthew Verhoog said at 2:34 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I have extremely low expectations for the D

  3. 3 Tom33 said at 4:11 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    The only benefit of watching this team for the last couple of years.

  4. 4 jshort said at 5:05 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    That’s good!!!

  5. 5 xeynon said at 11:45 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Me too. I think that regardless of what system Davis ends up predominantly using, this is going to be a bottom 5 defense. There just isn’t very much talent on that side of the roster – the only guys who are above average starters are Cox, Kendricks, and Barwin. Maybe Curry gets there too, though he seems more likely to be a situational player. They have no great pass rushers and no great cover guys. Tough to even slow anybody down with that kind of personnel.

  6. 6 planetx1971 said at 6:38 AM on September 5th, 2013:

    Unfortunately, I think at this point, we can replace “low” with realistic expectations for the D this year. I have nightmarish visions of us being gashed for 50 yd. runs by MEDIOCRE backs this year. Bottom line is we just look disheveled/lost & lacking talent big time over there. Especially in the depth dept. An injury or 2 could be absolutely catastrophic. I’m just hopin our O & special teams can keep us in some games till the D does it’s best to sort itself out.

  7. 7 ACViking said at 2:45 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    T-law wrote:

    “. . . the Eagles aren’t the only up-tempo offense in the league. That means
    you won’t always have freedom to put out specialized Nickel and Dime

    Jeez, I don’t know. Spopoaga’s 32 years old. Playing the toughest position on the field.

    So I’d be shocked . . . shocked to see that Ike’s not getting nicked up 2-3 times a game, where the trainer has to come out.

    Damned shocked.

    And if Ike isn’t getting nicked up, then I’ll be damned disappointed in Davis.

  8. 8 Tom33 said at 4:17 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    But certainly nothing like this, right????

    November 1, 1988 | By Tim Kawakami, Daily News Sports Writer

    Eagles coach Buddy Ryan says safety Wes Hopkins was told to fake an injury in the final minutes of Sunday’s loss to Atlanta in order to stop the clock. Ryan said on his WCAU-AM radio show yesterday that he gave the order to Hopkins, who spent the last two years coming back from major damage to his left knee, because the Eagles were out of timeouts. “I told him to go down,” Ryan said. “So he went down and was carried off. It was just great acting. You’ve got to make it look good.”

  9. 9 ACViking said at 5:26 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    You had to love Buddy — especially training camp Buddy. Even regular season Buddy. But not playoffs Buddy.

  10. 10 A Roy said at 7:55 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    He may have been Nutty Buddy, but he was OUR Nutty Buddy.

  11. 11 Always Hopeful said at 12:23 AM on September 5th, 2013:

    Ugh, playoff Buddy…

  12. 12 planetx1971 said at 2:45 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I saw Maiden WAY back when. They were amazing. Wanted to tell you somethin funny about.my lifelong best friend got a job as a photogrer for Hit Parader Magazine in the 90’s. I went out to live with him in L.A. for a year during that time. Anyway when a band came in I liked he’d have me in & I’d meet them get autographs & what not. Well, to not act “star struck” I had this shtick of calling them the wrong rock stars name as a joke by an immediate just kidding. They all thought it was hilarius EXCEPT Dave Mustaine of Megadeath. I walked up all excited and said Axel Rose!! His band got the joke, but he just called me an f’n d-bag (the long version) I met Harrison Ford eight here in Vermont while filming “What Lies Beneath” I called him Robert Redford & he laughed his ass off. Couldn’t have been a cooler guy. Anyway I’m done. Sorry to stray from football….:)

  13. 13 Homer Frizzell said at 2:53 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Good stuff. Whereabouts in VT?

  14. 14 planetx1971 said at 2:58 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I met him outside a bar near the water front on lake Champlain. We were on opposite sides of a truck admiring the same race bike. I guess he’s got a collection of about 50 bikes @ his ranch in Wyoming. He honestly could not have been a more cool or regular guy.

  15. 15 Homer Frizzell said at 3:05 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I’m a Vermont guy though am in NYC now.
    I have a friend there who has a story about meeting him at Ake’s Place.
    Anyway, good stuff.
    I’m ready for some Monday night football.

  16. 16 planetx1971 said at 4:20 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Oh man! All my Eagles brothers have abandoned ship up here since around y2k or so. It’s harsh up here because I honestly CHOOSE to hang out with my buds that are Cowboy fans, hard as it is to imagine, FRIGGING Patriot fans are 100x more cocky & insufferable.

  17. 17 Homer Frizzell said at 4:26 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I’m from the NEK (Charleston) and spent a few years in Burlington while going to UVM. You’re in the Burlington area?

  18. 18 P_P_K said at 4:27 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I’m in Addison County. I’m originally from Philly. I watch the Eagles with 2 other guys also from the old ‘hood.

  19. 19 planetx1971 said at 4:57 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Oh man that’s cool! I get together with a couple Birds fans from Montpelier to watch the games….

  20. 20 P_P_K said at 9:49 AM on September 5th, 2013:

    We go to the home of a buddy whose wife is a gourmet cook. She makes an amazing spread every week. No cold pizza for us.

  21. 21 planetx1971 said at 1:59 PM on September 5th, 2013:

    Kickin a man when hes down. Real nice PPK REEEEAL nice lol Although we don’t have a huge “spread” for a bunch of bachelors we do OK. No matter how cold or late in the season, we bust out the grill & do up Teryaki marinated Venison & tin foil wrapped potatoes with butter & Chives. That’s our typical game day meal πŸ™‚

  22. 22 P_P_K said at 7:39 PM on September 5th, 2013:

    You’re down? No way, my man. We’re Vermonters AND Eagles fans. Our lowest is most guys highest!

  23. 23 planetx1971 said at 9:53 PM on September 5th, 2013:

    I just imagined what you said im the voice of a pre game Ray Lewis speech. Got me really fired up! lol πŸ™‚

  24. 24 Homer Frizzell said at 4:28 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    And I agree. The Pats fans got to be about as bad as the Giants fans up there. (And I’d never willing hang out with Cowboy fans.)

  25. 25 planetx1971 said at 5:03 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Maybe it’s just my buds that are boys fans that are tolerable. They rip on their team like we do ours when things are bad. Give me no more crap than I give them & can accept their defeats. The Patriots fans NEVER accept defeat. It was always a refs fault or if this or that just happened. Drives me INSANE. One odd thing, this area at one point was loaded with Giants fans. Not anymore. It’s like they’re extinct. I can’t even REMEMBER The last Giants hat or Jersey I saw now that I think about it….

  26. 26 planetx1971 said at 4:54 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    No I was just down there bar hopping that night. I’m actually from Cabot (yes the place the cheese comes from lol) lots of my friends & brother in law are from the NEK. Barton, Glover, Newport & the like. I went to the very last Bread & Puppet in Glover. They were so fun. Our “site” was just a few feet from where the guy got punched & died from it. Ending the whole awesome yearly event for good πŸ™

  27. 27 planetx1971 said at 4:24 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I should’ve asked before, where in VT. did you used to hail from?

  28. 28 JJ_Cake said at 12:40 AM on September 5th, 2013:

    I’ve hear Han Solo is a real cool guy, cool story thanks for sharing.

    Also have heard Dave is pretty uptight and cranky. Love his Rust in Peace songs, but the dude is just an angry dick.

  29. 29 planetx1971 said at 7:14 AM on September 5th, 2013:

    Yes Dave did NOTHING to tarnish his legacy of douchbaggery around me. I mean he DID even manage to get himself fired from Metallica for his anger & constant drunken belligerence. But atleast the world ended up with 2 kick ass metal bands out of the deal πŸ™‚

  30. 30 T_S_O_P said at 2:56 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I know I’ve said this before, but I saw Maiden on there first tour with Bruce the Pilot as the lead. 1981 or 82, I’d of swapped it to watch the Eagles lose to the Raiders, however it would of meant little as I had no clue what ‘gridiron’ was then except for a crazy game on those old TV ‘ping’ machines circa 1978.

  31. 31 planetx1971 said at 4:16 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Lmao GREAT stuff! I’m sure Maiden kicked ass then too. They were still cool when I saw them in L.A. in the 90’s. But if I’m being totally honest, things had gone a little “Spinal Tappish” at that point if you get my meaning. Lol all they were missing was a bunch of midgets dressed as leprechauns & an 18″ replica of Stonehenge. Oh god I gotta stop I’m losin it bad just THINKING of that movie!

  32. 32 JJ_Cake said at 12:53 AM on September 5th, 2013:

    They were fun back in the day, I’m sure Janick is a cool guy, but I’ll never get used to Iron Maiden with 3 guitars. A 3rd guitar just doesn’t add anything to the music, unless it’s an acoustic with two electrics.

    Real happy to see the staying power that Bruce, Steve, Dave, Adrian, and Nicko have, real decent guys (watch the airline 666 rockumentary of their tour around the world).

    You were better off with the Maiden concert. I remember watching the Eagles and Raiders Superbowl and was so let down that Jaws choked in that game.

  33. 33 ACViking said at 3:03 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Re: Historical 3-4 Defenses


    If you’re gonna talk great defenses, no reason you can’t point back to the 1980 Eagles 3-4 defense . . . .

    In their run to the SB, that very physical defense finished 1st overall in points allowed and 2nd overall in yards allowed.

    It was a tremendously disciplined and physical group.

    By the way, on the topic of D-Coordinators . . .

    Marion Campbell took over as the Eagles DC in 1977, converting the team from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Vermeil — in the midst of having zero 1st-round picks for the initial three seasons of his tenure — said Campbell was worth at least a No. 1.

    Well . . . with essentially the same group from ’76, the Eagles went from 19th to 7th in scoring, and 21st to 10th in yards allowed.

    Campbell had only one great player: MLB Bill Bergey.

    He had four very good players: DE Carl Hairston, NT Charlie Johnson (a rookie who didn’t start til mid-season), ILB Frank Lemaster, and SS Randy Logan.

    Look what Campbell had: Strength up the middle at NT, ILB, and SS. Back in the late ’70s to early ’80s, that was important.

    Bottom line . . . coaching matters. (As the late Jim Johnson also proved.)

  34. 34 ICDogg said at 5:36 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Bergey, great as he was, but coming off a knee injury which ended his 1979 campaign, was not at his best in 1980. But Jerry Robinson was coming into his own.

    Roynell Young, a rookie that year (I think), was a pretty good player too.

  35. 35 ACViking said at 6:58 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Yes . . . great stuff.

    Robinson was one of the two best Eagles OLB since the last championship in 1960 — the other being 1960 rookie starter and 2nd Rd pick, Maxie Baughn

    Roynell Young . . . .

    ICDogg, the Raiders unfortunately took him to school twice. That is, Cliff Branch did in both of those games in 1980.

    And how ’bout that Dante Pastorini — doubling up like Danny White.

    Do you think White’s the last guy to pull full-time double duty like that?

  36. 36 ICDogg said at 7:14 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Not sure if Tom Tupa ever did both in the same game. Sometimes he was the QB, and sometimes he was the punter, but I don’t remember if he had any stretch where he was expected to do both.

  37. 37 ICDogg said at 7:35 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Punting specialists pretty much didn’t exist until some time in the 60s, I think. I remember even in the early 70s we had Bill Bradley punting and playing safety. And, returning punts and kicks.

  38. 38 A Roy said at 7:52 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Back in the mid 70s, we had West Chester State’s own, Merritt Kersey. Ha averaged around 35yds per punt for his career. Although he was bad, he wasn’t terribly worse than many in those days. Someone who averaged 40 was a top notch punter in those days. That’s not good enough to stay employed in today’s NFL.

  39. 39 Sean Scheinfeld said at 3:23 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I think this defense is going to perform better than most seem to think. Anyone projecting a historically bad defense is off base. A lot of the local media members keep making jokes about the secondary and how little talent the defense has. The way I see it, they have a capable pair of starting corners and a very good slot guy, two solid MLBs, and some pass rushing ability at OLB. What is it exactly that makes everyone think the D is so terrible and untalented?

  40. 40 Neil said at 6:36 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Funny, I think the defensive line is the most talented group and you didn’t even mention them. If Cox plays up to his potential he can be an impact player.

  41. 41 Mac said at 3:27 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I’m more optimistic on this defense than most people because:

    1. I expect better tackling (i mean it has to get better right?)

    2. I expect players to know their responsibilities (as opposed to pointing fingers)
    3. I expect more turnovers (partially as a result of actually tackling people)
    4. I expect better field position (due to better special teams play)
    5. I expect to see more bend but don’t break plays

    I think with these advantages (basics) the defense will take a big step in the right direction this year.

  42. 42 Iskar36 said at 4:08 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Not really disagreeing with you, but can I ask WHY you expect those things? I’m just not a fan of expecting a team to get better, simply because it can’t get worse. A similar argument was used for going from an injured Stewart Bradley to Casey Matthews, and we saw how that went.

    With tackling, I can see the argument that they brought in players who are more willing to tackle and got rid of players (DRC and Nnamdi who do not like tackling). So there I can see an improvement.

    In terms of knowing responsibilities, I’m not sure we can say that with any confidence. Maybe they are, maybe they are not. Switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 will be a transition for a lot of the players and that my make it harder to know responsibilities, but on the other hand, Davis may be a better teacher than Castillo. Who knows.

    In terms of turnovers, there is some luck associated with that in addition to some skill. From a luck perspective, I think we were a bit unlucky last year, but that doesn’t mean we necessarily will have better luck this year. From a skill perspective, I’m hoping that proves to be one of Davis’ strengths, but right now, I’m not sure you can say it is or isn’t.

    I fully agree with you on the field position issue. We had horrendous field position last year and STs seems like it was a point of emphasis for CK so I have to believe it will be improved.

    Finally, in terms of bend but don’t break… I don’t know that we have any strong reason to believe that will happen as of right now. Again, maybe it will maybe it won’t.

  43. 43 A_T_G said at 4:20 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I agree fully with both of you. I am optimistic that the defense will be improved this year, but admit that there is scant evidence on which to base that optimism. I blame it on being a fan: we are undefeated in games that count, why not hope that remains true?

  44. 44 Andy124 said at 4:23 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    True. But we’re freaking winless is games that count! Why hasn’t Chip won anything yet?!

  45. 45 Mac said at 4:53 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    All good points… I think it is reasonable to expect better tackling especially with better personnel in the secondary.

    Game tape will judge between Bill Davis and Juan Castillo, but I’m ready to assume that Bill Davis has a clear vision of how his defense is supposed to work, which I believe should result in players knowing what to do on a given play. This may not be the case, and could be bollixed up by poor coaching or lack of execution by the players. But the level of finger pointing (both literal and figurative) that occurred last year was absurd. If it is as bad or heaven forbid worse, I will be disappointed.

    I buying into what Brent at Eagles Rewind was saying about turnovers on that point. That it’s not a likely repeatable event.

    ST I think we’re on the same page.

    The last point is really much more of a hopeful thing than any of the other points. I really hope/believe that Chip and Davis see how crushing big play scores are and emphasize a defense that prevents quick scores. So yes, this is totally guess work on my part.

  46. 46 Michael Winter Cho said at 8:43 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Regression to the mean is really all we would need. Some of last year’s play was just exceptionally bad, some of the worst, unprofessional play I’ve ever seen. The D-Coordinator was an offensive line coach, for crying out loud! If Bill Davis is just middle-of-the-road competent, and he manages to get our mediocre talent to play professionally, we will have a much-improved D.

  47. 47 OregonDucker said at 6:31 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Regarding turnovers, I’d like to elaborate my perception of Chip’s strategic intent. Having a uptempo, fast scoring Offense puts the burden on the opposing team to perform. If Eagles ST are very good, the opposing O is always starting deep in their territory. If the ST is intimidating, you could see trunovers on kicks.

    If the Eagles O can dominate, then you will see the opposing O take lots of chances. Here is where the Eagles D can confuse and disrupt; resulting in turnovers. It is the opposing O trying beyond its skill set to catch up that drives a lot of turnovers and the Eagles D can take advantage.

    The whole thing with Chip is disruption and putting the opposing team in catch-up mode. With good Eagles ST, the mountain gets higher for the opposing team to climb.

  48. 48 jackpotsdad said at 7:41 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Yup. Going to echo the same thing. I’ve seen Oregon bring a lot, and I mean a lot, of psychological pressure by scoring early. It’s like that jab that rocks you back on your heels. And by relentlessly scoring often at a fast tempo, it’s demoralizing. I’ve seen countless teams, which are otherwise really good teams, just fall apart under the pressure.

    This pressure not only forces the opposing offense to act differently, but it is deflating for the defense – it adds even more urgency that they get stops. Add in special teams which gives you unfavorable field positions, and you get a lot of uncharacteristic behavior that leads to mistakes.

    Now admittedly, this is the NFL and teams should be more disciplined. However, expect a lot of disruptive tactics that will force opposing defensive coordinators to rue mismatches and opposing offensive coordinators to try to figure out what’s coming.

  49. 49 A_T_G said at 9:04 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I hope it goes just like the two of you explained, but…

    The NFL has a lot more parity than college ball and a higher level of talent and maturity at all positions. I am a little worried that the opponents won’t crack quite as easily.

    Now, the little I have seen from Chip so far has me believing that he has more depth to him than a simple bum rush. I just hope he can experience the same success when the margins are slimmer and the tide is tougher to control.

  50. 50 Cafone said at 4:18 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Did you piss off someone at the city papers Tommy? Don’t get me wrong… I like Kempski and Derek. But you’ve clearly been the best Eagles writer out there for a number of years now. And to take it a step further, I’ve been extremely impressed by how natural and entertaining you are on the podcasts. If the world was fair we’d get to tune into CSN Philly and see you on the panels there.

  51. 51 A_T_G said at 4:22 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I think Megan Fox must have pulled some strings to have him blacklisted.

  52. 52 Matthew Verhoog said at 4:41 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I agree tommy is really good on the radio

  53. 53 A Roy said at 7:45 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    He certainly has the looks for it…

  54. 54 Cafone said at 8:34 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    You’d think someone would put him on TV for the Funyuns ad revenue alone..

  55. 55 Corry said at 9:51 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    PBR should talk to him about being a spokesman.

  56. 56 jshort said at 5:01 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Aww, but his network grows. Jimmy references Tommy quite a bit. Tl might be on PS now , but moves to the big time soon. Sorta like how Chip takes care of his duckers

  57. 57 ICDogg said at 5:57 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Speaking of which, Les Bowen opened up a can of worms on Twitter yesterday tweeting about how it was better when sportswriting was about writing compelling stories instead of who is in the A gap.

  58. 58 Anders said at 6:01 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    and Brian Solomon made a very good answer to that


  59. 59 A_T_G said at 8:50 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    He sure did. Good stuff.

  60. 60 D3FB said at 8:57 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Boom! Roasted!

  61. 61 ACViking said at 6:54 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Longtime reader here — like ICDogg.

    Bowen’s dead wrong . . . at least for the serious fan.

    My favorite part of Monday after a game was coming home fro school to see the the old Philadelphia Bulletin.

    The Bulletin, unlike the other papers, would put 3 or 4 photos rapidly taken on a key play to show what won or lost the game (mostly lost) for the Eagles.

    That was great stuff. Not a column on how the Eagles lacked talent or good coaching. That was pretty obvious.

    But I was in the minority I suspect, as ICDogg probably was, too.

    Doesn’t mean “good story” pieces didn’t have a place. I just preferred analysis.

  62. 62 Cafone said at 8:27 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    But how many of the “good story” pieces were actually good stories? There’s a sports section everyday and there just aren’t that many good stories out there.

    My issue with the Eagles print media was not what they weren’t writing. I couldn’t have known what I was missing before it existed. My issue was with what they were writing. Philadelphia has a reputation as a tough town for athletes, but is that really because of the fans or was it because of sportswriters who had nothing to write about so they amplified every little thing a player said until it became a major controversy? I think it was the latter. And I think we’ve seen quite a few players, like Iverson and Lindros, who did not live up to expectations partly because they were constantly dealing with Philadelphia’s sports media paparazzi.

    But that was me ranting and not really replying to what you said. So I’ll pour out an e-Shaefer for the Bulletin

  63. 63 since1961 said at 9:20 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Oh my. The Bulletin called them “machine gun photos”, and they were great. I’ll never forget the one where Jack Concannon scrambled and was running down the far sideline, and Bob Brown PASSED him on the inside to stone some poor DB. Was that ‘husker the real deal!

  64. 64 ICDogg said at 1:05 AM on September 5th, 2013:

    Bob Brown, now there’s a name I haven’t heard or thought of in years.

  65. 65 Cafone said at 7:52 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    It’s always hilarious when self important people reveal themselves to be hopelessly out of touch.

    Maybe what he meant to say is that it was better when sportswriters didn’t have to do any real work watching film and could just crap out a few paragraphs of fabricated controversy or feel good BS and call it a day.

  66. 66 Cafone said at 8:12 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I just went to Bowen’s twitter to see if you were taking that out of context and you weren’t. But even more than that, it was written just a half hour after Kempski’s twitter announcement that he would be blogging about the Eagles full time, so I found it to be particularly bad form by Bowen.

    There’s also a little irony in a member of the old guard calling out the need breed of internet sports journalism with the kind of bitter snark usually found in a message board comment.

  67. 67 ICDogg said at 8:15 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    As far as timing I think it had more to do with Derek’s detailed article breaking down the changes in the defense during the preseason. That was a much more complex article about the intricacies of defense than any Inqy/DN article probably ever.

  68. 68 A_T_G said at 8:34 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    And Derek specifically mentions A-gap blitzes.

  69. 69 Cafone said at 9:45 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Oh, you’re probably right. Good article.

    Solomon’s article was a good start, but I wouldn’t mind seeing more written on the phenomenon by someone on the other side of the fence. Maybe audiences are smarter these days and we demand smarter coverage. Maybe it’s just because we want more, more, more! Maybe the never ending scandals have made readers more cynical about player stories and we’d rather immerse ourselves in minutiae.

    I also find it interesting that while internet readers seem to be demanding more in-depth technical analysis, television often seems to be heading in the opposite direction with guys like Steven A. Smith and Skip Bayless on ESPN and Jamie Dukes on the NFL network.

  70. 70 Corry said at 9:49 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    There’s definitely room for both the “story telling” aspect of sports and the analysis pieces that a lot of the bloggers do, but I thought Bowen came off as a grumpy old man. I was half expecting a tweet about how he had to walk up hill to school in the snow with no shoes on.

  71. 71 Mac said at 10:34 AM on September 5th, 2013:

    Bowen still has important peers in the compelling stories venue with the likes of Skip Bayless.

  72. 72 JJ_Cake said at 12:56 AM on September 5th, 2013:

    Yeah Tommy, hope you get a shot at giving up your day job to make a living doing what you love bro’.

  73. 73 Kevin said at 5:12 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I love Iron Maiden and saw them live several years ago. You’re spot on. They’re still bursting with energy and put on an incredible performance. I’ll definitely be seeing them again.

  74. 74 Anders said at 5:53 PM on September 4th, 2013:


    we better be careful

  75. 75 ICDogg said at 5:55 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I guess practicing at the Novacare got the Eagles prepared for that

  76. 76 DF587 said at 8:06 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Mildly jealous of your concert. 1st concert I ever went to was Megadeth and Suicidal Tendencies at the Fox theatre in Atlanta. I was hooked, saw them three more times.

  77. 77 Cafone said at 8:41 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    If you’re an old metal fan, I strongly recommend you check out Heavy Metal Parking Lot if you’ve never seen it: http://youtu.be/BcS1tTqFwcs . It’s a “documentary” (using the term loosely) shot in a Baltimore parking lot before a Judas Priest concert in 1986.

  78. 78 Weapon Y said at 8:45 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    I’m jealous because I didn’t get to go to the Megadeth/Maiden concert. Although keeping only 3 outside linebackers is a move I would disagree with, I do see the logic behind it. Chip’s all about his backups being good special teams players. For him, it’s worth it to keep a 6th CB, 5th Safety, or 5th ILB if your special teams are better. In the unlikely event that 2 OLBs get injured in the same game, we can either alter the scheme for the remainder of the game or only plug in Curry or Matthews for one game. After that, Chip is free to sign a guy off the street. It’s not the best plan and I’m even critical of Chip for not bringing in another good OLB. Not necessarily a starter, but a competent backup so we’d have him, Barwin, Cole, and Graham particularly because the latter two are woefully inexperienced at OLB. Anyway, my point is that I disagree with the plan, but I don’t think it’s the end of the world.

  79. 79 Weapon Y said at 11:31 PM on September 4th, 2013:

    Tommy, I forget if this has already been discussed, but is it possible that the lack of music between plays at DC (in contrast to the Linc for preseason) literally throws off this team’s rhythm? It sounded like a cool idea, but I’m wondering if muscle memory is going to be adversely affected on the road. Maybe I’m just making a mountain out of a molehill.

  80. 80 Anders said at 12:40 AM on September 5th, 2013:

    Oregon havnt lost a road game in like 3 or 4 years, so I really doubt it will matter

  81. 81 eagleyankfan said at 6:48 AM on September 5th, 2013:

    Great breakdown by Derek. Good to see that Allen hasn’t learned from last year. That’s promising. puke.

  82. 82 GEagle said at 8:50 AM on September 5th, 2013:

    This will be a 4-3U based defense…PERIOD!!! Yeah I said it! Lol