Defensive Talent

Posted: October 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 168 Comments »

Sunday’s showing raised more questions about the defense. One of the discussions was about how good some of these players are. They certainly didn’t show much talent against the Broncos.

We talked about this prior to the season, but it is worth re-visiting. This defense is based mostly on 4-3 talent. Imagine this for a minute:

DE Trent Cole
DT Fletcher Cox
DT Cedric Thornton
DE Brandon Graham
* DL Vinny Curry

MLB DeMeco Ryans
WLB Mychal Kendricks

That would be a talented front seven. Players would be used in roles that are natural to them. That group wouldn’t be last in the NFL in defense. Put those same guys into a 3-4 system and their talent is marginalized. Their years of experience go out the window. They have to learn a new system and new roles. No one is comfortable.

You can talk about how untalented the defense is. You can rip Howie Roseman and the scouts. But that’s not being fair to the situation. The bulk of these players were brought here to play in a 1-gap 4-3 system.

Chip Kelly believes in the 3-4 defense. He hired a 3-4 coach in Bill Davis. We expected to see more of a hybrid system this year, but we’ve mainly gotten the 3-4.

Why would Kelly “waste” the defensive talent like this? He feels the 3-4 is the way to go. He could have spent this year trying to put a better defense on the field, but then next year the players would have had the very same issues as they moved to the 3-4. I don’t like Kelly’s defensive choice, but I do agree that it was wise to make the move now.

I’d still prefer more of a 1-gap attacking system that let talented players like Vinny Curry get on the field and make plays.

What does have me confused is that Kelly and Davis talked about the difficulty of the transition from the Wide-9 to a 2-gap 3-4. They knew going in that would be a really difficult transition. They talked about finding a happy medium, so that the players could start to get adjusted to the new system, but also would be used in a way that would give them a chance to be successful this year.

That’s not happening right now.

So a talented player like Curry sits. Graham plays minimal snaps. And Isaac Sopoaga is on the field, accomplishing virtually nothing.

I hope Kelly and Davis make some adjustments to the scheme and player rotation so that this group can be more effective this year. We do have to understand this is Year 1 of an awkward transition. And the Eagles haven’t caught any breaks in terms of who they’ve faced. Phillip Rivers is 2nd in the league in QB rating at 118. He’s having a career year. Alex Smith and the Chiefs are red hot right now. And Peyton Manning is on pace for one of the greatest seasons in football history.

The Eagles do have some defensive talent. What they don’t have are superstars, guys that transcend schemes and can be great any way you use them.

I still think Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks can become star players in this system. Brandon Boykin has excellent potential. But the defense needs more 3-4 guys and it needs more talent. This time last year Roseman and the scouts were looking for Wide-9 talent. This season they are fully committed to finding 3-4 talent. That should make a difference when free agency and the draft roll around.

It better.

* * * * *

I did like what Bill Davis had to say in his PC today.

He talked about the mistakes that the defense made on Sunday. He did a good job of explaining what the problems were.

Davis also talked about seeing growth. This is hard for the average person to understand, but I know what he’s talking about. He’s seeing the players start to understand the scheme. He’s seeing things look more natural.

Sunday’s results don’t show it, but that can be deceiving. The Broncos are killing everyone. They put up 49 points and 510 yards on the Ravens.

Are the Broncos, Chargers and Skins all in the Top 9 in total offense because they faced the Eagles or are the Eagles dead last in defense because they faced the Broncos, Chargers and Skins? We’ll get the answer to this question in the next few weeks when the Eagles play some offenses that aren’t red hot.

If the awful numbers continue…well, let’s just not think about that right now. A couple of INTs from Eli would go a long way to making the defense look better to everyone.

Davis needs something good to happen, whether takeaways, 3rd down stops or Red Zone stops. He needs those players to step up and start making some plays.


168 Comments on “Defensive Talent”

  1. 1 Alex Karklins said at 9:52 PM on October 1st, 2013:

    SAM in the 4-3 would be Barwin, no?

  2. 2 Enslaved Meth Cook said at 9:56 PM on October 1st, 2013:


  3. 3 TommyLawlor said at 12:08 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    My assumption was that we might have signed or drafted someone else to play SAM. Barwin would be good, but not sure we’d have gone after him for the 4-3. SAM in the 4-3 is more of a role player gig.

  4. 4 Alex Karklins said at 12:55 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Ah, OK. I was thinking in terms of what the Eagles have right now, rather than what they had before draft/FA.

  5. 5 Enslaved Meth Cook said at 9:57 PM on October 1st, 2013:

    Should just stay with with the 4-3, we have an above average 4-3 defensive line, switchto 3-4 when you can actually play it with the right players. Mind boggling

  6. 6 jshort said at 10:17 PM on October 1st, 2013:

    Coaches will know by the end of the season which players have caught on, and what to do in FA or draft. Might as well have the growing pains right now.

  7. 7 Always Hopeful said at 12:03 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    As much as it pains us to watch this process, I think it is the right way to go for the long term.

  8. 8 TommyLawlor said at 12:09 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I wish we did stay 4-3, but Kelly doesn’t believe in that scheme. More and more coaches are going 3-4.

    Buddy Ryan is one of the all-time masters of the 4-3. Both of his sons run the 3-4. That should tell you something.

  9. 9 Matthew Bowman said at 11:07 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Doesn’t Rex Ryan run more of a one-gap hybrid defense out of an under front as opposed to our “true” two-gapping 3-4?

  10. 10 ACViking said at 11:33 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    that is true.

  11. 11 sew737 said at 9:01 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    iT DOESN T MATTER… Things should start from up top..proper drafting needs to be accomplished. Look schem sheme …you draft studs they will be very good in a 3-4 or 4-3.Geez Bunkley is doing a decent job as a nose tackle.The Iggles do not have a good track record when drafting or maybe keeping good defensive personnel.. The track record here proves this. The real Gm left to Indianapolis on time…he knew when to get out… the team needs a real football man to run the place,not an office wonk. I hope i m wrong but until the chain of command is changed there will not be a super bowl trophy in Philly.

  12. 12 Corry said at 9:57 PM on October 1st, 2013:

    What happened to changing the scheme to fit the personnel? We have a plethora of 1 gap talent on the front 7, yet we’re still ram-rodding 1 gap personnel into a 2 gap scheme. I understand we’d have to make the change eventually, but I’d have to think that the change would be made easier with another year to draft and sign players who fit the system a bit better.

    EDIT: Also…Boykin at OLB? WTF?

  13. 13 anon said at 12:10 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Davis explained this in the PC. He said that Peyton went from 11 to 12 personnel and BD didn’t substitute. So they were supposed to be in base, but had nickel personnel on the field. He took credit for that error. Gotta respect him for at least being a stand up guy.

  14. 14 Corry said at 5:15 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    He’s had Boykin at OLB before this game. And honestly, why is there even a package with a 5’9″, 180 pound player playing that position. Has he even gotten close to the QB?

    Also, due to my bias against Davis, I don’t really respect anything he says or does 😛

  15. 15 Daniel Norman Richwine said at 10:00 PM on October 1st, 2013:

    I love the 3-4 as much as you love the 4-3.

  16. 16 TommyLawlor said at 12:09 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    You are now my sworn enemy.

  17. 17 PeterAkkies said at 10:02 PM on October 1st, 2013:

    It frustrates me that insisting on a 3-4 requires us to spend future draft picks on DL and OLBs, while we have other needs (#1 WR, safety, CB, maybe a QB). If we’d stayed with a 4-3, at least for a few years, we could have tried to lean toward those positions in the draft first. And those positions don’t depend on whether the DL is a 3-4 or a 4-3 so we could then make the switch later and not have any more difficult of a transition than we do now.

    Of course, the coaches probably thought this through and have reasons for not doing it that way.

  18. 18 westy36 said at 11:13 PM on October 1st, 2013:

    I understand what you’re saying but then the team will be going through a transition on defense for the majority of players when we are probably more of a playoff and Superbowl contender on offense. Changing things now means no need to transition to the 3-4 later with all the mistakes that will inevitably come with doing so when we really have a chance to win it all.

  19. 19 xeynon said at 11:25 PM on October 1st, 2013:

    Agree with this analysis. This is a “take your lumps now to benefit later” situation.

  20. 20 Tyler Phillips said at 11:42 PM on October 1st, 2013:

    I guess you guys just have more faith in Bill Davis than I do at the moment

  21. 21 xeynon said at 11:50 PM on October 1st, 2013:

    I don’t have any faith in him to turn this defense around this season. I’m reserving judgment on him as a defensive tactician until I see what he does with better pieces, though his track record is mixed at best. He does have some encouraging history as a teacher though (some of the young guys he coached in San Francisco, Arizona, and Cleveland developed into outstanding players).

  22. 22 PeterAkkies said at 12:09 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    That’s a good point. I do think our offense is already very good, but what you can apply to when the rest of our defense is substantially better. Better to transition our DL while our secondary still isn’t very good and we weren’t going to have a good defense anyway.

    Still not sure that I’d do it the same way, but at least it’s an argument in favor of what the coaches are doing. And it is really an argument in favor of sticking with the 4-3 in the first place, of course, though I understand that we need to let Chip and Bill build their team.

    Either way, it’s painful to watch talented players not being used to their maximum ability.

    (On a side note, though I hope it will, it’s not a given that our offense will get much better. Maybe having a great young QB will help, but we already have a baller running game due to having a top running back and a good offensive line. There’s no guarantee we’ll still have a dominant running game by the time our defense becomes respectable.)

  23. 23 anon said at 12:13 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    That’s my no.1 issue — the problem with the transition over a couple of years is that McCoy is in his prime – if it takes 2 more years before we contend McCoy will be 27 and hopefully have 4,000 more yds on his legs. It’s like the Vikings and AP.

  24. 24 PeterAkkies said at 12:16 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Exactly. On the other hand, I’m sure people will argue — and I would agree — that you shouldn’t build your team around one player, and that either way winning it all in the NFL requires some luck, too. In this case, luck in the form of timing, in that you get some star players together on a team when they’re mostly still in their prime.

  25. 25 anon said at 12:32 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Hear you — just that we seem to have issues bringing in talent.

  26. 26 Telmert said at 10:25 PM on October 1st, 2013:

    I may be alone in thinking this way, but I think Bill Davis should get some slack on games 2 and 3. The combined time of possession in those two games was 79:24 to 40:36. Some of that because the defense couldn’t get off the field, but some was the offense giving the ball right back. No defense is going to play well if they’re on the field for 40 minutes. Remember, too, it was Chip’s mistake at the end of the SD game that put the defense back out on the field. They were in position to run the clock and play for the TD or OT.

    I just checked the play by play on the Denver game. I don’t know how often this happens in the NFL, but the Broncos took a grand total of zero offensive penalties in the game. No holds, no false starts, no illegal motions, nothing. You normally see some of those penalties and they contribute in a big way to defensive stops.

    On the other hand, if the intention was always to go 3-4, there is no excuse for not having a real NT on this team. Why grab King and Kruger and Square but avoid signing at least one 340 lb UDFA? Why wouldn’t you move Graham when he had some value coming off the end of last season? Why not sign an OLB with cover skills to come in on 3rd and long?

    The last real play of the Denver game was Osweiler scrambling to the sidelines and getting the first down. Initially, I thought Goode had the angle on him, but Osweiler blew by him. Did anyone else watch that and wonder whether Acho would have tackled him short of the sticks?

  27. 27 anon said at 12:06 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Didn’t wonder about Acho, but agree that given that we are undergoing a transition we did a poor job of acquiring talent in the offseason. Maybe howie is going to fire the defense after this year. That said the schemes still don’t make sense for the personnel, secondary included. We say we want an attacking defense but all we have is a prevent defense and if you’re playing prevent people are going to put up yards. We don’t have a pass rush at all in base, we don’t have cover LBs so we’re getting killed in the slot (glad i have V. Cruz in fantasy).

    But billy is right — defense has to all work together a breakdown by one player busts the scheme. That’s why it looked like Sconces got killed on that fade — Wolff was supposed to come up top, Sconces comes underneath for the pick.

    I understand that this year was to focus on trying to get the offensive scheme right — but when you’re constantly playing catch up it really limits what you can do offensively, bc there’s a huge pressure to score points quickly b/c you know you need 7 every time. I think Kelly probably underestimated how bad the D would be and how good opposing teams were (and their ability to make changes on a weekly basis).

  28. 28 ACViking said at 9:30 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    All good, ANON.

    And it’s exactly why Roseman’s “Re-Tooling” comment grates.

  29. 29 Anders said at 9:32 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    The great talent of Acho-man who cant even get on the active roster on the Giants who have worse LBs than us.

  30. 30 xeynon said at 10:42 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Indeed. Haven’t seen this much fuss about not keeping a marginal player since they cut Jerome McDougle.

  31. 31 BlindChow said at 10:48 PM on October 1st, 2013:

    That Washington game really spoiled us on both offense and defense. Forced fumbles, interceptions… It had been forever since we’d seen that. And we’ve barely seen them since…

  32. 32 xeynon said at 11:26 PM on October 1st, 2013:

    Part of that, we may have to acknowledge, is that the Redskins stink. Other than the running game, there isn’t a single aspect of that team that is above average.

  33. 33 xeynon said at 11:23 PM on October 1st, 2013:

    To me “lack of talent” doesn’t always equate to “lack of any talent” – it sometimes equates to “lack of talent for the scheme the team is trying to play”. Aside from a few recent additions who were brought in because they fit the scheme (Sopoaga, Barwin, and Logan) the Eagles’ current defense is a mix of guys who are miscast in the roles they’re currently being asked to play (Graham, Curry, Ryans, Cole), guys who look like they’ll need time to transition to the different responsibilities demanded by a 3-4 (Cox, Kendricks, Thornton) and guys who just plain aren’t very good football players (the entire secondary, other than Boykin). I think when many of us say “this defense needs an infusion of talent” implicit in that is “suitable to play a 3-4”. Add a Vince Wilfork space-eating nose tackle, a couple of outside linebackers who are comfortable rushing the passer as well as dropping back in coverage, and another D-end or two who’s comfortable playing two-gap, and this is a very good front seven even if the overall skill level of those players isn’t any higher than that of the guys we have now. The secondary however is going to require wholesale repairs.

  34. 34 Jernst said at 9:40 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    So let me get this straight…all we need to get is a great NT, a few good defensive ends, two good OLBs who can rush and drop into coverage, an entirely new secondary and both Kendricks and Cox to simply adjust to a 3-4 and we’ve got ourself a good defense! We’re so close!!

  35. 35 Anders said at 9:45 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    We do not need a great NT. Only need 1 more OLB and 2 safeties (depending on how Wolff does in the next 12 games) and 1 CB (Fletcher and Boykin are fine. Williams is fine 50% of the time, but that is better than NA or DRC last year tho).

    We can fix 1 safety spot in FA next year. So in essence we need 1 safety, 1 CB and 1 OLB from the draft and we are set imo for a good defense (top 15 in points should be good enough with this offense).

  36. 36 CrackSammich said at 9:54 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I think Williams would be infinitely better with a proper cover safety playing over the top. Just like Coleman’s struggles to gel with NA last year, it makes a CB look a lot worse when he expects there to be help over the top due to the play call and it isn’t there. The same applies for Fletcher, too. Neither one are studs, but if our goal is to just not be an awful defense, I think both are more than sufficient if we need to put our resources elsewhere until 2015.

  37. 37 Anders said at 10:14 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Agree. If we can get a good cover safety in FA like Byrd and then either have Wolff become a good safety or draft a guy like Clinton Dix, I think our secondary could be a lot better.
    This would also allow Fletcher and Williams to play more aggressive.

  38. 38 CrackSammich said at 11:13 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    “add a Vince Wilfork” , “If we can just add Byrd”.

    Understand that these two you’ve mentioned are, if not the best at their jobs, certainly in the discussion. We don’t need the best to function effectively. We’re not going to get the best. We just need someone who isn’t consistently blowing their assignments or missing tackles. A team of Mike Patterson and Jason Avant types would be a huge step up for us right now.

  39. 39 Anders said at 11:39 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Difference is, the Wilfork type NT is not hitting the FA pool, Byrd is. I could also have used Chris Clemons (the safety from Miami).

  40. 40 Jernst said at 10:30 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I agree partially w you. I still think NT and possibly LDE would need to be upgraded as well.

    Above though, I was just poking fun at xeynon for saying, “Add a Vince Wilfork space-eating nose tackle, a couple of outside linebackers who are comfortable rushing the passer as well as dropping back in coverage, and another D-end or two who’s comfortable playing two-gap, and this is a very good front seven … The secondary however is going to require wholesale repairs.”

  41. 41 xeynon said at 10:40 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Read the last part of what I said. My point was that the defense will be much better if we acquire front seven players who are better fits for the scheme even if they are no more talented in an absolute sense than the guys we have. I was responding to and basically agreeing with Tommy’s point that the issue with the defense isn’t bad players, it’s decent players who don’t fit the 3-4.

  42. 42 Jernst said at 11:12 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Oh, I totally agree…it’s just easier to make fun if I disregard the last thing you said. Unfortunately, agreeing with you still leaves us needing a relative overhaul of front 7 talent to find pieces that fit the 3-4 rather than the retooling that would be needed w continuing the 4-3.

  43. 43 GEagle said at 6:57 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    happy to see people understanding that our CBs are fine, if we had a serious play making safety. if you aren’t going to add a stud safety, then you might as well cut Cary and fletch because they won’t be good enough…but If you invest inthe RIGHT safety, then our CBs would be more then sufficient…

    Steal Orakpo and Byrd, draft a NT…then you can use the draft to fix this Swiss cheese offense
    This better be the last year I see Brent Celek…”

    BTW , won the bidding at a charity auction for two tickets to the skins game, watching the game on the field with Beasly Reese…I’ll be sure to take pix

  44. 44 xeynon said at 10:35 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Pretty much. My point was not that the guys we have are bad players. It’s that they are bad players for this system.

  45. 45 Jernst said at 10:37 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I know what you were saying and actually agree with your intended premise. Just had to poke some fun…it’s all I can do to not cry about this horrendous defense out there

  46. 46 ICDogg said at 11:31 PM on October 1st, 2013:

    To me, the D’s poor performance was not entirely unexpected this year. The O should be doing better, and we’ve talked about that, but what surprises me the most in a bad way is the poor performance of our special teams, which I expected to be so much better.

  47. 47 47_Ronin said at 12:00 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    On point topic. I agree with TLaw’s last part, the Eagles have only finished 1/3 of the the season and we might not see the of the development of the defense now. I started thinking of comparisons and thought of former Eagle coach Spags’ 1st yr with the Giants. The Gmen looked awful the first several games of that season before turning it around and dominating a Belichick-Brady record team. The next 3-4 games should provide some clarity on the defense.

    One thing I’m pondering is the decision to play the 3-4 as extensively. There were alternative paths like transitioning into the 2-Gap 3/4 more slowly and continuing in a 4-3. When Parcells went to Dallas he did not immediately change their defensive scheme. The Eagles had invested some high picks on 4-3 DLs that are still young. Right now, I don’t see Graham or Curry with the team next season (and I dread either one of them going to some other team playing a 4-3 and one or both shine). IMO, the decision on the pace of the transition creates more challenges on building roster depth. Instead of a slower pace and playing to the Ds current strength that would allow the team to focus on finding good pieces at specific positions, the Eagles look like they will need talent infusion everywhere on D. That’s likely not going to happen in one draft year.

  48. 48 anon said at 12:07 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Agree — and the problem is that by no playing in our scheme, or not playing well we won’t get what they are worth in a trade.

  49. 49 Iamallthatisman said at 2:03 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I prefer a 1 gap speedy 3-4 personally, but let’s be honest this team had youth in the front 7. I think the valuation is in the realization that they were still bad last year. While I’d like to think fixing the secondary would’ve made this defense serviceable enough to keep teams in front of them, they were *bad*.

    Wide 9 alignment has had success elsewhere, and it failed miserably here. Change had to come, and in Chip I trust.

  50. 50 A_T_G said at 7:39 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    There are challenges with a slow transition as well, though. If you are playing the guys in the scheme they were drafted for while gathering people for the system you want, what happens when someone gets hurt? You have a bunch of backups that don’t fit what you are doing and whom you don’t really want to waste time teaching the system you are phasing out.

  51. 51 Kevin Powell said at 12:15 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Seems like the coaches are making a concerted effort to get Sopoaga off the field and give Thornton more looks at NT.

  52. 52 ACViking said at 9:25 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    $6 million well spent for a cheerleader, basically.

    But Cole continues to play at the expense of Curry or Graham or Logan because Cole’s “too expensive” to cut . . . despite all of the Eagles’ cap room.

    Still not getting that argument.

  53. 53 Anders said at 9:30 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Who have said Cole is too expensive to cut?

    Curry and Cole do not even play same position in the base defense.

  54. 54 ACViking said at 9:36 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Re: Cole

    First, the host, the Philly media, and other commenters here remind me every time I mention the Eagles divorcing Cole that, in sum and substance, “it’s too expensive; it’ll cost more than he’s getting paid; cheaper next year.” My interpretation of those kinds of comments is Cole is too expensive to cut.

    Second, Cole’s been playing DE the past couple of games. Against Denver, he came out as the RDE on a 3-man line. Last I looked, that’s the same position as Curry.

    Regardless, how much worse could Curry do dropping back into coverage? Roseman trumpeted how “versatile” his 2012 draft class is on defense. And Cole drops back 7-12 times per game — or there abouts.

  55. 55 Anders said at 9:42 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    For me no player is too expensive to cut, but Cole had good TC and pre season and we are into the season now so it makes no sense to cut Cole now.

    Only reason I can see why Cole is playing DE in 3-4 over Curry is because Cole is grasping the scheme better than Curry.

  56. 56 ACViking said at 9:55 AM on October 2nd, 2013:


    My comment didn’t give enough context. My regrets.

    Underlying my thinking is that the Eagles should not be “RE-TOOLING” this year. But instead rebuilding.

    Kelly has a 5-year contract and more security than anyone at Nova Care except the owner. He has the good will of the fans.

    Consequently, I thought the team should have been more bold in making roster decisions.

    All that was on my mind when I commented.

    Fundamentally, there’s no question Cole’s playing better than Curry or Graham — or, I assume, they’d be out there.

    But it brings me back to the question I’ve asked about Vick: If a 9-10 year vet’s likely not going to be here next year, why’s he here this year taking snaps from kids who need experience?

    Goes back to my comment a few days ago about Kelly’s “Kinda Pregnant” team.

    By the way, I enjoy our exchanges very much.

  57. 57 Always Hopeful said at 12:11 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I’ve wondered the same thing about playing Vick over the “kids” (or kid Foles, Barkley didn’t look ready from the small sample size of pre-season).

    Concerning bringing Vick back. I think Kelly needs to have his offense validated in this first year. As much as he has talked about adaptation to personnel a YOUNG Mike Vick might have been Kelly’s proto-type at QB, not Foles or Barkley. So, if you have to have the offense validated, go with the guy who has the best chance of doing that. Foles and Barkley just don’t have what Mike Vick has.

    Kelly is also keen to the limited number of play makers he has on each side of the ball and he was willing to live with the mixture of both the “good” Vick and the “bad” Vick because he gives them the best chance to make plays.

    Not quite how Reid ended the Kevin Kolb era when he saw that his O-line couldn’t pass protect worth a dog gone and Vick’s ability to make plays behind that line gave him the nod.

    The offensive line this year is struggling a bit. It’s a mixture of issues there but, hopefully they can come around.

    The lack of play makers at the WR spot will hinder this team the rest of the season.

    The long term starter for Kelly’s Eagles is not on the team yet, so letting Vick start will also let the kids or kid (I think Foles) come in and play WHEN Vick misses a few games this year.

  58. 58 GEagle said at 6:59 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Very dissapointing.

  59. 59 jackpotsdad said at 1:44 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I’m going to ask a rookie question here, but why is a 3-4 defense “better” than a 4-3? Aren’t they both effective in their own way, with different strengths and weaknesses. Or is a 3-4 a better scheme if you have the right personnel? I’m boggled by Chip going against his stated philosophy of tailoring the scheme to the personnel. So I’m hoping I can get a little educated here.

  60. 60 Iamallthatisman said at 1:53 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    You’re right they both have trade offs.

    Chip Kelly is on record of saying he preferred the blitz disguise (3 linemen plus 1 or more random linebackers vs the 4 obvious ones in a 4-3) and that Kelly valued linebackers on special teams as linemen tend not to run downfield well so extra linebackers are more specialteamers.

  61. 61 Iamallthatisman said at 2:15 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    To add to that, and I think this is missed with a lot of fans, the 3-4 has downsides.

    For one, you need talent at outside linebacker. They must be smart and disciplined, fast enough to beat tackles around the outside, strong enough to anchor against them in the run, and able to be consistent at a huge skillset.

    Pittsburgh is famous for producing linebackers, but the secret is they develop them over years before they see the field. Pgiladelphia does not have either OLB of the future even on the roster I bet.

    Even more pressure on the linebacker occurs when the defensive line two gaps. Outside backers must generate a majority of the pressure which hinders their abilities against the outside run. Inside linebackers are usually cleared to make tackles, but only when the linemen manage to eat blocks. There is a severe lack of talent on the line (in regards to what Davis wants to do) to keep them consistently able to run downhill and tackle.

    This defense is probably two years from being upper half in the league.

  62. 62 A_T_G said at 7:34 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    You are correct. If one of them was clearly superior, the other one would have faded away by now.

  63. 63 ztom6 said at 8:15 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    3-4 covers one extra gap. Makes the math better for the defense accounting for read-option offenses.

  64. 64 jackpotsdad said at 1:02 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Ah. That makes sense. So essentially Chip wants a defense that can be used to beat his offense. Might make practices easier too since he knows he has a scheme that can be used against what is run on the offensive side.

  65. 65 GermanEagle said at 2:16 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    The AFC West may end up with a 14-2 or 15-1 record against the NFC East. I cannot remember such a huge dominance in an inter conference series lately. Can you?!

  66. 66 FrenchEagles said at 5:06 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Whoa that’s huge… We have to check the years of the worst NFC West… And AFC West. But not sure it will be as strong…

  67. 67 ztom6 said at 8:17 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Who is Oakland going to beat?

  68. 68 GermanEagle said at 10:54 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    The Eagles.

  69. 69 Always Hopeful said at 12:19 PM on October 2nd, 2013:


  70. 70 SteveH said at 3:20 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I’m tired of being the guy that complains about Vinny Curry sitting. Anyone else care to take up the cause?

  71. 71 ICDogg said at 6:24 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I think the biggest weakness of the 3-4 (and I mean a primarily two gap 3-4 in this case) is that it is so difficult to get enough of the right guys needed to run it. If you have those front 5 guys (DL and OLBs), you can do amazing things with it. If you don’t, it’s a lot harder to cover up than with other defenses.

    If you’ve got the right 1-tech or 0-tech, a guy who needs to be blocked by 2 guys, it is a huge advantage. We don’t have that.

  72. 72 Anders said at 8:39 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Right now our DL is doing good enough, but our LBs isnt doing a good enough job.
    Kendricks is to eratic, but has potential (his brain needs to slow down). Barwin is a good enough OLB if you got a stud pass rusher on the other side, problem is Cole is not getting regular pressure anymore. We simply need a Demarcus Ware type instead of Cole.

  73. 73 anon said at 10:21 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    DL gets no pressure, not stopping the run. Meco shouldnt have the most tackles on the team by far. Means plays constantly in the second level.

  74. 74 Weapon Y said at 7:50 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Davis himself ran hybrid defenses like the 4-3 Under in Arizona. If he’s familiar with a system that suits our players better than the system we have now, why not run that one instead? The answer appears to be that Davis doesn’t have final say on whether the defense is 3-4, 4-3, or 4-3 Under. If, as I suspect, Chip is meddling on the defensive side of the ball, where his background is only a notch better than that of Juan Castillo, he’s doomed from the beginning.

    Just picture this lineup:
    5DE: Fletcher Cox
    1DT: Cedric Thornton/Isaac Sopoaga
    3DT: Vinny Curry
    LEO: Trent Cole/Brandon Graham
    SAM: Connor Barwin
    MIKE: DeMeco Ryans
    WILL: Mychal Kendricks

    I’d be way more confident in a scheme that lets Curry (or possibly Cox) 1-gap as the 3-technique, while at the same time has the other DL 2-gap. I’ve become a big fan of hybrid defenses this offseason, and I’m very disappointed that Davis, who once used them heavily, isn’t using a hybrid scheme much.

  75. 75 ACViking said at 9:21 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Respectfully, those guys are just not that good. Bottom line.

  76. 76 Weapon Y said at 10:04 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Maybe not. But this is a better scheme and lineup than what we have now. At this point, that’s all we can do. If Chips in win now mode on offense (and clearly he is, otherwise Vick would be gone), he needs to be in win now mode for the defense too.

  77. 77 tball_man said at 10:43 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I don’t think the Vick being the QB means win now at all. He could just be a sacrificial lamb/temporary bridge for returning vets in addition to the feeling out process of scheme implementation. The attempt is to transform the decaying decade plus of doing things the Reid/Banner way and thus changing the character of the team.

  78. 78 ACViking said at 11:32 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Vick cannot be a temporary bridge to the future if he’s putting up W’s.

  79. 79 ACViking said at 11:31 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I’ve posited the same argument in the form of a question last week. Hard to square the two — with Vick as the best evidence (but not only evidence) of a “win now” mentality among Kelly, Roseman, and Laurie.

  80. 80 ztom6 said at 8:10 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Hard to get INTs when receivers are wide open. Most of Peyton’s completions Sunday weren’t even contested.

  81. 81 eagleyankfan said at 8:36 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I thought all pre-season — Davis said — we’ll evaluate the talent and if it’s better suited for a 4-3, than that’s what we’ll run. I guess that was all fluff and they are trying to put round pegs in square holes.
    I know this is a defensive thread — but one has to wonder with all the OL struggles — if the OL coach is an issue…..just wondering….

  82. 82 mrparabolic said at 9:27 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Davis evaluated the talent and thought, “This group isn’t well suited to play defense.”

  83. 83 ACViking said at 11:30 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Hard to top that eval.

  84. 84 ACViking said at 9:36 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    [ comment moved below mrparabolic’s]

  85. 85 anon said at 10:17 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    i thought same question about stoutland.

  86. 86 Anders said at 8:45 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Regarding what defense we run. The problem isnt if we run the 4-3 or 3-5 or 5-2 or 46. Problem is that the guys like Cole or Barwin is not winning too many 1v1 up front. If your pass rushers can not win 1v1 on a regular basis against a tackle, it does not matter what scheme or gap they play in.

    Also the current group of defensive backs would not work against good QBs anyway.

    I mean last year our DL was this down the stretch:

    Graham-Jenkins/Thornton-Cox-Cole and we still gave up TDs at an alarming rate.

  87. 87 Jernst said at 9:07 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I can handle the difficult transition to a 3-4. I can even handle the loss of decent draft picks like Graham and Curry, because lets face it, even in a 3-4 they most likely aren’t true difference makers. However, I lost all respect for Davis as I listened to his reasoning behind playing Brandon Boykin as an OLB in the 3-4 and having him repeatedly rush the passer as part of a 4 man rush where the left tackle would simply destroy him over and over again removing him entirely from the play. Someone needs to explain how taking your best cover corner out of coverage and using his 5-9 175 pound frame against a 330 pound LT is a good plan or a win for the defense schematically.

  88. 88 Jernst said at 9:14 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    There is an excellent all-22 break down of this ridiculous use of resources on You should not scheme to have Boykin rush the passer regularly, because that is not his strongest skill set. Similarly, you should not scheme to have Graham or Cole consistently drop in coverage for the same reason. Further, there is no confusion here, you are simply playing a CB at OLB and having said OLB rush the passer. If, instead of Boykin, it was Trent Cole in those shots above rushing the passer, no one would post an all 22 shot of it and laud Davis for being innovative and confusing QBs with his scheme. He’s simply using Boykin in a role that he is not suited for simply because, “the offense would never expect me to do something so counterintuitive.” BS…there was no confusion, the LT simply picked up Boykin just like he would any other rushing OLB in a 3-4 and destroyed him. All this accomplished was taking one of, if not, your best cover CB and wasted him, while someone that could truly excel at this task was placed on the bench.

  89. 89 Jernst said at 9:15 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    This would be no different than putting McCoy on the bench on a critical 3rd down and playing Riley Cooper at RB, because hey, it really disguises our offensive play call, the defense certainly wasn’t expecting that. Then running Riley up the gut on a dive play. Which, inevitably, fails to pick up the first. And, then when asked why he would do such a thing, Chip says, “Obviously, we’d love to have McCoy in there running the ball, he’s pretty good at it, but more than anything else, it’s indecision on the [defenses] part. Why is this [big slow] guy coming [at us on the dive]? Is it a [run] or is it a [fake or play action]? What are they gonna do? Are they gonna put [a LB] on him? Sometimes we can manipulate the [defense] this way.”

    If he ever said anything like that he’d get laughed out of the league. Why is it ok on defense to do something so blatantly counterintuitive that puts your best players at a disadvantage based solely on the misguided hope of creating confusion in your opponent?

  90. 90 Jernst said at 9:17 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I honestly wish other teams would try this hard to confuse us by taking their best pass rushers off the field on obvious passing downs and playing their best CB at OLB or DE to rush the passer and set the edge in the run game.

    Oh how I hope the Cowboys take Demarcus Ware off the field and use a four man rush with Claiborne going up against Jason Peters!

    Unbelievable…I’m so fired up over this, I’m literally talking to myself.

  91. 91 anon said at 10:15 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Great point

  92. 92 mrparabolic said at 9:24 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Weird, I was under the impression that Davis issued a mea culpa for using Boykin in that role. I thought he said that he mistakenly thought the Broncos had 3 WRs on the field and went into nickel. After he realized his mistake, he couldn’t switch out of it because the Broncos were in hurry up. It’s still a huge mistake, but it’s not like Davis said he liked having Boykin in at OLB and will keep doing it for all eternity.

  93. 93 RIPJJ said at 9:35 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    This is much before the Broncos game….THE MANY ROLES OF BRANDON BOYKIN….

  94. 94 Jernst said at 10:14 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    If it happened once during a single drive in the Denver game where we got caught in a nickel package against a hurry up team playing multiple TEs that’s one thing. Unfortunately, this has been a recurring theme throughout the season. And, if you read the article above there’s quotes from Billy Davis and Boykin about how this is their plan. That sarcastic quote I used of chip Kelly defending using Cooper at rv on dive was word for word what Davis said with only minor sections changed like the word offense to defense.

  95. 95 CrackSammich said at 9:07 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    We’re looking at a group playing poorly and trying to attribute it to something. They played the Wide 9 poorly. Then at the end of the year, they played Brasher’s 4-3 poorly. Now they’re playing the 3-4 poorly. None of those schemes aren’t without their merits, and have worked elsewhere, but not here. I guess my question is then, what makes you think the problem is the scheme and not the players?

  96. 96 Anders said at 9:11 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Its the players imo. Players make the scheme, scheme does not make the player.

  97. 97 eagleyankfan said at 9:17 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I’m with you here. If you tell me you’re taking a DL and moving him to be more of a coverage guy — ok, I get he’ll struggle. But if you tell me you have DL and you’re moving him from 1 gap to another gap and he can’t handle that move? I don’t care if you call it 3-4 or 4-3 — the DL is not winning the battle — period.

  98. 98 bill said at 12:27 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    While obviously not to the same extent as “coverage v. rush,” there are other skill sets in DL that affect whether they will be good in a certain role. For example, a quick first step is an absolutely big positive in a 1-gap scheme, as you’re going to put pressure on the OL across from you to consistently react to your initiative. On the other hand, a quick first step is almost a liability for a 2-gapping DL since it’s HIS job to react. The 2-gapper needs strength much more than quickness, compared to the 1-gapper, generally speaking, since his job is to stay where he is. So, I pretty strongly disagree with the notion that talent wins despite scheme. Both are absolutely necessary in all but the rarest of cases.(tangentially, one of the reasons I think some bad teams consistently draft “busts” despite high draft slots is due to their inability to develop and utilize the talents of the players they draft, not necessarily due to their scouts’ failure to recognize some sort of red flag).

  99. 99 ACViking said at 9:44 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    But you’ll get push back.

    I’ve always thought that QB Montana, HB Roger Craig, FB Tom Rathman, WRs Jerry Rice and John Taylor, and TE Brent Jones could have made the Cowboys’ offense under Jimmy Johnson look just as good as it did with Aikman, Smith, Johnston, Irvin, Harper, Novacek.

    Quite a few folks disagreed.

  100. 100 Anders said at 9:46 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I 100% agree that the Niners offensive players could have worked under Norv Turner and Jimmy Johnson..

  101. 101 ACViking said at 9:50 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    You may be in the minority here — for reasons that escape me.

  102. 102 Lateraleye said at 9:07 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I just finished listening to Bill Davis’ press conference. A big light blinked on for me with what he was saying. You touched on it too, Tommy – he made it a point to say that he is seeing progress. Not in a “I should say this so that the reporters change the topic” kind of way but he said it with conviction and humility. Yes, the TV cameras are showing giant turds on the field but we as viewers and fans don’t know who was necessarily responsible for what during that play. The deep-to-short philosophy he talked about was also quite enlightening. Where have we gotten burned the most this year? Short passes.

    I think if we can look at the second game of this season (Redskins was an aberration) and compare that to the last game of this season and see true growth and the defense starting to work as an 11-man machine, then I think Bill Davis will have proven himself.

  103. 103 Anders said at 9:10 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I rather give up short pass after short pass than relive what we saw last year where a short pass turned into a 80 yard catch and run.

  104. 104 ACViking said at 9:18 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    The problem with the defense is simple.

    It’s not the scheme.

    There’s just not very much talent.

    In a 4-3, who’s the dominant pass rusher?

    Cole? Past his pass-rushing prime (still a pretty good run defender).

    Graham? He seems to have only 1 move, the bull rush. He’s never shown the kind of bend-the-edge quickness great pass rushers have.

    Curry? Maybe . . . but we have no clue since he’s rarely on the field; so I’m gonna assume the 3 D-line coaches he’s played for know more than I do.

    Thornton? Hasn’t shown the kind of consistent quickness and power to be a good pass rusher — yet. Maybe it’s there. Maybe not.

    Cox? Now there’s a potential impact inside-rusher in the 4-3.

    One guy out of 5.

    How ’bout at LB? Who’s making the impact plays?

    Ryans? Solid if unspectacular veteran presence. Maybe he’d shine more in a 4-3. But not a game changer.

    Kendricks? Plotting his game-to-game performances on a graph gives you something that looks like the Andes Mountain Range.

    Barwin? See Ryans.

    D-backs? Is there any reason to discuss them in terms of whether a 4-3 or 3-4 or 4-3 under or 2-5-4 or 3-3-5 or 4-1-6 or whatever would make a difference. Boykin’s a nice, young slot guy. Beyond him, nothing.

    Regardless of scheme, this is a team lacking any defensive game-changers at the moment. Cox and Kendricks could be those guys. But maybe not.

    The cupboard is pretty darn bare over there on the “D.”

  105. 105 izzylangfan said at 9:19 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    If our front seven is made up of 4-3 guys then next year we we’ll get rid of them all but Fletcher Cox and Barwin. We also need to get rid of the secondary except for Boykin and perhaps Wolff. So next year we have a bunch of new starters and they can’t all be top quality free agents, so were left with a bunch of new guys with no experience in Davis’ defensive system. By the end of this year we might have 4 decent 3-4 guys and add maybe three next year to have 7 decent 3-4 guys all together. Is this the plan? Will we get anything in trade for those 4-3 guys who won’t have a strong 2013 in a “what have you done lately” trade market?

  106. 106 ACViking said at 9:47 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    IZZY LANG (Tenn State ’64, Rd 18)

    Where have you been?

  107. 107 izzylangfan said at 4:30 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Thanks for asking. But actually I do not have a really good excuse. I did move and when the Eagles are playing so badly I am less motivated to write. I have been following Tommy religiously. The major reason I haven’t written much is that I got an iPad and its so tedious to write anything more than the briefest of comments on that thing. Anyway my computer is much more accessible in my new place and I intend to be more active.

  108. 108 Christopher Miller said at 10:18 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Just playing devil’s advocate but I take this as a year whether we find out who could at least be functional in the 3 4 next year because we are not going to get 8 or 9 starters next year. Any hope of a decent defense next year will hinge on them having some of these guys at least playing a role or being depth guys.

  109. 109 anon said at 10:22 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    who is going to want to come play for the worst d in the league except for a lot of money?

  110. 110 ACViking said at 11:27 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    No more big-money free agents, please.

    If the Eagles did that, it’d be more proof that Kelly and Roseman want to win now — but with a roster that’s clearly deficient.

  111. 111 Anders said at 11:36 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Would you be apposed to young FAs like a safety?

  112. 112 ACViking said at 11:56 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    To paraphrase Bruno Kirby’s character in “Good Morning Vietnam,” Lt. Hauk:

    Young is good. Young is good.

  113. 113 bridgecoach said at 8:04 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I have my sights set on 3-4 safety TJ Ward from the Browns. An Oregon product and a natural defensive leader who plays bigger than he is.

  114. 114 Christopher Miller said at 6:38 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I would love the m going hard after a safety in free agency but otherwise was thinking draft. We have had so many misses at safety that I would rather go after Byrd even if it means overpaying a bit.

  115. 115 Jernst said at 9:28 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    The other issue I have is, who are u teaching this scheme to that’s actually going to be here long term. Cole, graham, curry and sopoaga are all most likely gone next year, geathers isn’t anything to get excited about, Thornton is JAG, Logan is better suited to the 4-3. So, really the only guy that you’re gonna build around Cox, who was made for a 1-gap 4-3 is being wasted for a year to entrench a 3-4 scheme. Why couldn’t we go more 4-3 under and mix the 3-4 in and work on 2 gapping during practice?

  116. 116 Anders said at 9:29 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Logan is the future at NT. Cox plays maybe 40% 2-gap of his snaps, the rest of the time he is playing 1 gap anyway

  117. 117 Jernst said at 10:20 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    That’s how Logan was sold to us this preseason, but I still have yet to see anything from him that would suggest he could handle the role of 3-4 2 gap NT and at 6-2 305lbs he’d be fairly undersized for the role. And, I’d still prefer to see Logan in a 4-3, ultimately. Same with Cox. So I’m not sure what your point is?

  118. 118 bill said at 10:46 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Do you have a cite for the 40% figure?

  119. 119 Anders said at 10:53 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    That is why I said maybe. It was more based on the amount we seems to play 2-gapping overall.

  120. 120 bill said at 11:07 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Seems like significantly more than that to me – even in nickel, I’ve seen DL 2-gapping. 2 – gapping Cox even at your low-end estimate of 40% of the time is like having Cole drop into coverage 40% of the time – or having Boykin blitz 40% of the time. The team (it certainly seems likely that this is Kelly’s call over Davis’s) is not putting players into positions to succeed.

  121. 121 Nah__Roots said at 9:37 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    So NO went from worst D ever to top 10 in one year. How?

  122. 122 ACViking said at 9:38 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    The OFFENSE.

  123. 123 Richard O'Connor said at 10:31 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Yup. Sean Payton is like a better version of Andy Reid (I’m generally an AR fan, but Payton is next to Belichick when it comes running a football team)

  124. 124 ACViking said at 11:26 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I think you’re spot on. Payton’s SB season showed what mixing in the running game can do.

  125. 125 Weapon Y said at 10:16 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Just imagine if the Birds drafted Bobby Wagner or Lavonte David instead of Mychal Kendricks.

  126. 126 ACViking said at 11:30 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    In the Eagles’ system last year, both those guys would have been naked behind the W-9.

    Wagner especially benefits from a great team around him.

    What if Kendricks were in Seattle? I think he’s making less mistakes because less is demanded.

    Could be wrong, though. Wagner does look so damn good.

  127. 127 47_Ronin said at 11:46 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    The thing about Bobby Wagner, that should be kept in mind, is that he is surrounded by some talented players on Seattle’s defense. That talent makes it a lot easier for him to shine in the roles he is asked to do in their scheme.

  128. 128 SteveH said at 1:30 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    The most frustrating part about Kendricks is he has incredible athletic tools, and he has a handful of games where he looks like an absolute stud, then promptly goes back to the missed tackle machine that he was in his rookie season.

  129. 129 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 8:17 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Zach Brown looks better in Tenn than Kendricks as well. Could be that ALL those teams put guys in better situations, but color me dubious.

    My hunch is that Kendricks is more athlete than football player. Athleticism is something that people often confuse with “talent.” You can get by with athleticism in college. NFL “talent ” also incorporates what’s between the ears and instincts. The sooner people realize that talent is much more than athleticism the sooner they’ll realize how untalented the Eagles actually are, and the struggles will be less confusing and make perfect sense.

    I’m actually not terribly upset about the defense. I knew coming into the year this group was gonna be awful regardless of scheme. I had them at 6-10 with an 8-8 ceiling.

  130. 130 Iskar36 said at 11:09 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Fantastic post by Derek Sarley:

    Derek / IgglesBlog

    This is cool. Read @LesBowen story on special teams: here: … Then see photos: … (promo code D29A)

    We can talk about the defensive talent all we want, but frankly, until Davis proves otherwise, I’m not convinced that even with spectacular talent, we could be a good defense. I just don’t think he has sound designs and his messages are not getting through to players.

  131. 131 Anders said at 11:37 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    After reading that, how did you miss the part about Davis most likely not designing the plays that way?

    On the Welker TD, it was a sound play, Allen was just over matched against a freak of nature TE

  132. 132 Iskar36 said at 11:41 AM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I didn’t have an issue with Davis on that play. My issue was more on the Graham in the slot play. Even if Kendricks is thinking to much, you are asking him to make up a lot of ground to get in position to cover anything on that play.

    Having said that, I should have put that comment in a separate post because they were not really entirely related comments.

  133. 133 ACViking said at 12:06 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Re: Vince Wilfork

    2004 NFL draft . . . Eagles trade up from 28 to 16 (giving SF a 2nd Rd pick).

    On the board is a huge OT and a huge D/NT.

    The Eagles opt for Arkansas’s Shawn Andrews and move him to OG.

    Five picks later, the Patriots — using Baltimore’s 1st Rd pick acquired the year before from the the Ravens so they could select QB Kyle Boller in the ’03 draft — select D/NT Vince Wilfork.

    When the Eagles made that ’04 trade, I was hoping the Wilfork was their guy. Not to be. And a very unfortunate miss for the Eagles, while the Pats made a big hit.

  134. 134 Anders said at 12:12 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Andrews if not for injuries would have been a multi times pro bowl guard or tackle for us. Andrews was by far the best guard in the NFL when he was playing.

  135. 135 ACViking said at 12:18 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Absolutely. I’m assuming the readership knows the story of Andrews.

    Hence, the phrase “unfortunate miss” — especially vis-a-vis Wilfork.

    He played a position of huge need for the Eagles after the ’03 season, particularly highlighted in the NFC title game by the Panthers.

    I didn’t think the Eagles needed an OG nearly as much as a long-term force at DT.

    Regardless, were Andrews not Andrews, he’d have been an HOF-quality OG.

  136. 136 Anders said at 12:19 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Actually Andrews was drafted to play LT for us to take over for Thomas, but he was so good at guard that we played him there.

  137. 137 SteveH said at 1:28 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Just think of all the suffering that would have avoided. Winston Justice, Demetress Bell…

  138. 138 ACViking said at 2:13 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I think the idea was to put him OT at some point.

    But in ’04, Thomas was 30 years old, and Runyan 31. Both had been Pro Bowl players within the past ’02, and Thomas in ’01 and ’03 as well.

    I don’t believe Reid had any intention of cutting loose either Runyan or Thomas in April 2004 after the draft. I think Reid fully intended to put Andrews inside at OG from day 1 until Runyan or Thomas retired.

    We may be saying the same thing. I’m not sure.

  139. 139 ICDogg said at 2:04 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Andrews may have gotten a bad rap because he is a little crazy, but I think it was more his back injury which required two surgeries that did him in than his mental state.

  140. 140 Anders said at 2:11 PM on October 2nd, 2013:


    Just watch what JPP’s backinjury is doing to him. He is a shell of his former self right now.

  141. 141 ICDogg said at 1:58 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    The thing about Wilfork is that he is a zero tech and when the Eagles were drafting then that’s not at all what they were looking for. We were a one gap 4-3 defense then.

    In other news, Kelly says that Thornton has been our best defensive player. That partially explains why Curry is having a hard time getting on the field.

  142. 142 ACViking said at 2:05 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I think, when Wilfork played in college at U-Miami, the Hurricanes used a 4-3 defense.

  143. 143 ICDogg said at 6:48 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I wonder if he would have been as great a 4-3 one tech as he was a 3-4 zero tech.

  144. 144 ojdiddoit said at 3:57 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    They cant stop anybody,they have no impact players on defense,Billy Davis is trying to create a defense with parts that don’t fit while Howie sat on 18 million in cap

  145. 145 anon said at 4:07 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    remember when sconce said he didnt want to be a doormat…

  146. 146 Media Mike said at 5:16 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    We’ll know a lot more about the D of Davis after the next two Sundays’ We’re playing two dog crap football teams that we should be able to:
    a) Score at will upon
    b) Seriously smash up their QBs.

  147. 147 T_S_O_P said at 5:21 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Very late to this thread as a lot of time lately is being spent trying to educate the naive Ricardians abusing Leicester’s claim to Richard III.

    Davis is a deciple of the man the Steelers and the other one at the Packers. (Fried RIII brain syndrome) How are those 2 Ds doing this year as the league strides toward no huddle, up tempo, read option and pistol gunning. Successful defensive strategies seem to be cyclical, as do offensive strategies. Are we getting into gold just as the market is dipping? Disciples of Rex on the other hand!

  148. 148 47_Ronin said at 10:08 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    That would be LeBeau and Capers. However, LeBeau was the secondary coach in Pitt (Capers was DC) while Davis was there so I’m hesitant to call him a LeBeau disciple. When Capers became HC in Carolina Davis left with him. I don’t think the current struggles of GB and Pitt indicate some trend on the short comings of the 3-4 vs read option/Pistol offenses, Stanford runs a 3-4 that was occasionally successful against Chippah and Oregon and Stanford’s DC tutored some NFL coaches and according to him the 3-4 is the best front vs read option schemes.

  149. 149 BreakinAnklez said at 7:10 AM on October 3rd, 2013:

    I’d say that Packers D held Skins pistol pretty well…

  150. 150 GEagle said at 6:46 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I blame Chip. I don’t think for one second that Billy would be choosing to two gap with this group. Don’t believe it at all. not to mention, numerous times billy has mentioned “giving Chip what he wants”….let’s see Billy is a 4-3U guy, we have much better personel to run that scheme, then what we are doing now…I strongly believe this is chips doing, and any way we try sugar coating it, it’s still dumb!! I get Chip likes having more LBs for ST, but you can just have your OLBs be more LB types as opposed to DE types, run a 4-3u, you know, actually play to the strengths of The players that you have and Chip would still get the extra LBs that he wants for ST….Square peg, I thought the days of trying to jam you into a round hole were over….SMH in Disgust

  151. 151 ICDogg said at 6:57 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I love the 2-gap 3-4, but as I’ve said before, the biggest problem with that defense is that it is so difficult to find the players needed to play it well. That’s why not many teams go that route any more.

  152. 152 GEagle said at 6:59 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Don’t mind eventually transitioning to it…4-3U would have been perfect for this year while we transition to a two gap….running a two gap with these players is not putting them in these best position to succeed, and since Chip decided to start a 33yr old QB I expect results this year! thus not playing a 4-3u is dumb….now if Chip wants to grow a young QB, then I. Could accept starting to get our playes accustomed to a 4-3U….but you don’t want to grow a young QB, then I expects results, and you aren’t giving yourself the best chance of getting desired results by running a two gap this year,,,so I have to call this an Epic fail for the Chippah,…hopefully he does better in there future

  153. 153 Joseph Dubyk said at 7:15 PM on October 2nd, 2013:


    That’s NOT a talented front 7 in a 43… WE SAW what most of those guys looked like in a 43 and it was just as ugly

    That’s the problem… We don’t have talent on defense. Andy missed hard on a LOT of defensive picks. His only success was through FA (sometimes) and a couple of above average (at best) players in the first (Patterson, Bunkley).

    That front 7 you posted, is not that impressive and there is a HUGE lack of evidence to s upport your claim.

  154. 154 Joseph Dubyk said at 7:18 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    and tha’s what I hate reading about…. How “good” this team is or the “potential.” We were a 4-12 team last year, and could be a 4-12 team again. Before that we were a really bad 8-8 team that strung 4 wins against REALLY REALLY bad QBs and another team (dallas) who was throwing the game by benching their starters.

    If this team had talent and potential, we would not be the abortion that we see on the field today plain and simple..Talentless

  155. 155 A_T_G said at 7:50 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    The Chiefs had two wins last year. I could easily envision a rant in this vein on a Kanas City blog a year ago. More talent is definitely needed, but the “Fire ’em all, da bums!” approach is a bit over the top.

  156. 156 holeplug said at 8:35 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    I think just an above average safety would do wonders for this defense

  157. 157 ICDogg said at 9:05 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    Nah, it really wouldn’t.

  158. 158 Joseph Dubyk said at 10:01 PM on October 2nd, 2013:

    KC had 6 or 7 PBers last year.. There was obvious talent and guys like Derrick Johnson have played EXTREMELY well.. Eric Berry Bradonflowers, etc, all have a lot of talent, their woes were strictly offensive…..

    no one said they had no talent on D. it was mainly offensively and to be honest….the cheifs aren’t all that great anyway….who have they beat? Jags? Dallas, Philly and DUN DUN DUN — The giants!!! they literally played the bottom feeders of the NFL.. they still are mediocre on a good day.

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