Is Bill Davis the Right Man for the Job?

Posted: July 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 90 Comments »

I was ecstatic when the Eagles hired Chip K elly. He is the coach I thought best suited to take over the Eagles and put the them back among the best teams in the NFL. Kelly had vision. He was smart and creative. He was bold and original.

And then he hired Bill Davis.

I remember seeing the tweet from Reuben Frank saying that Bill Davis was going to be the defensive coordinator. I was less than thrilled. Davis was simply not a compelling candidate based on the information that was available.

If you looked at his 2 jobs as defensive coordinator, in SF and ARZ, the results were less than ideal, to put it mildly.  Davis didn’t have a team finish inside the Top 20 in Yards Allowed and only had one unit finish beyond that mark in Points Allowed.

Kelly looked beyond the numbers. He was impressed with Davis’ ideas about defense and  coaching. He saw a coach who could succeed when given the right circumstances. To those of us on the outside, the numbers just seemed too overwhelming to feel very positive about the hire.

Now that Davis has a season under his belt and we’ve all gotten to know him better, I feel differently. One of the big reasons why is listening to Davis in his press conferences. He does a fantastic job of communicating. He mixes in honesty with coachspeak. No NFL coach will ever be totally honest, especially in today’s world. Davis is willing to be critical of his unit, but he does it the right way. He praises them as much as he can, but isn’t going to be in total denial after a poor performance.

Davis has a calming presence about him. When things were bad early in the year, he preached patience and said that there was some progress even though the results on the field didn’t show it. Davis turned out to be right and the defense did get better as the season went along.

When Juan Castillo met with the media, it was painful. Castillo always felt like he was trying to sell you something. I’m sure he was more comfortable with the players, but I can’t imagine that it was significantly better. Castillo didn’t have the track record for the job. Even when he was making a valid point, it seemed as if he was trying to convince everyone it was true.

Davis has coached defense in the NFL for more than 20 years. He knows exactly what he’s talking about. He’s calm and confident as he explains concepts to the media. I’m sure that is the same when he’s with the players. Davis has the luxury of mixing in good stories. “This is how I taught Kevin Greene when we were together in Pittsburgh.” Or maybe “I used this strategy to slow down Peyton Manning 4 years ago in Arizona.” That kind of stuff means something. It gives him gravitas.

While Davis has won over fans and the media with his communication skills, there still is the question of whether he is the right man to lead the defense. Let’s go back to SF and ARZ for a minute. The Niners defense was awful when Davis was there. However, that wasn’t really his defense. The head coach was Mike Nolan. Davis was the DC to him like Brad Childress was the OC to Andy Reid. Anyone who watched the offense Childress ran in Philly and the one in Minnesota can see there was a huge difference. Under Reid, Childress was forced to call passes. On his own, Childress ran the ball over and over and over.

We don’t know how much control Davis had in SF, but it wasn’t his defense. That was Nolan’s specialty and you can bet he was going to have his hands all over the unit and what they did. I’m not trying to excuse Davis from all responsibility in SF. He was part of that mess.

In Arizona, Davis did have total control, but still dealt with odd circumstances. He took over for Clancy Pendergast. Rather than change everything and rebuild on the fly, Davis kept things mostly the same. He did make all the playcalls and he did decide who started and sat, but it still wasn’t his baby.

Under Chip Kelly, Davis has virtual autonomy. Kelly and Davis are both 3-4 guys. Kelly did push for 2-gapping. I’m not sure if Davis preferred that or not. I’m not sure what to make of the 4-3 Under. That’s something Davis used in Arizona, but it was put in place by Pendergast. Davis liked it enough to keep it, but we don’t know if that’s what he wanted to make his defense or not.

For the first time ever, Davis is running his scheme with his players and a strong coaching staff to support him. This job will make or break his reputation. You can point out the difficulty brought on by Kelly’s style of offense, but Davis also gets to play with the lead quite a bit and that is something all defensive coaches want to do.

Davis has embraced Kelly’s offense. Members of the media will ask about the dangers of a quick 3-and-out and Davis will respond that it is the same as a quick 3-and-in. If you want the benefits of quick strike TDs you have to deal with the quick punts as well. Davis gets this. There is no Buddy Ryan offense vs defense type of situation going on. Davis has been on teams that couldn’t score. He knows the pressure that puts on a defense.

There is reason to be optimistic about Davis and the defense. Players got better as the year went along and the overall defense had an impressive streak of holding 9 straight opponents to 21 points or less. Young players were taught well and you could see definitive growth in their performances. Davis is competent with X’s and O’s, maybe better. We do know he can teach and develop young talent.

The Eagles defense isn’t likely to ever post great numbers because of Kelly’s playing style and how many plays the defense has to face, but the group can still make plays and be a key to winning. Let’s see if the hot stretch from the end of 2013 carries over to 2014. If the defense can play like that, Davis might turn out to be a great hire by Kelly.


90 Comments on “Is Bill Davis the Right Man for the Job?”

  1. 1 Neil said at 3:19 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    As far as Davis and his preference for 2 gapping, it’s my gut feeling that Chip would not have hired someone who didn’t share his beliefs about defense and wanted to run more or less the exact same scheme as he thought was best. Maybe Chip convinced him in the interview with his vision of where he thinks the league is headed, or maybe Davis felt that way all along, but otherwise I don’t think Davis would have been hired.

  2. 2 ICDogg said at 6:37 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    2-gapping is not exciting but effective. But for it to work the way it is supposed to, you need to have guys up front who can require a double team. We don’t really have that, but the guys are still young.

  3. 3 Neil said at 8:15 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    You could say the same of 1 gapping. I think the key difference is the greater emphasis on run defense. By dedicating three monsters to holding the line and reacting to the play on 1st and 2nd down, you can hopefully lower the success rate of run plays, creating situations where the offense predictably must pass. And even if it’s a pass on 1st or 2nd, you hopefully compensate for that investment of personnel in run stopping by being able to disguise the pass rush to create pressure.

    But as you say, nothing works without talent.

  4. 4 anon said at 11:58 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    also helps when DB don’t have run support responsibilities.

  5. 5 GEAGLE said at 1:05 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Yup..amazing how well we played the run, considering they got no safety support..CBs had more run responsibility in our scheme then the safeties lol…
    Jenkins is Savy enough to where you can ask him to do both. Think last year Billy was so worried about the safeties that he had them focus on the pass..where as this here he should be able to ask our safeties to help against the run more while still not giving up the big plays in the passing game…considering our puppies shut the run down without safeties last year..should be exciting to see how much more our run defense improves with safety support and guys gelling in this scheme

  6. 6 Neil said at 2:59 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Honestly, that’s not a problem until you inexplicably give a safety a gap assignment while calling for two deep safeties in the broader play. A lot of great defenses have had that safety who came up and played the run, and it worked because he didn’t also have a deep half in coverage.

  7. 7 SteveH said at 3:25 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    Davis still doesn’t have elite talent to work with here, so honestly I think finishing in the top half of the league in points allowed would be a huge win, considering we lack a stud pass rusher (much less the 2 that some top D’s have), plus the secondary is not going to frighten anyone.

  8. 8 GEAGLE said at 5:45 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    He has plenty of Elite Talent,,,it just hasn’t materialized into elite players yet… If our young players develop how they should. We have all the talent in the world….we aren’t talking about a bunch of young Undrafted free agents or 6th round picks…. The talent is there,,,hopefully it continues to develop properly

  9. 9 eagleyankfan said at 7:31 AM on July 15th, 2014:

    I’m not sure we have elite talent up the middle on D including safety play. The free agent safety will be a huge upgrade over what was there last year. I think we are ‘OK’ to solid(at times) but not elite(need more solid players). Boykin is one of my fav’s but I think teams will look to try and create an advantage there.
    With that said — can this unit play very solid during the playoffs(assuming they make it)? Absolutely. All you need is that 1 little run of solid play at the right time….

  10. 10 GEAGLE said at 12:30 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    3rd round pick on a NT from LSU IMO isn’t exactly chopped Liver…Meco and Kendrick are two top 50 talents at ILB. Barwin is a high pick, Cox is a high pick, Curry is a high pick…That’s Talent.., can that talent be realized in the form of top defenders in this scheme..too early to know, but I seen more flashes to be positive about. Than I see limitations that can be cover come..

  11. 11 eagleyankfan said at 7:43 AM on July 16th, 2014:

    None of them are chopped liver. All have talent, no question. High picks don’t mean elite though. Meco on the other side of the hill. Kendricks was a little weak last year(year 2 under this scheme should be much better). At times, he looked lost. This year I’m expecting more of “attack” as they have a year under their belt. If we expect that step of confidence from the offense, no reason we can’t see that from the Defense. With all that said — the Saints game is what seemed to show this D has a long way to go.

  12. 12 GEAGLE said at 3:24 PM on July 16th, 2014:

    High picks mean ELITE TALENT….now whether that talent as been fully realized is a different story

  13. 13 fran35 said at 12:20 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    I think he has talented players, but they do not fit the scheme. Fletcher Cox may be an elite talent for a 4-3, but it has not transferred to the 3-4 thus far. Same with Vinny Curry. I think Vinny Curry in a 4-3 as a starter is good for double digit sacks each year. In the 3-4, he is severely miscast. Not sure what system suits Kendrick best, but I sure hope he evens out his play this year.

  14. 14 GEAGLE said at 12:33 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Apparently you haven’t seen the stat I posted the other day about Cox being one of the best 3-4DEs in the NFL last year, considering how new he was to the scheme and techniques required to play in the scheme, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cox is a terror in this defense this year….. I’d like to see a kid play in a scheme two years in a row before I start putting limits on elite talent like Cox… Especially since the whole 3-4 vs. 4-3 is a myth in my eyes anyway since we play both..
    Every single team today that plays a 3-4, also plays some 4 man lines….yet the teams that play a 4-3, don’t play any 3-4…personally, I prefer having both in our playbook, and I suspect that 5 years from now, you won’t see any defenses that are strictly 4-3

  15. 15 Scott J said at 3:40 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    I’m happy for all the success Todd Bowles is having in AZ. He seems like a classy guy that got caught up in the Washburn, wide 9 crap. I’m not sure exactly what went down after the 2012 season meltdown, but I know Bowles was one of a handful of guys the Eagles kept until they hired Kelly. If he was able to show more of what he could do here as a DC, I wonder if Kelly would have kept him?

  16. 16 MFlick said at 5:29 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    I think we needed a clean break.

  17. 17 Media Mike said at 6:24 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    Bowles is a great Defensive mind. I agree it was a shame he got dumped into a bad D situation here and we had to learn after the fact how much of a difficult a-hole Washburn was to work with.

  18. 18 ezgreene said at 6:33 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    I would LOVE to know EXACTLY what happened during and after the 2012 season.

    It cannot be great reading and drama.

  19. 19 GEAGLE said at 2:40 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    If you asked Todd Bowles to run HIS defense, it wouldn’t include a wide 9. If you asked him to implement his second, third, and 4th choice of defense, it still wouldn’t include a wide 9…yet he was married to that crap scheme that he would never endorse as a defensive coordinator… We weren’t seeing a Todd bowls defense, because no Todd Bowles defense has ever or will ever include a predominantly wide 9 based front

  20. 20 austinfan said at 3:54 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    Davis never got a commitment to add talent at either stop, SF didn’t get serious about adding defensive talent after he left, and while Arizona drafted him a couple top guys, they also let a bunch of starters leave in FA.

    Fangio is a good example, horrible track record of taking over decent defenses and running them into the ground until he got to SF, where he was given enough talent to make it work, and a commitment to replacing losses in FA. Suddenly he’s a defensive genius? Same thing when JJ came here.

    Dick LeBeau may be able to win with talent no one else can (he’s had some stars in Pittsburgh, but this is a guy who replaced Casey Hampton with Chris Hoke and still fielded a #1 defense, who took Antonio Smith (4th rd) and Brad Kiesel (7th rd), Ryan Clark (UDFA), James Harrison (UDFA), etc., and kept turning out top defenses year after year.

    However, you can’t count on finding the next LeBeau. You can hope to find someone who can make it work if you give him the horses. Davis did a solid job of transitioning the team to a 3-4 defense last year, Chip responded not by leaving him out to dry (i.e. focusing resources on his baby, the offense) but by getting him Jenkins, Smith, Watkins, and some depth guys like Maragos, Braman, Hart and Allen. And they didn’t let anyone walk from the defense (unless you have the hots for Geathers and Chung).

    We’ll know in two years if Davis is a JAG or a solid DC. But at least he’s getting a fair shot here.

    We’ll know i

  21. 21 RobNE said at 4:31 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    I always think Tomlin gets too much credit, taking over a veteran team with LeBeau is not exactly starting over.

  22. 22 ACViking said at 4:01 PM on July 14th, 2014:


    You wrote:

    “The Eagles defense isn’t likely to ever post great numbers because of
    Kelly’s playing style and how many plays the defense has to face”

    Question: Under what circumstances would the Eagles defense, under Kelly/Davis, post “great numbers”?

    I understand that by “great numbers,” you mean at least Top 5 in Yards and Points. (Turnovers are a bit of a crap shoot from year to year.)

    My working premise is great numbers on defense are the product of three factors.

    One is a very good defensive coordinator.

    The second is defensive talent.

    The third is an offense that puts up points.

    The lesser a defense’s talent, the more critical the DC’s skill set.

    As the talent level increases, the effective the DC becomes.

    And as the offense secures and sustains an early lead, the more predictable the opponent.

    I’d argue that the only factors preventing the Eagles’ defense from posting great numbers is a lack of talent — at the moment — in two areas.

    1. Absence of at least one dominant pass rusher, along with bettering pass-rushing across the D-line.

    2. Absence of at least one shut-down corner.

    Given my working premise, increase the talent at those 2 spots — without dropping anywhere else — and the defense puts up better numbers. Much, much better numbers.

    The ’14 Broncos’ defense may provide answers to whether a team with a high-octane offense can post great defensive numbers. Talib’s been added at CB. And Von Miller’s coming back. That is, if both play up to their previous standards.

    Is Marcus Smith III going to be a dominant pass rusher here? Too soon to know. Regardless, would like to find a shut down guy at CB.

  23. 23 RobNE said at 4:38 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    I am optimistic that the D does not need to be elite, and that the ability to go from not very good to good (but not elite) is easier than the next step. I may be too optimistic, but just by having Jenkins and Allen/Wolff instead of last year’s Chung and company, with another year of progress in the scheme for the others, I hope we can get to good but not elite.

    Also, while shutdown CB is good we’ve learned it might be better to have 3-4 B+ to A- guys, b/c in today’s game once you have to insert that B- guy whether due to the D package or injuries, coaches and QB’s now just freakin focus on the weak link.

    I too want to be elite, I am just saying I am optimistic and can’t wait to see what the addition of Jenkins, Nolan and the Florida CB can do by upgrading the floor of the talent level.

  24. 24 RogerPodacter said at 4:45 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    good point – opposing OCs will find way to get our #4 CB on their #1 WR in some situations. It’s good to have a guy that can keep that from being a total disaster (think back to Chung vs Dez Bryant…)

  25. 25 Ark87 said at 4:43 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    I think the point was that we run the offense so fast and don’t chew up game clock. Creating more possessions for each team. I wonder if that will lessen this year. We will still run fast, but will we be designed to be as explosive without D Jax, or more methodical as our receivers get bigger?

    The Broncos scored more points than us, but they don’t go as fast as we do. Peyton revels in lining up fast then using what’s left of the play clock to prod and diagnose the defense. They’re extremely efficient with their possessions.

    As for your original question. It is a handicap but a dominant D that could get off the field quickly, consistently, would stand a chance of statistically ranking in the top 5. We definitely don’t have the cards to pull that off right now though. We have 0 pro bowlers on that D, hopefully we see some growth and that changes this year.

  26. 26 GEAGLE said at 5:43 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    Denver ran more plays than us per game, they led the league

  27. 27 P_P_K said at 6:36 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    I wonder if that might be because Peyton was leading long scoring drives?

  28. 28 Ark87 said at 11:02 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    that’s the thing, we were more explosive, they were more methodical. We weren’t burning a lot of clock on our drives. Score or punt, we were doing it fast. Giving both teams extra possessions. More possessions exposes the D to more opportunities to give up yards and points, hurting their ranking.

    I think I would judge a D….probably by points per drive. Wouldn’t be perfect because it wouldn’t account for field position, but over the course of a year it should become a big enough sample size to diminish the outliers.

  29. 29 ACViking said at 6:04 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    I understood Tommy’s point.

    I’m only musing about what it would take to be a dominant –or elite — defense.

    No reason to concede it can’t happen.

    Improve your defense and the opposition — I don’t care how fast the Eagles offense punts — will have more trouble moving the ball. Which puts the ball back in the offense’s hands.

    And if the Birds hit on some picks beyond Rd 1, the defense can be.

    Couple an great defense with a great offense . . . and that’s that.

  30. 30 Ark87 said at 11:10 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    I agree, but I think it would be more fair to not judge by the conventional stats used to rank. Could we become a top 5 D by conventional measurements? Sure! And we should strive for it. We just have to keep in mind that said rank will understate the achievement.

    I like points per drive. It’s flawed in that it is affected by both offense and special teams in determining field position, but then assuming the defense is disjoint from the performance of the offense and special teams for any stat is a bit naive (Since they play a majority role in setting the context to the game situations in which these stats are generated).

  31. 31 GEAGLE said at 1:00 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Think for us it’s pretty simple…improve our ability to get off the.field on 3rd down, and our defense improves drastically,,,how many points we give up, and how much opponents are converting on 3rd down against us, is how I will judge this defense,,

  32. 32 Ark87 said at 1:33 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Exactly, as I mentioned in my other post, my most valued 3 stats in order:
    Points per drive
    and 3rd down conversion %

    both sides of the ball.

  33. 33 GEAGLE said at 2:38 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    I’m completely on board…. We will see a stout defense this year, who’s national rankings will probably be skewed and weighed down by useless defensive categories that don’t matter to us,..but the improvements and the stoutness of this years defense should be evident..

    Not rocket science. look at how the defense last year, and 3rd down conversion rate was a glaring weakness that weighed down all the great work our guys did on first and second down….improve on 3rd down, and there isn’t anything else keeping it from being a top defense

  34. 34 Ark87 said at 2:42 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Totally agree, 3rd down was the only think keeping our offense from putting opposing d’s into cardiac arrest with the tempo

  35. 35 Media Mike said at 6:26 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    Throw in lack of a dominant 3 down nose who can disrupt the run and pass while requiring multiple blockers on every snap as a player our D lacks, but could use.

  36. 36 CrackSammich said at 11:40 AM on July 15th, 2014:

    Sure, but if we’re talking about adding generational talent to the roster, you can add that bullet point for the other 52 positions on the roster, too.

  37. 37 anon said at 8:08 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    I think turnovers is really the most important thing for the defense. Give up yards, ok. Limit points and force 2 TOs a game and we’ll be happy. If we can turn those 2 turnovers into 14 points i think that’s really what we’re trying to accomplish.

  38. 38 Jason said at 12:55 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    When rumors of D. Revis’s availability surfaced, Jeff McLane went to pains to argue that the Eagles Staff/FO did not believe that their scheme required a shutdown corner. It was obvious they were feeding McLane to tamp down any push for Revis or another expensive corner.

    Do you believe that they really think their scheme can flourish without a top corner? Or were they simply obfuscating to buy time until the entire team and defense matured and it would then make sense to consider investing in a top shutdown corner.

  39. 39 Dominik said at 1:10 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    As long as you don’t have this rare, really elite Sherman/Revis type of CB, I wouldn’t value the position too much, either. It’s a personal opinion and I don’t have stats to back it up, but imho, many of the bottom of tier 1/top of tier 2 CBs are overpaid.

    CB is a position I rather hope to “win the lottery” via draft. If you have a home grown talent (Boykin as slot corner), keep it. But CBs are often crap shooting, at least that’s my impression.

  40. 40 Baloophi said at 4:55 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    In terms of Bill Davis I’m hopeful that a good defense (and by extension, good coordinator) isn’t necessarily defined by stats. Obviously we’d all prefer a defense that never gives up yards or points but that’s not a reality, especially when – good or bad – your offense doesn’t hold the ball for long. I suppose a “yards per minute of opponent’s possession” could be interesting, but even that would never tell the whole story.

    A less quantifiable barometer would be “situational success.” Does the defense get off the field on 3rd down when the opponent is within one score? Does it consistently take away their first option on each play? Does it adjust accordingly when the offense does? (a J.J. strength)

    To me, Bill Davis will be a success if he can do those things. We can argue later whether it’s talent, scheme, luck, or opponent mediocrity, but as long as he fields a team that doesn’t commit penalties and keeps the opponent from scoring more than we do, I’m happy…

  41. 41 ACViking said at 6:08 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    Baloophi . . .

    Mediocrity? In the NFL?

    For shame.

    You meant “parity.”

    The only tattoo Pete Rozelle had — even after 18 months in the Navy during WWII — was, “I love Parity.”

  42. 42 JakFTW said at 10:58 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    I’d be really curious if someone could pull out the efficiency stats for Davis’ previous stops and last year’s Eagles’ defence.

    We all know that our defence is going to give up more yards because they face more plays, so I think the efficiency stats would be more telling as to whether Davis’ defences appear to be improving.

  43. 43 MFlick said at 5:25 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    The more I listen to Bill, the more I like him and trust him. The more I listened to Juan the less I liked him and thought he was over his head.

    His need to focus on the fundamentals sounded like a position coach, not a coordinator. Billy comes off like he is in complete control and has seen it all. He acknowledges when other teams make plays, and that the defense was exposed by a weakness in a bliz or something. His press conferences are actually pretty revealing.

  44. 44 GEAGLE said at 5:43 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    Listening to Juan pregame for the defenders was probably a lot like general Custards soldiers felt during the “pep talk” for his “last stand”

  45. 45 jshort said at 6:27 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    Bad post for my waist line, have to run out and get a blueberry custard sundae. Wonder what George Armstrong Custer would have thought about that Washington football teams nickname?

  46. 46 GEAGLE said at 2:35 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Substitue custards last stand, for Normandy…better?

  47. 47 GEAGLE said at 5:29 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    last offseason, I constantly posted: “philly will fall in love with Billy Davis”…why would I think anything different after this past year? Dude should be the NFL coach of the year

  48. 48 GEAGLE said at 5:35 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    Interesting that the Packers offense is said to be aiming to get off 75 plays a game. Which would be more than league leading Denver averaged per game last year. Chip taught Bellicek the tempo, who made it famous in the NFL, Peyton and the Broncos picked it up, Chip brought it to the NFC East, now the great packer offense is starting to follow suite.,,and we Know Lazor bringing Tempo to Miami… Few years tempo will be an NFL norm, and defensive stats will all have to be adjusted

  49. 49 Anders said at 8:27 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    Peyton was running no huddle up tempo long before Kelly made it to Oregon

  50. 50 Dominik said at 7:58 AM on July 15th, 2014:

    Correct. Altough I barely see “tempo” with Peyton (or Rivers, for that matter). They are quickly in position to snap (no huddle) and you can bet Manning is taking that snap if he sees the Defense confused. But normally, he waits, analyses, fakes, talks to his linemen and skill players, analyses again and somewhere in between, he takes the snap. Isn’t it called the muddle huddle?

    Brady used tempo in 2012, and boy, it was fun to watch. Made me really happy when Kelly was brought in, more than the Oregon tape, to be honest.

  51. 51 GEAGLE said at 12:58 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    I don’t know if Peyton was ever really trying to get off a crazy amount of plays. Typically his tempo is just getting up to the line and not letting teams substitute, and then milk the play clock…then again, I don’t really know how many plays Peyton mannings teams were getting off per game before last year

  52. 52 Engwrite said at 9:05 AM on July 15th, 2014:

    I agree. Stats can be misleading, other than wins and losses. The key is to marry the D’s philosophy to the overall team philosophy. For that, I believe a more aggressive gambling D would better match Kelly’s Offense which puts so much pressure on the other teams Defense. Even if the other team scores quickly, it puts our Offense back on the field and that ultimately works in our favor.

  53. 53 ztom6 said at 9:15 AM on July 15th, 2014:

    Uptempo offense is great, but plays per game is a really silly statistic.

  54. 54 mtn_green said at 6:21 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    I’m really curious whether chip wanted a two gapping defense or Davis?
    Also who decided to make the switch last year instead of more gradually?
    We can say that the defense played much better in second half of 2013 but the competition was worse? Hard to know if a second year in same system will have great dividends.

  55. 55 GEAGLE said at 7:41 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    Chip… Defense similar to What Azzinaro and allioti staff ran at Oregon..where as Billy was coaching the 4-3under most recently.. But you can count on Billy knowing a thing or two about the 3-4 considering who he studied under

  56. 56 anon said at 12:00 AM on July 15th, 2014:

    my question is why no romeo crennel. Wonder if we asked.

  57. 57 GEAGLE said at 12:26 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Good question

  58. 58 Anders said at 12:33 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Thank god for no Crennel

  59. 59 Anders said at 12:34 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Allioti ran a 4-3 before Kelly got HC.

  60. 60 GEAGLE said at 12:36 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    And then Kelly and Azzinaro moved that defense to a Multi front unit with Allioti still in place as the DC

  61. 61 Dominik said at 1:14 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Interesting. That means that Chip has a vision for his D. You don’t turn the scheme around at your first HC gig and turn the scheme around at your first NFL HC gig if you don’t believe in it.

  62. 62 GEAGLE said at 1:16 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Oh yeah, this is certainly Chips defense all the way… This isn’t like Andy hiring a DC and letting him run whatever he wants,,,Billy was hired because he can run what Chip wants while bringing NFL experience.. We are running similar style to how Chip coached Oregon teams played
    That’s why Azzinaro is so important. Him and Chip are on the same page defensively, and Azz can tech the Multi front defense Chip wants to the young DL

  63. 63 Dominik said at 2:02 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Yeah, but Chip is famous for saying he doesn’t micro manages his DC on Sundays. I also heard one interview back in Oregon where he said to a reporter: “I can’t answer you anything about our Defense, that’s the thing of the guys in the booth [Allioti, obv.]. I love our guys, but I can’t tell you anything scheme wise.”

    When you hear things like that, you come to the conclusion that he isn’t that interested in his Defense. But apparently, he is big on the overall philosophy.

  64. 64 D3FB said at 2:12 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    I think Chip mandated to Davis he wanted a 2 gap, with taller OLB’s (ie not the Steelers with 6’0 Harrison and 6’2 Woodley) a nose who can move laterally, interchangeable safeties, and corners who can play press, off man, and zone. Davis then took that and is autonomous with scheme, and gameplanning, playcalling etc.

  65. 65 Dominik said at 2:26 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Sounds like good reasoning.

    I mentioned the interview above, and thankfully I found it. It was the Stanford game in 2011:

    After hearing that interview (and his comments about micromanaging) I was sure he doesn’t care about the Defense, other than keeping his offense in the game. I was wrong, obviously.

  66. 66 Anders said at 3:27 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Kelly want a 2 gap defense because it is the counter to his offense to some degree.

  67. 67 GEAGLE said at 2:34 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Yes, you said it perfect.. His imprints are on the frame work of it all, but he isn’t micro managing. I’m sure it also helps that him and Azzinaro are completly on the same page, so Chip can count on Azzinaro bring what he wants to the defense, without having to micromanage it…..and it’s not like he is asking Billy to run defensive schemes that are foreign to him like Andy Reid did to Bowles. Bowles is an excellent defensive mind allegedly..but none of his past defensive expertise include anything that was run with the Wide 9… Wide 9 was never in Bowles background…where as Chip isn’t asking Billy to run anything that he isn’t already well versed, both from his assistant days in the Pittsburg 3-4 and the Under fronts In Arizona,,

  68. 68 GEAGLE said at 7:45 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    Harold Carmicheal on the weekly eagles podcast was fascinating…it was like story time. Really awesome for a 32yr old like myself who missed the vermiel days…
    Figure some of you older fans would really enjoy it. Carmicheal talked about the past for like 50min straight..
    As Philadelphians I think it’s time we raise up and start making some noise about the injustice that is, Carmicheal not being in the hall of fame. Eagkes nation needs to get him voted, coaches, Howie and Lurie, current players all need to raise awareness to this travesty…you can tell it means a lot to the man, and his historic rankings say he clearly deserved it

  69. 69 ACViking said at 1:34 PM on July 15th, 2014:


    Thanks for the tip

  70. 70 GEAGLE said at 2:28 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Figured you would def appreciate it… Enjoy. Very thoughtful man, gave some really insightful info to the past and present day, since he is still a part of the organization..

  71. 71 76mustang said at 7:54 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    Evan Silva likes Bill Davis and the Eagles, having them ranked #7 in his pre-camp team rankings:

    7. Philadelphia Eagles

    QB: Nick Foles
    RB: LeSean McCoy
    WR: Jeremy Maclin
    WR: Riley Cooper
    WR: Jordan Matthews*
    TE: Zach Ertz
    LT: Jason Peters
    LG: Evan Mathis
    C: Jason Kelce
    RG: Todd Herremans
    RT: Allen Barbre

    Offensive Overview: RT Lane Johnson’s four-game suspension throws a wrench into this offensive line, although Barbre is a trusty reserve and by Week 5 the league’s best front five will be re-stabilized. Offensive wizard Chip Kelly will replace DeSean Jackson’s 82 catches with a committee approach, utilizing second-round pick Matthews at slot receiver, Darren Sproles in the passing game, and Maclin along the perimeter. Ertz can also expect a larger role after playing just 41% of Philadelphia’s 2013 snaps while Brent Celek handled 77%. Kelly’s offense is quarterback friendly in that it manufactures one-on-one chances for its playmakers, and 25-year-old Foles looks to be a rising star in the scheme. He was arguably the NFL’s most aggressive passer last season, leading the league in both yards per attempt (9.1) and yards per completion (14.2). This offense has great young skill players, a top-notch offensive line, and is coached by Kelly. There’s everything to like.

    RE: Fletcher Cox
    LE: Cedric Thornton
    NT: Bennie Logan
    ILB: Mychal Kendricks
    ILB: DeMeco Ryans
    OLB: Trent Cole
    OLB: Connor Barwin
    LCB: Bradley Fletcher
    RCB: Cary Williams
    FS: Malcolm Jenkins*
    SS: Nate Allen

    Defensive Overview: The Eagles will bring first-round pick Marcus Smith off the bench at outside linebacker, likely in all sub-packages after Barwin and now 31-year-old Cole managed 13 sacks between them last year. Although this unit has added some talent, it remains the weakness of GM Howie Roseman’s roster as a middling group vulnerable in both the front and back ends. The shortcomings force Philly’s offense to respond, which helps in fantasy football. But it doesn’t help Super Bowl probability. I don’t think Philadelphia’s defense is terrible, but it is far from a shutdown force. One plus is being overseen by creative play designer Billy Davis, who got the maximum out of this defense last year by successfully scheming to create unblocked pressure. The defense as a whole improved as the season went on, which earns an additional nod to Davis.

  72. 72 Dominik said at 8:09 AM on July 15th, 2014:

    Wow, are we talking about a national writer who actually did some research and made valid points all over the board? I don’t believe it.

  73. 73 Ark87 said at 12:30 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    I’ll only knock him for his point about our defensive front being a weakness. It’s really our only strength being so young and talented. Weaknesses are our Pass rushers (not awful but no premier rusher yet) and…that’s really it. Our secondary would be adequate with some dependable pressure. Everything just needs to develop everywhere else.

  74. 74 GEAGLE said at 12:37 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Louis Riddick gave a really insightful interview on 97.5 yesterday and spoke pretty highly of what we are building. Ridick,Clayton and someone else did the rankings together and have us at #8

  75. 75 SleepingDuck said at 10:25 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    Billy Davis is the DC Philly needs, but not the one it needs right now.

  76. 76 A_T_G said at 12:13 AM on July 15th, 2014:

    Okay, I’ll bite. When do we need Davis and whom do we need now?

  77. 77 Delsin Rowe said at 2:58 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Did you mess up the TDK reference or did your meaning just go over my head?

  78. 78 Mitchell said at 10:40 PM on July 14th, 2014:

    Do we still have any word if Lane is actually suspended or not? No League announcements I don’t think.

  79. 79 Jack Waggoner said at 11:21 PM on July 14th, 2014:


  80. 80 eagleyankfan said at 7:33 AM on July 15th, 2014:

    Davis is like Foles. Off to a good start – but too soon to know for sure what we have….although, I like Foles chances at repeating as a solid general on the field.

  81. 81 GEAGLE said at 12:40 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    See zero signs of why either should regress this year, but I’m sure we will all feel much better about both after they thrive in year two

  82. 82 eagleyankfan said at 7:35 AM on July 16th, 2014:

    I don’t think we regress or stay the same. I think they are better on D. Dare I say smarter. It wouldn’t take much to improve on this D. Questions is — how good? Good enough to go 6-0 in division I think.

  83. 83 GEAGLE said at 3:22 PM on July 16th, 2014:

    If we lose more than one game in the division this year is a failure…yes I know how tough division games tend to be…but assuming our starting QB plays, we shouldn’t lose

  84. 84 GEAGLE said at 1:12 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Cowboys start the season:
    Home against The Niners
    At the Titans
    At the Rams (Tony Romo is going to get killed against the Rams DL at home)
    Home vs. saints top 10 defense
    Home against Texans
    at Seattle

    We all know by now that they don’t have the locker room to overcome a bad start that awaits them….they will be wishing for their typical 8-8 season this year lol)

  85. 85 Mitchell said at 1:20 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    The Rams are going to be a good team this year. It won’t be as noted because they play in the best division. I could see the Cowboys go 0/6 to start.

  86. 86 GEAGLE said at 1:25 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    rams are definitely a tough match up for anyone, especially at home…I think it’s absolutely HUGE that Lanes suspension ends when we have to play that defensive front… I’ll honestly be surprised if Romo is healthy enough to play after they face the Rams… It’s one thing to have a LT that can keep the mighty Rob Quinn from taking over a game, but you better have 5 quality linemen playing together at a high level if you are going to also stop Brockers,Donald and long..
    Robert Quinn is a bad man! JJ Watt type of elite defensive player that can take over an entire game. To add Aaron Donald to that line is just scary. Imagine if they could have gotten Clowney and Donald?..
    I’ll be shocked If Romo survives that game. Seattles defense is better, but the rams defense is scarier. You mess around and get your QB hurt playing against the rams. Rather see our WRs head get knocked off by Kam Chancellor, than see FOles get spiked by Arron Donald..

  87. 87 Mitchell said at 2:23 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    If Lane is suspended. Still not official I don’t think.

  88. 88 GEAGLE said at 2:27 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Certainly starting to look fishy

  89. 89 MattE said at 1:21 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    Initial Interview:
    Chip: “Bill good to have you in. What is it that you can bring to our defense?”
    Bill: “Turnovers and…”
    Chip: “Good enough for me, see ya at camp”
    Bill: “Do you want to go over any schemes or concepts?”
    Chip: “What’s your plan?”
    Bill: “Well we could….”
    Chip: “My plan is to score f*ckin points, so get me the ball and you keep your job”
    Bill: “…..okay….. see ya at camp”

  90. 90 MattE said at 1:22 PM on July 15th, 2014:

    and we all know Super Bowl champs usually have a favorable turnover differential.