Billy Davis is Your New DC

Posted: February 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 118 Comments »

The search for a new DC is over.  Billy Davis is our man.

This is a mystery hire and here’s what I mean by that.

Billy Davis has a great coaching background.  He’s from Youngstown, OH, one of the great football towns in America.  Davis coached for a year in college (Michigan State) before jumping to the NFL.  He’s been in the NFL for the last 20 years.  Davis worked his way up from defensive assistant to OLBs coach to LBs coach to Defensive Coordinator.

I love coaches that have to grind and work their way up the ladder.  Davis didn’t have one great player or great unit that got him a big time reputation.  He bounced around the league, dealing with success and failure.  He’s coached the 3-4 and 4-3.  He’s worked with great players and mediocre talent.  Davis has worked for Dom Capers, Wade Phillips, and Mike Nolan.  Those guys are defensive gurus.  Davis worked for solid coaches like Vic Fangio, Bob Slowik, Dick Jauron, and Ed Donatell.

This all sounds pretty good.  What’s the catch?

Davis was the DC for the Niners in 2005 and 2006.  He was the DC for the Cardinals in 2009 and 2010.  Those 4 years were not all that impressive.

2005 – 30th in Pts , 32nd in Yds, 21st in takeaways, had 27 sacks, team went 4-12

2006 – 32nd in Pts, 26th in Yds, 18th in takeaways, had 34 sacks, team went 7-9

2009 – 14th in Pts, 20th in Yds, 10th in takeaways, had 42 sacks, team went 10-6

2010 – 30th in Pts, 29th in Yds, 8th in takeaways, had 33 sacks, team went 5-11

Did Davis produce mediocre defenses because of his coaching, poor talent, or other circumstances?

He was a new DC in 2005 and didn’t have much talent to work with.  I’m sure that was a combination of the two.  His defense did improve the next year, but not enough to save his job.

The 2009 Cardinals obviously did some good things.  42 sacks is a good total.  They had a good amount of takeaways.  They also were tough to score on.  The Cards won the NFC West title that year and even a Wild Card game.

The next year the team didn’t have Kurt Warner at QB and the Cardinals fell apart.  I’ll need to do more research to know what exactly happened to the defense, but the Cards did play several young guys and they obviously didn’t hold up well to the pressure of playing beside an awful offense (31st in the league in yards).

Billy Davis is a good coach.  Can he be a good DC?  That’s the mystery.

* * * * *

There are some reasons to like the move.  Davis has 4 years of DC experience.  This isn’t McDermott, Castillo, or Bowles learning on the job.  Davis has a system.  He knows how to teach it.  That’s huge for me.

Davis isn’t a big name guy that will come in here and be territorial.  He’s not going to clash with Chip Kelly over this and that.  Some coordinators with big reputations have done that, especially when dealing with a young/unproven/new head coach.

Davis offers stability.  He’s not a young hotshot.  The Eagles aren’t likely to be SB contenders this year.  You need a coach who can commit to being here for 3 years.  Davis fits that description.

* * * * *

Why the delay in hiring him?  It must be that Chip Kelly wanted to talk to someone off the Super Bowl staffs.  You really do wonder if Ed Donatell was the guy he wanted and that fell apart when Jim Harbaugh blocked Donatell from talking to the Saints yesterday.

Or it could be that Chip wanted to make a serious run at a college DC and knew he had to wait until after signing day to see if the guy would leave.  Signing day was yesterday.

I seriously doubt Billy Davis was Chip’s first choice.

That’s okay.  Jim Johnson wasn’t Andy Reid’s first choice.  That was Marvin Lewis.  The Baltimore Ravens wanted to hire Jason Garrett in 2008, but had to “settle” for John Harbaugh.  As I always say, the key is to get the right guy.  That doesn’t always mean the big name or the first choice.

Can Billy Davis be that guy?  I sure hope so.

* * * * *

I’ll write a more in-depth post on Davis in the next few days.


118 Comments on “Billy Davis is Your New DC”

  1. 1 Chiptomylou said at 12:27 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I’m going to wait to pass judgement. Like you said Tommy he has coached under some great D-Coordinators. Jim Johnson was a nothing before he came to the Eagles. It’s a wait and see situation. I like the 42 sacks in ’09. Hopefully he turns the Eagles back into an attacking defense again. 3-4 scheme should be interesting.

  2. 2 bdbd20 said at 12:28 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    That 2009 Cardinals team did lose Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle. Certainly not an excuse, but those were two pretty good players.

  3. 3 TommyLawlor said at 12:50 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    This is the kind of stuff I need to research.

  4. 4 Frank said at 12:31 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    “Davis has a system. He knows how to teach it. That’s huge for me.”

    Based on his stats, I’m not sure you can claim that he “knows how to teach it”.

    Or if he can, that what he’s teaching is any good…

  5. 5 TommyLawlor said at 12:51 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Bill Belichick has had some awful defenses in the past 5 years. Does he know how to design and teach a scheme? You must have the right players.

  6. 6 Mitchell said at 3:03 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Yeh you can’t take a donkey to the Kentucky Derby!!

  7. 7 ICDogg said at 3:10 PM on February 7th, 2013:

  8. 8 Iskar36 said at 12:59 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I fully agree with this comment. Having been a DC does not mean he has a system and knows how to teach it. It will remain to be seen whether or not he can learn from his previous mistakes, but I’m not impressed at all with his “experience.”

  9. 9 fran35 said at 12:31 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I have to fight my first instinct, which is to scream “this is what we were waiting for?!!”. However, while not a sexy pick, he is safe. He has plenty of NFl experience and knows what works and doesn’t. He knows pro players and what makes them tick. Honestly, while Grantham may be a great college DC, he didn’t have a ton of NFL experience and that scared me. I think that Kelly may have made some smart decision with the conservative picks as OC and DC. Kelly himself is a wild card and a bit of a gamble. We don’t need an OC and DC in his likeness.

  10. 10 Iskar36 said at 12:41 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I don’t understand the “he is safe” logic. Sure, he may turn things around and prove to be a successful DC, but he in fact has PROVEN that he can run a terrible defense. NFL DC experience is not a prerequisite to success nor does it guarantee anything. He could very easily come here and have just as much lack of success as he had at previous stops.

  11. 11 Ark87 said at 1:55 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Definitely not a safe pick-up for the FO. This is one of those hires where the fans look at the resume’ and have their doubts, but don’t lose their crap because they can’t know for sure that this will be a disaster. Should a disaster come to pass, there will be a lot of anger towards the FO.

    At least if we were taking a risk with a true unknown, we would be able to understand failure.

  12. 12 babapsu said at 12:32 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    not digging the resume’

  13. 13 Stephen Stempo said at 3:52 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Interestingly he’s the only candidate linked to the eagles that actually had a résumé. Donatello did too I suppose but it’s not as if he was a guru himself.

  14. 14 Anders said at 12:38 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    The good thing about Davis is that while he coaches a 3-4, its more of a 4-3 under front, so the personal we got fits better.

  15. 15 Duracell said at 12:54 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Yes, I agree with this. It sounds like he’ll likely be running a 4-3 under, based on what he’s run as a DC in the past. While the 4-3 under is closed to a 3-4 than a traditional 4-3 in personnel, I think it fits the current players better as well.

    It will likely require a 1-gap NT, which should be easier to find. I think Cox should fit in well as the 3-technique DT. Given his play against the run, I think Trent Cole could potentially fit as the 5-technique/SDE, but he might have to gain some weight. In the 4-3 under, he would primarily be asked to hold up against the run. The WDE and the SAM would be the primary rushers, although the SAM would need to be much better in coverage. It’s possible that combination of Graham, Curry, mayyybe even Hunt could cover these two positions, with the exact positions depending on who is capable at covering.

    Both the MIKE and WILL are similar to the 3-4 inside linebackers. The MIKE is usually beefier and is asked to cover less (Ryans), while the WILL will need to be speedier and good in coverage (Kendricks).

    I was definitely underwhelmed when I read the name Billy Davis, and his track record isn’t the greatest. But I do feel a little better after seeing that he’s run a 4-3 under system in the past. I think it brings a lot of the positive elements of the 3-4, without being quite as major of a transition.

  16. 16 Anders said at 2:04 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I actually think Dixon or Thornton makes a good 1 tech NT and Curry would be my starting 5 Tech SDE. He got good size and his strong vs the run. Graham ofcourse would be my WDE.

    I dont think we got the SAM on the roster right now and I think the perfect SAM would be Dion Jordan. He can both cover and rush the passer. I also think a guy like Ziggy Ansah or Margus Hunt in the draft could be the SDE.

    I would also try and pick up Desmond Bryant up in FA, I think he can play both the 1, 3 and 5 tech

  17. 17 Mark823 said at 12:40 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    So an experienced coach with mediocre numbers. One good trend is that with the Cardinals his defenses were much better in the turnover category. Though the weakness in points allowed is concerning. Maybe the third time as a coordinator everything will click.

  18. 18 Alex Karklins said at 12:41 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    OK, then. Let’s see what Billy Davis can do with the talent on this roster. An encouraging sign: Derek from Iggles Blog tweeted “So basically we just imported a 3-4 scheme where Trent gets to rush the passer every play and DeMeco gets to keep being a middle linebacker.” Sounds pretty good to me.

  19. 19 SleepingDuck said at 12:41 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    “@ProFootballTalk: Report: Eagles hire Billy Davis as defensive coordinator ” >very good hire

    Does Jay know something we don’t?

  20. 20 TommyLawlor said at 12:49 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Jay is a people person. He’s got strong ties in the coaching world. Davis must have a strong rep.

  21. 21 Anthony Hart said at 12:45 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    In defense of the numbers he put up with the Niners, Mike Nolan was the coach there and I assume he had a lot of influence on how those defenses were ran. Whether we’re excited or not he’s our DC so let’s hope for the best.

  22. 22 ACViking said at 12:51 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Re: Billy Davis and DRC / Pat Shurmur

    Chip Kelly has now hired the guy who was, as much as anyone, the 2012 Cleveland Browns Offensive Coordinator . . . former Browns HC Pat Shurmur (who called the offensive plays for the Browns a la Reid in his early years here).

    And now C-Kelly’s hired the 2012 Browns’ LB coach — who may be, next to the D-coordinator, the most important defensive coach in a 3-4 defense.

    From the outside looking in, it seems as though C-Kelly’s put some stock in what Pat Shurmur has to say. Maybe not . . . but you’d think Shurmur was asked to weigh in.

    Davis was DRC’s D-coordinator for two seasons. So the two are re-united . . . at least for the moment.

    DRC had 6 INTs with Davis in ’09 . . . and won his only Pro Bowl appearance.

    And DRC had 3 INTs with Davis in ’10, returning two for TDs.

    Should be interesting to see what happens to DRC from this point forward.

  23. 23 deg0ey said at 12:57 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Gotta think it gives DRC more of a chance to stick around…

  24. 24 Chiptomylou said at 1:03 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Very good point. DRC may stick around now with Asmougha almost assuredly gone.

  25. 25 Matthew Verhoog said at 12:57 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    7-9, 5-11 that would seem bad to some teams.

  26. 26 Ark87 said at 12:59 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Well….hey how ’bout that draft….yeaaah

  27. 27 Iskar36 said at 1:01 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    One thing that should be pointed out with Davis is the fact that he wasn’t fired due to head coaching changes. Mike Nolan was the head coach 2 years longer after he fired Davis and the same is true for Ken Whisenhunt. He clearly did not have the trust in both of those coaches that he could be a successful DC.

  28. 28 Stephen Stempo said at 3:48 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    To be fair though its not as if those head coaches ran tight ships or proved to be geniuses themselves so..

  29. 29 Patrick Henry,The2nd said at 1:02 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I feel a little better, because he’s not a truly a 3-4 guy. He runs a hybrid, a 4-3 over/under system.

  30. 30 Mike Flick said at 1:44 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Is this revenge on the Browns? Our OC and DC are Browns rejects.

  31. 31 Ark87 said at 2:12 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Yes we’ve been digging through the Brown’s dumpster, TAKE THAT, JOE! Maybe we’ll find a painting that turns out to be a Da Vinci and get to tell them they can’t have it back. But it’s probably more likely that we are putting garbage on our mantle and making ourselves look stupid…but honestly I felt like the Browns were going to get that thing turned around if they kept the course, so I’m really not THAT down on the hires.

  32. 32 SleepingDuck said at 1:47 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Correct me I’m wrong, but I remember seeing somewhere that Billy Davis was a potential candidate back when McDermott got fired.

  33. 33 BobSmith77 said at 2:37 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Remember his name getting mentioned. Sure Tommy will go back and cover it.

  34. 34 Thorin McGee said at 2:19 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    So Star Lotuleilei (sp?) at 4?

    This pick seems to be frowned upon by the bloggers and readerhsip, but I missed why everyone agreed on that. He seems to go between 3 and 10 on mocks, is that not a good pick for us?

  35. 35 TommyLawlor said at 2:56 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Star could be the pick at #4. Just isn’t a slam dunk, no-brainer. Need to see how FA goes. Also need to see who ends up the highest rated prospects. Maybe Star is up there, maybe he slides a bit. Still early.

  36. 36 Thorin McGee said at 3:30 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    That’s true. We haven’t even seen the combine, and he did skip the Senior Bowl.

    Looking at the top 4 so far, we should see either him or Joeckel slide to pick 4. Seems like the right thing to do, with today’s information, is take whichever one does.

    I’d sure like to get our “War Daddy” in the first draft. Those guys don’t hit FA often.

  37. 37 deg0ey said at 6:14 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I honestly don’t see a big enough difference between Star and the other NTs in the draft to make him worth drafting that high. Why take Lotulelei at #4 when you can trade down to #20 and still get Johnathan Hankins who’s basically the same player but with a little less polish?

    Obviously that all assumes we can actually trade down, of course, so I don’t know whether that would happen, but in terms of value it seems strange that Star is being talked about top-5. But then I’m not a pro-scout, so what do I know?

  38. 38 Thorin McGee said at 9:03 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I know I’ve seen star named the #1 over all player in the draft on at least one big board. That seems significant.

    On the other hand, I saw one draftnik today describe him in less glowing terms.

  39. 39 deg0ey said at 9:10 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    He may well be the #1 overall player, in the sense that he’s better at what he does than anyone else is at what they do, but in the grand scheme of things, how valuable is what an NT does?

    Is an elite NT (if that’s what we’re assuming Star is, although I have my doubts) going to make that much more of a difference to a team than a good NT? I certainly don’t think it’s going to make as much difference as, for example, an elite CB compared to a good CB.

  40. 40 Eric Weaver said at 2:21 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Let’s sign Sean Smith.

  41. 41 BobSmith77 said at 2:30 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    It’s hard to not to see this as an underwhelming hire who is was likely a 3rd or 4th choice candidate.

    Combined that with a strong possibility of switching to a 3-4, rolling out a new system, and little talent on the defensive-side of the ball and you have a strong recipe for disaster.

  42. 42 Kevin_aka_RC said at 2:33 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Chip Kelly is a big Clowney fan

  43. 43 47_Ronin said at 5:50 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Yeah, if “Chipah” Kelly wants Clowney he has to be contemplating a W-L record of 1-15 for 2013.

  44. 44 Anders said at 5:51 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I think Bridgewater will be draft above Clowney.

  45. 45 47_Ronin said at 5:57 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    A Bridewater vs. Clowney draft position battle would be great, both would need to play well next season and that would be fun to watch (imagine Clowney “de-helmetting” a few players or Bridgewater throwing some bombs…)

  46. 46 Anders said at 6:02 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Bridgewater just need to keep it up and he will be the first overall pick. While Clowney seems like a once in a life time DE, a QB is still more valuable and the team to pick 1st overall next year will 100% need a QB.

  47. 47 shah8 said at 2:32 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I am not happy.

  48. 48 Patrick said at 2:33 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Worst.Hire.ever… EVER!!!

  49. 49 TommyLawlor said at 2:57 PM on February 7th, 2013:


  50. 50 Patrick said at 3:45 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I might have exacturated a bit, at least Davis is actually a defensive coach, so Kelly already put distance between him and Andy. When, uh, i mean if.. Davis fails i want Castillo back.

  51. 51 Stephen Stempo said at 3:35 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Juan Castillo.

  52. 52 Ark87 said at 3:51 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    2011 Yards ranked 10th, Points ranked 8th, Take Aways ranked 17th
    2012 10th, 13th when he got fired

    compare…and despair

  53. 53 Stephen Stempo said at 3:56 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Um. No your argument falls apart. You have to only take the stats from the TIME of the hire. Though that part is fairly obvious. Nice Straw man though.

  54. 54 Patrick said at 4:03 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    To be honest, i would have preferred Monachino who have never been a DC than Davis, who just never had a good unit. Kinda similar to the draft, with your logic, you never take the draft pick because they havent got any stats from the time of the decision, where Trent Edwards might have some decent stats but we all know he really isnt. When Vick got injured, did you want Edwards to start over Foles?

  55. 55 Patrick said at 4:16 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Just for fun BTW, heres Jim Johnsons numbers from Indy, where he supposedly wasnt a very good coordinator. Not great during the span of 4 years, but much, much better than Davis’ numbers.

  56. 56 Ark87 said at 4:05 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Ok…Its better to have no track record than a bad one then. Especially one so consistently bad, and in different places and with different faces.

  57. 57 Stephen Stempo said at 4:18 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I don’t. And I was only speaking in terms of worst hire ever talk. And Castillo was a worse hire.

  58. 58 Ark87 said at 4:26 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    agree to disagree

  59. 59 planetx1971 said at 1:33 AM on February 11th, 2013:

    Man I would give ANYTHING to disagree with you Patrick. But in my gut I just can’t. I know the Eagles have certainly made worse hires over the years,but with everything riding on this and all the accompanying scrutiny to follow, my got is in knots. I can’t find a positive angle to this from 50 yds. Blinking really fast :(( Over the years my gut feelings have SADLY served me very well…

  60. 60 ACViking said at 2:39 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Re: Reaction to the Choice

    Several commenters have expressed disappointment with the choice.


    1) Who do you think the Eagles should have hired?

    2) What should the Eagles have done differently?

    3) Rob Ryan’s still out there . . . would he have been a better choice?

  61. 61 BobSmith77 said at 2:41 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Valid points and I don’t know the alternatives well enough at this point to make a credible response.

  62. 62 phillyfan1987 said at 3:37 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    it was either Bill with a wealth of exp. , spags with shaky last stint, Monachino a up and comer with no DC history, Greg Williams who the media and nfl is going to closely scrutinize, a college guy with no nfl exp. or Donatell who was blocked…ROB ALL TALK NO STAT D-fence was not a option i would ever consider

  63. 63 Iskar36 said at 3:58 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Career ranking averages:
    Rob Ryan……..22…………..21.7
    Billy Davis…… 26.5…………26.8

    I don’t know that Ryan is a better DC, but you can’t call out Ryan for not having the stats in order to support Davis.

  64. 64 Neil said at 4:14 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I’ll still take Davis. Rob Ryan is a buffoon. Remember him getting a taunting flag for heckling the Bengals offensive tackle. It isn’t just about that foul but the culture of impulsiveness and stupidity such a guy creates around him.

  65. 65 Iskar36 said at 4:19 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not upset that we didn’t hire Ryan, but people throw out Ryan as if he is an absolute awful DC (which I am not really trying to argue), but as a coach, he has had more success than Davis.

  66. 66 phillyfan1987 said at 4:37 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I see your point with the Rob thing… just not a rob guy and think he gets more credit because he’s a ryan

  67. 67 bdbd20 said at 2:46 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Tommy made a similar point in a tweet.

    There was no Dick Lebeau/ Bud Carson out there. Other than Kiffin, everyone had issues. Spags or Ryan would have been “safer” but I’m sure we would find faults with them too.

    We just have to be patient. Sometimes you just have to trust the man in charge.

  68. 68 Stephen Stempo said at 3:43 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I’ll disagree on Ryan being safer. I consider this a “stable” hire with upside and almost no downside. We’re building to a 3-4 anyway so it’s going to take 2 years if Davis isn’t the guy we haven’t wasted a lot of time and we can see who is on the market them.

  69. 69 Neil said at 4:11 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I would argue even Kiffin has issues now, his amazing past besides. His units at USC had some struggles, I believe, and he’s a dinosaur.

  70. 70 47_Ronin said at 5:45 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Saying there was no “Dick Lebeau/ Bud Carson out there” is a straw man argument. Of course there isn’t a HOF coach available to come in as DC b/c such a person would likely be employed on another team. Closes person to the LeBeau/Carson analogy would be Lovie Smith, and the Eagles interviewed him for HC. Smith will be getting paid by Chicago for 2013 so he could afford to decline DC offers and sit out (now maybe there was a possibility he reconsiders if a DC offer came with $$$$ salary??)

    It’s more important to find the LeBeau from 13 years ago who was fired as HC of the Bungles. Is Davis that guy? I don’t know, to me this is a “meh” move. I would’ve liked to had seen the Eagles speak to Spags, Monachino, Jim Leavitt, some assistants from Wade Phillips’ staff. At least that would’ve appeared that the Eagles were kicking every stone for a DC.

  71. 71 ICDogg said at 2:57 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Well, I’m not expressing disappointment with the choice, since I know next to nothing about this guy except what I read today. Really I don’t know a lot about most of the candidates mentioned, other than (in general) the types of defenses they were associated with.

  72. 72 Iskar36 said at 3:53 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    1. Since none of us are in the interviews, it is impossible to say who the Eagles “should” have hired with any certainty. The assumption should be that Billy Davis was the guy who interviewed best among all the coaches the Eagles interviewed and any remaining guys that the Eagles considered either were blocked from being interviewed by their current teams or the Eagles were simply unimpressed with them.

    Having said that, from a resume stand point, Billy Davis is simply unimpressive. People saying he has produced mediocre defenses are giving him undeserved credit considering he has had one defense that was ranked 14th, and the rest were ranked in the late 20s and 30s. Regardless of what talent he had or didn’t have being ranked that low suggests that the defensive coordinator had a significant hand in the failure of that defense.

    For me, I would have much rather taken a chance on an unproven guy such as Monachino who has a much better positive trajectory to his resume. I would also preferred Spags (despite the many questions that I think are fair to ask about his success) because at least he has had proven success in the NFL. Mangini/Rob Ryan both coaches I was not high on still have better resumes than Davis. In other words, from a stand point that does not include being there for the interviews, there are plenty of coaches I would have rather had than Davis, even though as should be pointed all of them had questions.

    2. In terms of what should the Eagles have done differently, I will start off by saying that taking their time and interviewing multiple candidates was the right way to go about things. We will have wait to see if their interview process is successful at identifying a good DC, but strategically, I have no issues with it. The one issue I do have with their strategy is hiring an entire defensive staff without the input of the DC. I understand there are coaches that Chip Kelly likes that he wanted to add to his staff, but because we hired an entire defensive staff without NFL experience, we were basically forced to hire a DC with previous DC experience. That meant we limited the pool of DC candidates and were less able to look at a guy who was a promising positional coach trying to take the next step in the coaching ladder. We were basically limited to retread DCs.

    On top of that, Brian Solomon pointed this out:

    Brian Solomon
    You want a legitimate concern about the Eagles coaching staff? Just hired Billy Davis to coach above a bunch of guys he’s never worked with.

    I think this part of the Eagles strategy was faulty. The DC should have some input on his staff so that he can bring in the guys he feels will best teach his scheme. Now he will not only have to teach all the defensive players, but he will have to teach the entire defensive staff without much help (he may be able to bring in a DB coach he knows).

    3. I mentioned Rob Ryan above. I have no idea if he would have been a better coach or not. He has tons of question marks that make him an unlikable candidate, but so does Davis. I should point out that while I am disappointed right now about us hiring Davis, I do not think it is unreasonable that he can turn things around and make this defense successful. The point about being disappointed is that I think he shows less promise at doing that (again, from the stand point of looking at his resume rather than his ideas he likely shared with CK and the FO for moving forward) than some of the other guys, possibly including Ryan.

    There is no question that time will tell whether he is the right hire or not. I think being disappointing and “knowing” this is a bad hire are two very different things. I am absolutely disappointed. But Davis has an opportunity to succeed here and his past failures can quickly be forgotten if he can help this defense.

  73. 73 phillyfan1987 said at 4:03 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    how do we know he never worked with or knew these guys, how do we know he didnt have a hand in picking them…he was the only person we actually asked permission to talk to and the eagles werent going to confirm anyone until all spots were filled… for all we know he could have been the coach all this time… the list still is not out…maybe we were waiting for stoutland, maybe we are talking a few more positional coaches….there is a method to the madness even if we are clueless to the methods

  74. 74 phillyfan1987 said at 4:09 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    we were waiting for the superbowl thinking our guy was there….maybe we were really waiting for national signing day to pick up the last positional coaches without showing our hands.. you release your hires people began to understand what you plan to run and know who you are going after..I think he was hired when we first heard his name come up…we picked up Chris Mccoy a 3-4 olb and picked up two linebackers coach without knowing whether a 3-4 or hybrid 3-4 coach was available though we have some pieces to make the switch…..this has been in the works for a while like Chip Kelly.. we heard talks that howie went out to visit him while the season was still going on…these people have all their moves charted and we are the only ones who dont knwo whats going on

  75. 75 Iskar36 said at 4:14 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I guess we don’t “know”, but considering we have a good idea of the rest of the staff, I doubt the DC was hired and kept secret but none of the positional coaches were. I just don’t buy that conspiracy theory.

  76. 76 BobSmith77 said at 2:40 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    If the Eagles do switch to a 3-4, it is was going to take at least 2 years anyways for this defense to really begin to show some signs of improvement regardless of who the coordinator was.

    I hate to use the ‘chef is only as good as his ingredients’ but that really holds true here. If they go 3-4, they need to retool the front 7 and the back 4 were a huge mess where they could probably use 3 new starters. 4 if DRC isn’t resigned.

  77. 77 Daniel Norman Richwine said at 2:45 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Seems his teams did improve in takeaways, which is a good thing

  78. 78 Adam said at 2:45 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Tommy do you know if we had a chance to kick the tire on Horton? He was signed the day after he was fired, so maybe they never really got a chance to.

  79. 79 Erik L. Richardson said at 2:46 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    This is a reach at best. Certainly no need to keep a secret for this long. An average DC at best. He’s not a hard-nosed coach. Be very concerned.

  80. 80 Stephen Stempo said at 3:39 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Yeah , I’m just going to not be concerned if it’s all the same to you. We’ll wait and see. Which seems the reasonable response.

  81. 81 A_T_G said at 5:09 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Patience and reason? And you all yourself a fan?

  82. 82 William Flick said at 2:47 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Sure looks to me like he was waiting to hire one of the SB or college coaches and he struck out so Davis is his fall back plan. Like you said, Tommy, sometimes third or fourth choice is a blessing but from first glance this is disappointing….

    It just seems like things are not moving very quickly with the Eagles. I sure hope this is not a sign Kelly is a little bit in over his head, sort of like Reeves was. I am not saying he is in over his head just saying I am beginning to have some concerns that maybe he is not aggressive and/or decisive enough for the NFL. I also realize this could just be because the time of year and his need to do more player evaluation than others because it is all new to him.

    Not giving up on him yet in any way, just a little bit concerned right now. Sign Dixon on Monday, cut Vick and then at least it will maybe seem like there is a plan and they are taking action on it…

  83. 83 Neil said at 4:09 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Possible, but who knows what kind of interview Davis gave.

  84. 84 laeagle said at 4:14 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    So by your logic, Jeff Fisher and Sean Payton aren’t aggressive or decisive enough for the NFL? They have yet to hire their defensive coordinators.

    I don’t understand what timetable you think they should be adhering to, but your judgment seems to be based on false premises.

  85. 85 shah8 said at 6:40 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Jeff Fisher is a cult of personality sort of figure. In my mind, he’s wanting someone who will both kiss up and do a good job of letting him play with the unit.

  86. 86 laeagle said at 6:41 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    You really might want to check how you phrased that.

  87. 87 William Flick said at 9:43 AM on February 8th, 2013:

    My biggest concern is that they obviously waited two weeks for the SB and/or NCAA recruiting season to end and after all is said and done it appears as though they had to settle for some guy…

    That being said, who knows how good of a d coordinator he is? Obnly time will tell and if Kelly is a great leader he will make the people beneath him great, too…

  88. 88 wee2424 said at 2:59 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Someone please describe to me what the 4-3 under is which what people are saying Davis runs?
    Some one here said it more closely resembles a 3-4, but how does something that is called a 4-3 resemble a 3-4?

  89. 89 Anders said at 3:11 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Here is a picture on how the front looks like.

    The reason why it resembles a 3-4 is because the RDE acts the same ways as a pass rushing OLB.

    You can say a 4-3 under front and a 3-4 1 gap (like Dallas used to play and Texans use now) are almost interchangeable

  90. 90 goeagles55 said at 3:19 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    The D line shifts towards the weak side and the Lbs shift towards the strong side with the Sam almost on the line. I don’t know much about it but I guess it kind of is like the 3_4 with one end in a three point stance and one standing up.

  91. 91 A_T_G said at 5:07 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    To add to the comments, one of the DTs lines up between the center and guard, almost like a 34 NT. this forces the center to help block him and insures the other DT, the under tackle, gets single blocked by the other guard. The under tackle position is the glory position of the two, made famous to me by Sapp.

  92. 92 ICDogg said at 3:00 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    No Marilyn McCoo or Fifth Dimension references? I’m disappointed.

  93. 93 Cliff said at 3:03 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    So when Chip Kelly interviewed with Cleveland, did he expense that trip as a scouting trip?

  94. 94 goeagles55 said at 3:10 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I hope so. Banner made him pay for half of the dinner check.

  95. 95 Mac said at 3:10 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    He’ll expose you, when he snows you
    Hope you’re pleased with the crumbs he throws you
    He’s ferocious and he knows just
    What it takes to make a pro blush
    All the boys think he’s a spy, he’s got Billy Davis eyes

  96. 96 Alex Karklins said at 3:18 PM on February 7th, 2013:


  97. 97 Baloophi said at 4:45 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    This is now in my head for the rest of the day. Thanks, Mac.

  98. 98 Flyin said at 3:17 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Here are a couple links about the 4-3 under…

    Billy Davis 2009 interview…

    Seahawks related…

  99. 99 phillyfan1987 said at 3:21 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Bill Davis was probably already hired…. but because announcements about the staff wont be released until everyone is picked we didnt hear anything…Stouland probably needed to make sure Bama got theyre recruits before the announcement could be made….staff should be complete…although i think we need a secondary coach or CB and S coaches even though todd lyght is maybe cb coach

  100. 100 eagles2zc said at 3:21 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Can’t wait for the in-depth Tommy. Both Ds seem to have become dominate after Davis left. I don’t know if that meant he was holding them back or he sowed the seeds but couldn’t reap the rewards

  101. 101 phillyfan1987 said at 3:31 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    why is everyone being a debbie downer… chip hired his staff with different personalities and ideas to make the defense better… under Davis is about 3 or 4 previous College defensive coordinators…with all that wealth of exp and knowledge im guessing we are in good hands. Rick Minter was a DC and had ReX ryan, Mike Tomlin and Ron Rivera under him, Bill McGovern was a Dc and Jerry Azzinaro was a DC and DL coach, they are experts at their positions and former Defensive Coordinators who will run their positions in detail oriented manner…..have some faith

  102. 102 Flyin said at 3:33 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Rumor: Eagles Hire Alabama OL coach Jeff Stoutland

  103. 103 T_S_O_P said at 3:43 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    It’s a good day to be called Billy Davis!

  104. 104 Baloophi said at 4:38 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    So we now have a Chip and a Billy on our coaching staff. Need to hire a Ricky or a Scooter to have a complete set of 1950’s era prepubescent nicknames…

  105. 105 A_T_G said at 5:27 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I believe at one point I suggested we hire Billy D. (Williams), so I think I win the lifetime sunglasses prize.

    At least we met the criteria of having a Bill coaching to triple your chances at a SB victory.

  106. 106 TommyLawlor said at 7:21 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Scooter?? Funniest thing I’ve read all day.

  107. 107 xeynon said at 4:39 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I’m going to wait and see on this hire. He doesn’t have an amazing resume, but nobody with an amazing resume was available, and I think you can make a fair case that in both his previous stints as DC his failures likely have a lot to do with the caliber of talent he had to work with.

  108. 108 mark_in_jax said at 4:41 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I’ll be 63 later this month and I was raised to never say anything unless I had something good to say. Old habits are very hard to break so my comment concerning the Davis hiring is that it appears the worst part of the approaching snowstorm will pass north of Philadelphia.

  109. 109 Baloophi said at 4:44 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    At the very least, he looks tough…

  110. 110 Ark87 said at 6:43 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    he does look the part…I’m sold

  111. 111 Arby1 said at 7:31 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Fearsome?, no, but I’d buy life insurance from him.

  112. 112 Baloophi said at 10:25 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    If he doesn’t improve our putrid D, you just might get that chance…

  113. 113 Ark87 said at 4:48 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Strange that doesn’t have anything up on this yet. Is the hire not official yet?

  114. 114 phillyfan1987 said at 5:08 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I think we still need a secondary coach if you believe we have two LB coaches

  115. 115 TommyLawlor said at 7:21 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Kelly wants to announce the whole staff at once.

  116. 116 Lukekelly65 said at 4:52 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    I’ve watched a pretty good amout of dion jordans games he is very interesting to me. any thoughts on him? would he be a total reach at 4? and would he fit in our new defense?

  117. 117 A_T_G said at 5:23 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    So to go back to my “fast, cheap, good work; pick any two” comment, it looks like we valued experience and stability over success in another area. Like many of the commenters, I am going to take the wait and see approach since there wasn’t a guy with an obvious advantage.

    Chip is our boom or bust hire, surrounding him with experience isn’t a bad way to go.

  118. 118 76mustang said at 8:05 PM on February 7th, 2013:

    Chip Kelly has demonstrated his ability to win consistently with lesser rated talent
    ( His staff at Oregon loved working for/with him, and it’s not much of a stretch to imagine how he could recognize a lesser rated coach that will mesh well with his staff and philosophies and put him in a position to succeed. Watch and see how energized the Eagle’s organization will be under Kelly’s leadership…