Once upon a time, Philadelphia registered as a defensive city, with punishing, shutdown, bruisers playing for some of the greatest defensive-minded coaches in NFL history. Historically, the Philadelphia Eagles’ identity embeds in the tough soil of defense. However, the Eagles’ team of 2013 added to its organization’s history on the other side of the pigskin. Head coach Chip Kelly masterminded a walloping offensive attack, orchestrating a record-breaking season all around. In just his first year in the NFL, and amid doubts of his commitment and ability to coach at the professional level, Kelly & Co. broke previously held team records such as passing yards, touchdowns, total net yards and points scored, in addition to fewest turnovers. He proved in season one that offense is something he knows a lot about, and he is very good at it. He had a banner coming out year but it’s time to move on.
The defense struggled at times, often early on in the season. Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive coordinator Billy Davis was just hired, and the Eagles decided to part ways with some of their staff and players of the 2012 team. With previous head coach, Andy Reid ousted, he left and and took his coaches to Kansas City, Missouri with him. Chip Kelly had to start from the ground up, bringing in his coaches and style of play, and adding pieces to the defense that he let walk away or released. It was not easy for Philadelphia to begin the transition from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4, and it showed. Fortunately, by week 7, Billy Davis’ plan was beginning to come into play. The Eagles held opposing teams to under 21 points on game day seven times, as it was easy to see the comradery, fluidity, communication and trust developing into the perfect ingredient of team chemistry – and it was a beautiful thing. It took months, and a bunch of mistakes but the Philadelphia Eagles found their defensive identity again, after losing it with the lost of the late and invaluably great defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. Now it is time to build on that identity of being a “bend but don’t break” defense that make the other teams earn every touchdown they get.