The 2013 Philadelphia Eagles Defense had a rough year, but as the season progressed the Defensive unit as a whole started improving. The Eagles ranked dead last, 32nd, in the NFL in Pass Defense yet still managed to finished the season as the 17th overall Defense according to Pro-Football-Reference.com. In all fairness the Eagles had a lot of changes to deal with as a team. Almost and entirely new Coaching staff, new players and most importantly, a new Defensive scheme.
Switching from a 4-3 Defense to a 3-4 Defense might not seem like a tough transition, but the Eagles had been building and drafting key players to fit the 4-3 Defense, now those players are asked to attempt a new role that totally changes the way they play their position. Some players had a slow start and the whole Defensive unit needed time playing together.
By season’s end, the Philadelphia Eagles Defense looked like they were headed in the right direction and players were starting to buy into Coach Bill Davis’ scheme. Fast forward to the 2014 off-season and the Eagles have made some key moves on Defense. Bringing in Malcolm Jenkins was not initially received well by most Eagles fans who were looking for a hard hitting Safety. Long gone are the days of Brian Dawkins bringing the thunder from the back-field, but Eagles fans should embrace Jenkins, he is after all turning heads during training camp.
Jenkins is bringing a leader to the Eagles Defensive back-field and by most accounts from training camp, his knack for playing great man-to-man Defense is exactly what Philly as been missing. Jenkins joins a Defensive unit that should improve in their 2nd season in the same scheme. The Eagles are bringing back the entire starting Defense minus one Safety position, which Malcolm Jenkins has all but locked up.
Not only is almost the entire Defense returning to the field, the Eagles have added some nice depth in key positions. Nolan Carroll is looking outstanding and pushing to enter a starting outside corner position, Brandon Boykin is back and bigger than ever and Earl Wolff is back from injury. According to reports from training camp, Rookies Marcus Smith, Jaylen Watkins, Taylor Hart and Beau Allen have been turning heads and improving every day. With all the returning players, new play makers and a solid rookie class, it is time for the Eagles Defense to step up and become one of the more consistently dominant Defenses in the NFL.