Billy Davis, Not Talent, The Problem With The Philadelphia Eagles Defense


It is a known commodity that the Philadelphia Eagles defense is the weak spot of their team. For the second straight season, the Eagles defense ranked in the bottom-five in the league.

While some may say that it is talent that is the problem with the Eagles defense, at some point you have to put some blame on the coaches. Chip Kelly is an offensive minded coach, therefore much of the defense responsibility is left to defensive coordinator Billy Davis.

The Eagles defense did step up to a point last year giving up 20 or less points in eight games, however, they still were the obvious weak spot of the team.

Many blamed Patrick Chung and the secondary play for the Eagles’ defensive issues, however taking what we now, that is not the case.

After ranking 68th out of 86 safeties on Pro Football Focus last season(Subscription Required), Chung, now with the Patriots is graded as a top-20 safety. Yes, that Patrick Chung.

The only difference between the Eagles and the Patriots is the defense is the coaching, and Chung proves that it is Davis’ coaching that is the main issue, not necessarily the talent.

The same can be said about Bradley Fletcher. While Fletcher has never been a top-tier, shut down cornerback, before coming to Philadelphia, had a positive grade on Pro Football Focus(Subscription Required), putting him in the top-40 cornerbacks in the league.

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Fletcher, before Philadelphia had 7th least catch percentage in the NFL only allowing receptions on 47.1 of passes targeted at him, and among cornerbacks with at least 350 snaps and was second in average amount of yards allowed on receptions in his coverage.

In Philadelphia, Fletcher’s name has now been banned from the streets after the performance against the Dallas Cowboys, a performance that was forgettable, but also could have been helped had Davis adjusted coverage towards Dez Bryant.

Davis has never been successful as a defensive coordinator as he has been fired from his previous two stints  in San Francisco and Arizona after two seasons each.  In Arizona and San Francisco he lead defenses that ranked  32nd, 26th, 20th and 29th, and now you can add 28th and 29th to that list as well.

How does this guy still have a job?!

The problem with the Eagles defense isn’t their talent, Patrick Chung and Bradley Fletcher are perfect examples of that. Both have succeeded with other teams, yet struggling to make it in the City of Brotherly Love.

Nate Allen is a player you can work with, Cary Williams is a player you can work with. They are not the issue. They dont speak for the most 20 and 40 plus yard plays given up in the NFL the last two seasons.

The problem with the Eagles defense is their inept coordinator. It is too late to fire Davis and start over for next season, but their is no question that the Eagles defensive coordinator should be kept on a short leash.

While I’m not saying that the Eagles shouldn’t go out and sign a cornerback this offseason or pick one up in the draft, it is certainly a position of need. However, What I am saying is the talent is secondary isn’t solely to blame.

Next: Free Agent Cornerbacks Eagles Should Consider

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