Is Kelly Putting The Fight Back Into Philly?
By Bret Stuter
Nov 3, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinatorBill Davis
during the game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Eagles defeated the Raiders 49-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Year Three: Billy Davis Had Never Been Here Before
Defensive coordinator Billy Davis is entering his third year with the Philadelphia Eagles. In previous two stints as defensive coordinator, he was given two years to “make something happen back there”. In both previous stints, with the San Francisco 49ers and with the Arizona Cardinals, two years was simply not enough time.
Is three years?
Well, if you look at the front seven for these Eagles, you have to smile to yourself. They are good and they are deep at the positions, never more so than this year with the addition of Kiko Alonso as an inside linebacker.
So can year three be the year? Has the defense added the right pieces to the defense this year? It’s tough to say that with certainty. I think the defensive coaches are in place now who know how to build a good defense. Do they have everything they need? The million dollar question. We know that the Eagles have not exactly focused on the defensive backfield in the past two drafts. They signed free agents in Patrick Chung, Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, and packaged them with Nate Allen and called it good, then went about drafting to other areas of the defense and offense.
Occasionally, the team did select a candidate: 2014 round four cornerback Jaylen Watkins and round five safety Ed Reynolds, 2013 round five safety Earl Wolff and round seven cornerback Jordan Poyer, 2012 round four cornerback Brandon Boykin. 2011 round two safety Jaiquawn Jarrett round three cornerback Curtis Marsh, 2010 round two safety Nate Allen, round four cornerback Trevor Lindley, round seven safety Kurt Coleman.
Some have gone on to make the rosters of other teams, some have simply gone on. But so far, Brandon Boykin is the only player in the past five years worth of drafts expected to compete for starting time in an Eagles uniform this year.
Will the new year bring new results? Hopefully. The draft is loaded with good cornerback talent. With the price of free agency at the position in the top tiers of the NFL, the team would be well served to grow their own talent in the draft and try to avoid using free agency to staff the position. In fact, the team has not had post season success with average defensive backs. Its been our history that we go as far as the cornerbacks take us.
So the 2015 should keep that in mind.
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