While the Philadelphia Eagles offense is getting all of the headlines this offseason, the defense will be the key to their success. As the first two seasons under head coach Chip Kelly have proven, you can have one of the best offenses in the league, but you won’t get far with a mediocre…or downright bad defense.
With the additions of cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond III, the team should finally have some much needed help outside. They also added added inside linebacker Kiko Alonso via trade and re-signed outside linebacker Brandon Graham in free agency. Assuming the team drafts a safety somewhat high in the draft, they’ll have all the pieces to be a successful defense. Now it’s up to defensive coordinator Bill Davis to get the job done, all the pressure is on him to take this team to the next level.
Mariota on possible Kelly Reunion: ‘Would be fun to be part of it again’ – Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com
"Mariota realizes the odds of such a reunion are long. The Eagles pick at No. 20. Mariota could be chosen as early as No. 1 overall by Tampa Bay.Mariota, though, wouldn’t mind if Kelly could maneuver Philadelphia in position for his services with the same type of bold moves already exhibited during this offseason’s roster makeover.“Coach Kelly has a purpose with everything he does,” Mariota told FOX Sports in a telephone interview. “When it comes down to it, I’m sure if his plan is to move up, he will. I know this: He’s going to do what he can to make the Eagles franchise the best he can make it come the first game of the season."
Early Birds: Can Brandon Graham handle increased workload? – Jeff McLane of Philly.com
"I bring this up because the Eagles are giving one of their part-time players a more significant role. First and foremost, Brandon Graham isn’t Mayberry. When given more snaps last season, he was more productive than he was playing less the year before.But his responsibilities will grow this season, as will the pressures after he signed a big contract."
Pressure is on Bill Davis to improve Eagles defense – Bob Brookover of Philly.com
"There’s no question the sports figure under the most scrutiny in this city is Chip Kelly. He wanted all the power, he got it, and he proceeded to perform a massive roster makeover. He is either going to become the most revered or the most reviled coach in franchise history. Given his hubris, there can be no in between.With the state of the other three major sports franchises in disarray, the second biggest microscope in the city is focused on Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis. In both a good and a bad way, Davis can thank Kelly for that distinction."
No meaningful Bradford contract talks, yet – Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com
"When the Eagles traded last month for quarterback Sam Bradford, it was believed that efforts promptly would be made to extend a contract that pays him $12.985 million in 2015, the final year of his rookie deal. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, no meaningful talks have occurred.The failure of the Eagles to make a significant effort to extend Bradford’s stay has sparked speculation in league circles that Bradford could indeed be traded again, even though coach Chip Kelly insisted that Bradford won’t be used as a bargaining chip."
2015 NFL Draft: Brian Dawkins says Eagles defense might not fit Landon Collins – Matt Lombardo of NJ.com
"Currently an NFL analyst for ESPN, Dawkins’ sentiment regarding the safeties in this year’s draft class seems to echo that of scouts and analysts alike: very few blue chippers to be had which could mean slim pickings for the Eagles,who remain desperate to find a starting safety capable of starting alongside Malcolm Jenkins.“I know a lot of people are loving Landon Collins,” Dawkins said during an appearance on the Mike Missanelli Show on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. “Looking at him, the way that Alabama uses him, I think he will be a beast in the right situation, in the right defense. I don’t know that the Eagles defense is right for him because they ask their safeties to cover so much."
This may have flew under the radar for most Eagles’ fans but John Canzano of the Oregonian tweeted this out yesterday. It’s pretty telling considering Canzano covered Kelly for so long when he was a coach for the Oregon Ducks. He should know Kelly just as well, if not better, than Philadelphia reporters. It could also mean absolutely nothing, but the fact that he thinks the Eagles and Kelly will ultimately “get what they want,” referring to Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, it’s something to think about for sure.
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