In 2021, Jonathan Gannon’s defense caught a lot of heat, and rightfully so. Philadelphia Eagles fans did not shy away from voting their complaints. While the necessary personnel for his scheme wasn’t available, his defenses still got caught without the right numbers in coverage multiple times.
There were free releases for anyone who lined up in the slot way too often. These were just a few of the issues. It didn’t seem like he adjusted to the personnel and wanted to run a defense that didn’t have all the pieces in place yet.
Jordan Davis doesn’t fix every single problem but he certainly helps in a huge way. The six-foot-six, 346-pound lineman can move around but will likely see time as a 0-shade, 1-tech, and 3-tech.
The first two alignments feel like where he’ll spend most of his snaps. Regardless of where he lines up, he is going to open up room for teammates on both the interior and off the edge to do damage in the pass rush.
Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, and Milton Williams should really benefit from his presence by winning one-on-ones against a guard or tackle. Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, and Haason Reddick are going to have quality opportunities to get home in a hurry. Kyzir White will help in pressure packages occasionally as well.
Jordan Davis makes life easier for the rest of the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense.
Whether it’s on a four-man rush, stunt or twist, fire zone, or other pressure packages, Davis’ ability to take on multiple offensive linemen at once makes this team way better. Not to mention, his violent hands and quick burst will allow him to win on his own a decent amount of the time.
Offensive lines will suffer the consequences if they don’t allocate an extra man towards him. The way this pass rush functions should be a huge help for the secondary.
His biggest impact should be in the run game. At the end of the day, it’s a numbers game.
Brandon Staley and others have put emphasis on stopping the run with as many bodies dropping into coverage as possible. One of the most popular ways to do that might be with the gap-and-a-half scheme often played with the 4i-0-4i front. The goal is to force the run to the outside and allow the DBs to come up and rally to the football. It should be noted that this isn’t the only way to stop the run with fewer bodies in the box, it’s just one method.
Putting Davis on the interior allows for the Philadelphia Eagles to accomplish this goal more often than not. His ability to take on multiple interior offensive linemen while still anchoring and holding his ground is exceptional. He can move laterally with his athleticism and still block up gaps for running backs. Davis should allow the Eagles to have a numbers advantage in coverage to both sides of the formation.
Philadelphia can play out of their two-high shell with six men in the box. Winning on the early downs and forcing third and long situations will make it much easier for the Eagles to keep Davis fresh throughout the course of the game. Adding Davis should open up the playcalling with a variety of fronts for Jonathan Gannon and make it easier on the guys lining up on the line and especially behind him.