The Philadelphia Eagles have a new play-caller on the defensive side of the ball. Sean Desai is still the coordinator, but senior defensive assistant Matt Patricia is the man running the show. New voices bring a relative amount of uncertainty. Might Patricia use different packages? Was he going to change the rotation of players? We got our answers, and they’re both good and bad. ‘
After Monday Night Football, we checked out Footballguys.com to see what the snap counts looked like. As you’d imagine, they’re pretty indicative of the product that we saw on the field. Keep this in mind when you're looking into the playing time:
The Eagles' defense was on the field for 59 plays, and the offense played 69 snaps. Let's take a look at what that means.
Shaq Leonard: 28 snaps
Patrick Johnson: 8 snaps
When the Eagles picked up Shaq Leonard, we didn’t expect much out of him. Unfortunately, he’s performed below those expectations, almost constantly looking cooked and too far away from the play to make any difference.
If you were watching the game and wondering who wears the number 48 jersey, that’d be Patrick Johnson. He’s largely a special teamer and that’s probably where he should stay.
It makes sense to give Leonard some reprieve. Johnson, however, isn’t the guy for the job. That being said, there unfortunately isn't anyone else to do the job either.
Haason Reddick: 51 snaps
Josh Sweat: 46 snaps
Brandon Graham: 18 snaps
We keep hearing about Josh Sweat being mad that he’s “almost” getting to the quarterback, but instead of helping him out by giving him some rest, the Eagles are throwing him out there more often. It’s infuriating.
What did we do to deserve this? What did we do to deserve seeing the two guys who have the best chance of getting to the quarterback have their tires worn down to the rim? Yes, Brandon Graham is older, but he very clearly can play more than just 30% of the snaps. Why isn't he?
On top of that, Nolan Smith only had nine snaps. To be fair and realistic, he did get hurt during the game. It looked like something in his shoulder got jacked up again, which you don’t want to see for one of your first-round draft picks. Keep an eye on that as we move forward.
Sydney Brown: 48 snaps
Aside from games where Reed Blankenship has been hurt, this was the largest percentage of snaps that Brown has played this season. That’s largely due to more defensive packages with three safeties.
We’ve seen those packages a handful of times this season. Ideally, they take a linebacker off the field, and since the Eagles' linebackers have been less effective than a speed bump at a monster truck rally, it’s a nice package to see.
Brown did miss a handful of tackles, but at least he adds some juice and some life to the defense. He’s also got great hair, so that helps too.
Kelee Ringo: 32 snaps
Eli Ricks: 29 snaps
With the defense being as terrible as it’s been this year, it’s great to see young guys getting a good workload, especially at corner. The situation leading up to this was less than ideal, with Slay being out because of surgery, but it’s good to see a shred of positivity come out of it.
James Bradberry has been a tremendous disappointment this season, and when Slay returns to play, it’d be great to see (hopefully) Ringo get some starting snaps over a declining vet.
Olamide Zaccheaus: 9 snaps
Quez Watkins: 36 snaps
Olamide Zaccheaus is so much fun to watch. He gives it his all on every play. He’s shifty whenever he has the ball, and he has pretty good hands… It’s just that for some reason, the coaches love Quez Watkins. It's hard to understand the infatuation.
Find yourself someone who loves you as much as the Eagles love Quez Watkins. Just hope that the person you find doesn’t ruthlessly disappoint you as much as Quez disappoints everyone.