Eagles Notes: First test awaits Birds' evolving defense

Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Posted: September 07, 2013

Bill Davis has maintained since the spring that September would be a litmus test for where the Eagles are in their transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense. Monday's opener against the Washington Redskins will offer Davis the first clues.

"I'm very anxious for the Redskins to show us who we are and where we are," Davis said. "The truth will be at the end of that game - we will know defensively how far along we are."

Linebacker Connor Barwin was on the Houston Texans in 2011 when they transitioned from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Barwin said that team didn't feel comfortable until Week 6. That was when the players knew their roles and started to click.

"I hope it's Week 1 and we get it firing Monday night," said Barwin, who added that the defense is evolving.

Barwin said Houston's defense developed slowly because the coordinator was trying to figure out what plays worked best and he needed time to gain the players' trust.

Expect the Eagles defense to represent more of a hybrid than a traditional 3-4.

"No matter what I wish for or what I want, doesn't matter," Davis said. "The game will show us who we are."

'Designated dive guy'

One tactic the Eagles offense might see from opposing defenses this year is defenders faking injuries to stop the clock and slow down the game. Former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, who now works for Fox, said this week that the Bears had a "designated dive guy" who would pretend to be injured.

"There's strategies and tactics to everything that happens in the game, whether it's obvious or not," Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. "We are aware of what gets said and what gets talked about, but we can't really control that.  We have just got to try to put our players in a good position to make plays and then do what we want to do."

Few wounded

The Eagles had only two players on Thursday's injury report: cornerback Brandon Hughes (hand) and tackle Dennis Kelly (back).


 

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|