Simplifying things seemed like a good way to defend against the Los Angeles Rams' offensive complexity, Jim Schwartz said Tuesday, but it turned out to be a disaster.
Schwartz said the Eagles defense’s problems in Sunday’s 37-19 loss stemmed from him trying to make the physical challenges easier by setting things up so the defenders didn’t have to, say, work through traffic to cover a certain player; instead, they were told to react to keys and let those reads determine their assignments.
“Chase two rabbits, catch none,” the Eagles' defensive coordinator said.
“I had a poor game plan. We had a very simple game plan. … The Rams use a lot of tempos out of their huddle, a lot of different motions, and things like that. The whole sort-of theme was to make it as simple as we could, and we’ve had success with that in the past. But in an effort to do that, I also created a lot of conflict with what the guys were doing — it gave them a lot of stuff to look at,” Schwartz said. “What I thought would make it easier didn’t make it easier. It made it harder.
“A more complex game plan would have narrowed the focus of each individual player. It would have made it more difficult to execute, but it would have narrowed the focus. … We went to that after about three series. We made a little rally, but it was too late, and I take that on myself. … I take 100% responsibility for that.”
Schwartz said he switched to a plan that “allowed the guys to focus more on their particular area, but it also became physically very difficult to execute, because of all the traffic and the picks.”
Schwartz said he isn’t thinking right now about making any personnel changes on a defense that has allowed 64 points in two losses and has seen opponents score touchdowns on 7 of 9 red-zone opportunities.