Davis vows to fix Eagles' broken defense
A month and a half ago, Bill Davis was feeling pretty good about his Eagles defense. Nine games into the season, the Eagles were tied for ninth in points allowed and were in the middle of the pack statistically against the run and the pass.
And then, starting with that god-awful 45-17 loss to Tampa Bay, it all went to hell.
"This year, I really believed we were turning a corner and had it turned at about the eight- or nine-game mark,'' Davis said Tuesday. "I was very excited about the group and their understanding (of the defense) and where we were going.
"And then it went south on us. That's the problem I have to solve. I have to figure out why and when and how, and then how are we going to fix it and how are we going to make sure it doesn't happen again next year.
"Because we've shown we're capable of playing top defense. But we didn't hold serve. We didn't maintain it through a 16-game season. And that's disappointing. That's what I have to figure out.''
In the last six games, the Eagles have given up 36 points and 450.2 yards per game. That's nearly 16 points and 92 yards per game more than they gave up in the first nine games.
After giving up 15 touchdowns in the first nine games, they've been torched for 19 in the last six. Had 12 interceptions in those first nine games. Have had just three in the last six.
Asked what gives him the confidence that that they can get it fixed, Davis went back to those first nine games.
"The proof is there,'' the defensive coordinator said. "The proof is there that we do have the players to make plays and stop the run game and get off the field on third down.
"Again, why it went and turned on us, I have to figure that out. We as a group and as an organization will solve this problem.''
Still to be determined is whether Chip Kelly will give Davis the opportunity to fix what's broken with his defense.
The 6-9 Eagles limp into Sunday's meaningless regular-season finale against the Giants ranked 30th in total defense and 28th in points allowed.
"In the NFL, you talk about job security,'' Davis said. "Your job is on the line every week. You see that by the firings that happen with head coaches and coordinators all through the season. There isn't a day or week you don't think your job's on the line. That's why we put the hours in we do. That's why we dedicate ourselves the way we do.
"It's a big-boy business. It's part of the deal. The only way to stop the conversation about your job security is to win more games. That's all it's about. So we have to make sure we find the reasons we didn't win more games this year and change that for next year.''
Davis said one of his defense's biggest problems has been consistency.
"The thing that keeps coming back to me is consistency,'' he said. "Consistency in tackling, scheming it to where the guys are in position to make plays and then getting out of the way and letting them make plays.
"The inconsistency is what jumps out. From third down to stopping the run to (giving up) the 'X' plays. The red-zone touchdowns are really something I've got to solve. It's points on the board. It's something that we haven't had an issue with before, but not we do.''
Practice notes: Left tackle Jason Peters, who took himself out of Saturday's loss to the Redskins in the fourth quarter with an elbow injury, practiced Tuesday. ... Cornerback Byron Maxwell (shoulder) and nose tackle Bennie Logan (calf), who didn't play against the Redskins, didn't practice Tuesday. Neither is expected to play Sunday.