HomeDa Birds NewsEagles' Defensive Players and Coaches Show Startling Disconnect

Eagles’ Defensive Players and Coaches Show Startling Disconnect

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Eagles’ Defensive Players and Coaches Show Startling Disconnect

The 2023 season started off strong for the Eagles defense, under the leadership of new DC Sean Desai. He emphasized the importance of players swarming the ball, getting off blocks, and taking away the run game to rush the passer. The early games showcased the potential of the defense and Desai’s vision for the team.

However, as the season progressed, the defense started to struggle, particularly in the second quarter of the season. The inability to stop third down conversions in consecutive games highlighted the issues the defense was facing.

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In response to the declining performance, head coach Nick Sirianni made the decision to transfer the defensive responsibilities to assistant Matt Patricia, moving Desai to the coaching box.

Unfortunately, the change did not yield the expected results.

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Under Patricia, the defense faced communication issues, poor play calls, and a decline in performance, particularly in the run game. There were also concerns about the deployment of players, such as Haason Reddick, in roles that did not maximize their strengths.

Despite the coaching changes, both Patricia and Sirianni downplayed the impact of the transition on the players. They emphasized that the defensive scheme had not undergone significant changes and that the players should be able to adapt seamlessly.

“It’s hard. It’s a hard thing to do. But, it’s our job at the end of the day, so it’s no complaints about it.

But, it’s definitely a hard thing, right. You spent so much time with one DC, and a new DC at that, at the beginning of the year, and trying to learn everything he wants us to do, his terminology, the way that he calls things, and then towards the end of the season, we switch.”

Players like Reddick acknowledged the challenges of adapting to a new playcaller, especially in terms of communication, terminology, and the way plays were called. The adjustment was particularly difficult for younger players.

Darius Slay also shared similar sentiments, comparing the experience of having two different DCs to dating two different women with contrasting preferences. He expressed uncertainty about the future of the DC role but suggested that former Eagles DB coach Dennard Wilson would have been a better fit for the team in 2023.

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The disconnect between the coaches and players regarding the impact of changing DCs on the defense was apparent. The struggles on the field were not effectively addressed, and there was a lack of acknowledgment of the challenges faced by the players.

It became evident that changing the defensive coordinator would not immediately resolve the issues. The coaches’ portrayal of the transition as insignificant did not align with the team’s on-field performance.

The Eagles’ Next Steps: What Comes Next?

As the season came to a close, it was clear that immediate improvements were unlikely. Looking ahead, the Eagles need to prioritize communication with players and consider their input when making decisions about the defensive scheme. It is essential to provide stability and support for the defense in the upcoming offseason and give the next DC an opportunity to implement their vision over a full season.

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