May 18, 2013

WHAT SHOULD THE EAGLES DEFENSE FOCUS ON?

THERE'S a poll up right now on the Eagles website asking:

What D Stat Needs To Be Best?

@Low on missed tackles  

@Red-zone efficiency  

@Takeaways  

@QB completion percentage  

@Rush yards per carry

In all truth it's none of these. Aspiring to a categorical stat line is exactly how you get into trouble. More turnovers than last year, more sacks, those were mantras for the last TWO years remember? No, if you really want to focus the Defense you give them a single area of focus

You set a Points ceiling.

Under Jim Johnson, the number was 17. The reasoning was that winning teams generally keep opponents to 20 or fewer, so JJ simply raised the bar a tad. Which send two messages: 1) That he expected BETTER than the minimum from his unit; and 2) That there was a Standard, by which each man, (be he Coach, Player, Fan) could assess whether or not the Defense was letting down the team. 

There was a Standard. A rule. A measure by which to gauge and guide progress. You could assign points surrendered (JJ didn't do this) in the Monday meeting to the man who missed the tackle, the ball, or the read which lead to the score. You make it cumulative and attach it to playing time and contract talks. You'd get instant accountability, and light a fire under the pride of even the most laid back of men. Either that or you'd smoke out the whiners who don't want to be held accountable for what we all have witnessed. Then you send him packing to some other team that will tolerate such an attitude. You keep only those who act and think as winners.

This coupled with what is reputed as a high scoring Offense, should build you a winning team almost by default. We've seen it done with an efficient (if not high scoring) Offense. No reason why that approach shouldn't be tried again. 

 

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