Posted December 21, 2012 on
AP on Fox
In two games since Philadelphia coach Andy Reid fired defensive line coach Jim Washburn and hired veteran Tommy Brasher to replace Washburn's wide-nine scheme with a conventional front, the Eagles' secondary has suddenly become respectable.
''It's helped the defense out tremendously,'' said Kurt Coleman, who will start at safety alongside Colt Anderson against the Washington Redskins on Sunday in the Eagles' latest revamped secondary.
After allowing quarterbacks to complete 68 percent of their passes with 18 touchdowns during the eight-game losing streak that doomed Washburn and his wide nine, a scheme that makes life difficult for defensive backs, the Eagles have allowed just three TD passes and limited quarterbacks to a 44 percent completion percentage over the last two weeks.
''I think what we're doing now has helped everyone's comfort level, especially mine,'' said cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who struggled much of the year before turning in consecutive solid performances.
The wide nine puts a tremendous amount of pressure on defensive backs by forcing them to think run first, since the defensive ends are so far out of position to play the run. This creates massive areas of the field that simply can't be covered.
''It's more true,'' Coleman said. ''It's a more true defense. And you're not asked to fill holes as fast. You can be a little more patient, which helps us out and helps the corners because they know they can have a little under presence by a safety or over-the-top presence, whatever the coverage may be. So it's helping everyone all the way around.''
After losing eight straight games and allowing quarterbacks an astronomical passer rating of 117.6 during that span, the Eagles beat the Buccaneers two weeks ago in Tampa, Fla., and then didn't allow a touchdown drive longer than 44 yards in a loss to the Bengals a week ago Thursday.
The passer rating against the Eagles the last two weeks: A dramatically improved 73.8.
''I think we're mixing some things up a little more,'' said defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who replaced Juan Castillo when the Eagles were 3-3. ''There are times when we're helping up front and times we're helping in the back. Just having a good mix overall kind of helps the coverage.''
On Sunday, the retooled Eagles defense gets a rematch with a team that gave the unit fits during the losing streak.
Five weeks ago, Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III was 14 for 15 (93.3 percent) for 200 yards with four touchdowns, no interceptions and a perfect 158.3 passer rating in a 31-6 win over Philadelphia.
The Eagles, 4-10 and in last place in the NFC East, host the 8-6 Redskins, winners of five straight. It's another chance for this pass defense to demonstrate that the root of its problems wasn't personnel or execution but scheme.
''Since Todd came around there was a starting-over process with us,'' Asomugha said. ''Now it's starting to take shape ever since the Tampa game. ... Being able to play a little bit faster always helps.''
In 12 games this year with Washburn in place, the defensive linemen had only 13 sacks. They have eight in two games since Brasher took over.
''The D-line is playing really well, so that always helps us in the back end,'' Asomugha said. ''You've definitely seen more of what (Bowles) can do. (The defense) is a little more intricate than it was in the weeks before.''
BEST OF MAXIM
Free agent talk in December? Yes, that’s what the 2012 version of the Philadelphia Eagles has led us to. Once the dust settles at the Nova Care Complex after this team gets blown up in January, it won’t be long until the annual free agent shopping extravaganza opens up in March.
There’s a saying that most coaches like to be the ones to buy the groceries since they’re...
Barring some momentary lapse of reason by Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie, Andy Reid will take Lincoln Financial Field today as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles for the final time. It will be a situation that will be emotion filled for the fans of Philadelphia. The question is: what emotion will it be filled with?
Andy Reid is the winningest coach in Philadelphia Eagles history. He...
With the end of the Andy Reid era on the horizon, many names have been floated out there as possible replacements for Reid.
John Gruden, Bill Cowher, Nick Saban, Chip Kelly, Brian Kelly. We’ve heard all those names over and over again.
Not many people are talking about Mike McCoy though.
McCoy, who is currently the offensive coordinator with the Denver Broncos, has said to have...
NewsTags: Andy ReidColt AndersonJason AvantJeremy MaclinLeSean McCoyNick FolesPhiladelphia EaglesReid’s Last Home Game
The Eagles haven’t shown a lot of heart this year, but they came out and played hard for their head coach in what is very likely to be Andy Reid’s final home game as the head coach of Philadelphia.
The Eagles fought back...
Andy Reid’s final stand will come at the Linc on Sunday. Image via GCobb.com
Regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s game at Lincoln Financial Field between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins, it will be significant day in the franchise’s history. Why? Because it will very likely mark the last game in Philadelphia for Andy Reid, the last time he will have an...
I guess we're dealing with Andy Reid's final home game as an Eagle...
This doesn't make me happy. Yes, I know Andy's time has come and gone. He's brought me more good than bad, but we all know his tenure as head coach of this franchise has burned out like a candle in the wind.
So what now?
Welp, we play out the schedule. There's no getting around...
SecondaryTags: Howie RosemanNate AllenPhiladelphia EaglesFor years Eagles head coach Andy Reid has gone out of way to protect his players. He’s still doing that but not nearly as much. It could because he’s on his way out or there could be another reason. It could be a way to shine light on the poor job done by talent evaluator...
Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy is defending his only NFL coach he's ever had, Andy Reid, who has taken most the blame for the Eagles disappointing season.
"If you sat here and tried to name 5 to 8 coaches that's better than coach Reid, I would like to hear it," McCoy said. "Coach Reid's a good coach. He gets blamed for everything. Sometimes...
This Sunday's matchup between the Redskins and Eagles is a prime case of two teams on drastically different paths.Washington was supposed to struggle mightily, with Philadelphia finally on the right track after having too many new faces in town for 2011 to be a success.In reality, the Redskins are in a three-way tie for the NFC East crown while the rival Eagles are firmly cemented...
The Philadelphia Eagles will interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Sunday in Denver.
The Eagles, who fired Andy Reid on Monday after a 4-12 season in which they finished in last place in the NFC East, have already interviewed Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, and also have interest in some college coaches...
Very Little Time Is Yours
> Head Coach for Please God, Just 7 More Days And 3 More Hours Andy Reid went for it twice on fourth down > QB Nick Foles demonstrated an ability to roll off contact and fall to convert a fourth down> The Redskins are quite good at jumping offsides> WR Jeremy Maclin continued his late-season drive to make it look like 2012 wasn't a completely...