Let’s play a game of worse case scenario for the moment. Yesterday, CSNPhilly.com quoted Billy Davis as saying that the secondary “was not there.”
He had harsh words for his unit. We keep hearing patience, wait for the transition, they are learning a new system and new techniques, players are changing positions. Each one of these statements has a ring of truth, but what if the defense never improves?
What if the free agent acquisitions don’t pan out? Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher become low-level starters. The safeties keep getting beat and never find their footing. The line still doesn’t stop the run.
Can this team survive on the strength of the Chip Kelly offense? The Indianapolis Colts did it for many seasons under the arm of the great Peyton Manning. They had an electric offense, a Hall of Fame quarterback, and the players to make it work. Their defense was always suspect. They had to put up a ton of points but they were successful enough to put a Lombardi trophy on their shelves.
I’m not saying Michael Vick is the guy to make it happen. He is, at best, a transitional quarterback until Kelly finds his franchise player. His offense needs a quarterback with the arms, legs, and intelligence to run it to the fullest extent. We’ve seen part of the system on Friday night and will not see it fully unveiled until the opener on September 9.
If Kelly’s offense does succeed and he introduces a new wrinkle in the evolution of the league, than Davis may not need a dominating force on his side of the ball. He just needs to get his unit up to speed, and good enough to prevent a run of points. It is a long jump to clear from the mess of Friday night’s performance, and hopefully he can find the answers he needs before it is too late.