What Changes Can Be Made To Improve Philadelphia Eagles’ Secondary?
The Philadelphia Eagles defense has been hard to watch since the second half began in last week’s game against the Washington Redskins. I know it’s still early in the season, but once Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers hit the field for the final drive in Sunday’s game, we all knew the game was over since the team’s secondary couldn’t stop anything Rivers was throwing.
Every player on that secondary had their fair share of bad plays throughout that matchup. Cary Williams had multiple pass interference penalties, Earl Wolff was taking bad angles that resulted in missed tackles, Patrick Chung was struggling when the Eagles moved to cover-2, and don’t even get me started on Nate Allen.
The only player who played at a decent level in the secondary was second-year man Brandon Boykin. Boykin displayed good vision, quick feet and minimized the separation on the receivers he was covering as the game went on. He had a few bad plays, but it wasn’t as bad as his other teammates in the secondary had.
The players in the secondary weren’t the only guys who had their share of trouble, as second-year man Mychal Kendricks also was also a part of that group.
Kendricks probably had the toughest assignment on the team this week, and that was covering Chargers tight end Antonio Gates. Gates is one of the best tight ends in the league and asking Kendricks, who is probably one of the most athletic linebackers in the league, to cover him is a tough task to handle.
So how do the Eagles fix this? We know it won’t take overnight, but they need to do something now since they have to face Alex Smith and Peyton Manning within the next 13 days.
Many people are suggesting the Eagles should sign Kerry Rhodes or trade for a safety, but what good would that do? It’s incredibly tough for a player to come in and immediately know the defensive playbook and make an impact for this team. Rhodes was with Billy Davis when they were with the Arizona Cardinals a few years back, so he may know a good amount of Davis’ playbook.
However, multiple teams have tried to sign Rhodes this offseason, and there is a reason why he is not with a team right now. So should the Eagles sign him or let Wolff take over Allen’s position and see what he can do? I say let Wolff blossom and see if he can make an impact since he knows the system, and he will only get better as the season goes on.
Another way to help this secondary is by dialing up more creative blitz packages. Davis is not shy to bring extra men to get to the quarterback, but the problem is that if you don’t get to the quarterback, the quarterback will instantly find the open receiver, which is exactly what Rivers did this Sunday. Davis needs to find a way to bring heat, whether it’s the personnel or his play-calling — something needs to change immediately.
So either way, the Eagles seem to be stuck with the guys they have already in the secondary. On paper, it doesn’t seem like such an untalented group of guys, but they definitely need to step it up if they want to get back on the winning track. If inconsistency is still an issue for them, then Davis needs to find ways for his front seven to get to the quarterback