Billy Davis, for all intents and purposes, was not a good fit for the Eagles’ defense under Chip Kelly. Nobody else might have been a good fit, either. Davis had the unfortunate task of putting his defense on the field more than any other NFL team in two of the last three seasons [and second two seasons ago]. And he just couldn’t seem to adjust to the problems other offenses posed to his defense.
But Davis wanted one more opportunity to right his defense, and didn’t get it. He’s sitting this season out, but not before telling Paul Domowitch of Philly.com a couple of the problems his defense had and couldn’t overcome last season. And that includes surprising details on the inability of Mychal Kendricks and Kiko Alonso to quarterback the defense.
Then DeMeco gets nicked up and goes down and the young kid (Hicks) comes in and does a great job. He was a great quarterback. But then he gets hurt, and now, Mychal or Kiko, one of those two have to be the quarterback. And neither one of them could do that. That’s not what they do best.
“When they had to be the quarterback, things changed, and it got a little difficult (for them) to do their own job. You have to line everybody else up and then line yourself up and they couldn’t do it.
Davis didn’t only out Kendricks and Alonso as linebackers who can’t quarterback the defense, he also said Byron Maxwell was trying to do too much and live up to his contract, but couldn’t. Despite the team knowing what kind of player he was, he basically said Chip decided to give him a fat contract because they needed corners. And the up-tempo – another thing Chip has been revered for – caught up with him.
But there were other parts of it too. It’s tough when you go from being a guy in the secondary to being the guy. You put more pressure on yourself. A couple of times, I had to calm him down and tell him to stop trying to make the plays to please the city of Philadelphia and make everybody like you. Just play the ball you played in Seattle. Play one down at a time and just do your job and cover your man and it’ll all work out. But I think sometimes he was just trying to do too much. It hurt us.”
To Davis’ credit, he’s not pointing the finger at Chip. He’s upset he didn’t get another year to fix the defense, but it’s no surprise the Eagles didn’t retain him after getting rid of Chip. It’s interesting to hear Davis talk about Kendricks and Maxwell like that. For all the not pointing the finger at Chip he’s doing, he’s certainly pinning blame on others.