The addition of Jim Schwartz to the Eagles’ coaching staff was a great move. He’ll be better than Billy Davis and Juan Castillo, so what’s not to look forward to? His defenses have been regarded as some of the nastiest and most physical in the league, and that’s what’s been lacking from this team on the other side of the ball for quite some time.
So, it’s no surprise that Schwartz is a perfectionist. And on Thursday, when asked about Eric Rowe, Schwartz spiraled into a flat-out breakdown of his defense not performing well during Thursday’s practice. According to all reports, the defense seemed to play great on Wednesday. That wasn’t enough for Schwartz. Here’s what he said after being asked about Rowe, then goes into a broader scope.
“Yeah, he’s still a young player. He’s only in his second year. Everybody wants to make him [out to be] a seasoned vet; he started for about half a year [last season] and he is changing schemes. But we’re also through our OTAs and we’re through our mini-camp, and we’re through a little bit more than a week of [training] camp. And we’ve got to start putting those inconsistencies behind us, and I’m not just talking about Eric, I’m talking about every guy on defense.
“You saw what happened today. We’d make a play, give up a play. Make a play, give up a play. That’s not a way to play defense; that’s not a way to play football. We’ve got to be consistent and that’s our challenge. Our challenge is ironing that out, not just individually with guys like Eric or any of the other corners, but as a unit, we have to be more consistent. And that goes for everybody.”
“Yeah, we’re getting close,” he said. “I mean, you want to teach, and sometimes guys learn best from mistakes. You know what I mean? Sometimes when you make a mistake, it’s engrained a little bit and you vow not to make the same one again. So, that’s part of training camp. Part of training camp is going out and having some trial by fire and learning from your mistakes and things like that.”
“What I’m really talking about is repeat mistakes. Everybody’s going to make a mistake. I make a lot, players make a lot. The key is don’t make the same one twice. Learn from your mistake. That’s where our challenge is, and we’re probably like 31 other teams in the NFL this time in training camp. Everybody’s striving for the same thing – to be consistent from front to back, to have everybody on the same page, and then that allows the guys’ talent to show.”
I still think the Eagles’ defense will be a highlight this season. Schwartz with guys like Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Mychal Kendricks, Vinny Curry, Connor Barwin, Roney McLeod, Leodis McKelvin and Malcolm Jenkins will be a lot better to watch than what we saw the previous few years. And we have a healthy Jordan Hicks to look forward to.
I love Schwartz’s passion, though. He accepts nothing other than the best. And we’ll see if that translates on the field this coming season.
[H/T to BGN]