• June 25, 2022

Eagles Defense Making Progress At OTA’s

Looking back on the Eagles OTA’s week on the defensive side of the ball, we didn’t get too much news from the defensive line.  Fletcher Cox is still intent on having another big year.  Cedrick Thornton and Bennie Logan are healthy and ready to go.  We don’t learn about the offensive and defensive linemen in the OTA’s because they don’t have the pads on, so there are no collisions.

I liked what I saw of DeMeco Ryans.  He’s already back on the field and the defensive signal caller is well ahead of schedule as he returns from a torn Achilles tendon. The Birds are stacked at inside linebacker with the talented Mychal Kendricks letting everybody know that he’s not concerned about the trade rumors because he knows he can play. We all know he can.

The newly acquired Kiko Alonso is also well ahead of schedule as he recovers from an ACL tear. He’s doing all the drills and team drills.  He and Kendricks may be the two most athletic inside linebackers in the NFL. Defensive coordinator Billy Davis assured us that he’s going to find a way to get all the talent at this position on the field at the same time.

Defensive coordinator Billy Davis is talking about adding packages which will allow Ryans, Kendricks and Alonso to be on the field at the same time.  It’s something the Birds have to do.  You want your best football players on the field.

Rookie Jordan Hicks is working hard and learning his craft.

Connor Barwin looks like he’s headed for another big year at outside linebacker with Brandon Graham ready to get after opposing quarterbacks.  I’m still troubled by Marcus Smith missing all these practices because of a muscle strain.  The Birds are woefully lacking in depth at this position.

We heard from defensive back Nolan Carroll, who is in the lead for the starting cornerback position opposite this year’s top free agent corner, Byron Maxwell.  The new cornerback says he sees some similarities between the Seattle Seahawks culture and what takes place here at the Nova Care Complex.

Carroll has impressed new secondary coach Cory Undlin with his improved press coverage technique. Maxwell has stepped in and not missed a beat, as you would expect. Rookie corner Eric Rowe is quickly picking things up according to Undlin.

Davis has left the door open to matching up Maxwell against the other team’s number one receiver.  This would mean Maxwell could be lining up on either side of the formation depending on where the receiver he was matching up with lined up.

Surprisingly veteran defensive back Walter Thurmond, who had been a corner all his career, looks firmly positioned to be the starting safety beside Malcolm Jenkins.  His experience and knowledge about coverages has given him a big advantage.

Jenkins was enthusiastic about his praise of Undlin and his focus on the technique of covering receivers.  I got the chance to hear Undlin and I agree with Jenkins, their new secondary coach is a great improvement.


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  • They get to play against Sanchez, Barkley and Tebow every practice.

    Wouldn’t any defense look good?

  • And why did they Draft LB Jordan Hicks again G-Man ?

    • To play LB for the Philadelphia eagles.

  • Sounds like they have better group as a 43 defense. Curry and Barwin DE – Cox, Thorton and Logan DT – Alonzo Sam – Ryans Mike – Kendricks Will That is an impressive front 7, Barwin can handle himself on the line. Alonzo and Kendrick are really similar, but I made Sam because he is taller, todays linebackers are more about speed than size.

  • I listed Curry to start over Graham, but it is an open competition. I’m surprised how heavy Graham has been over the last year, but Chip doesn’t seem to mind. He looks more like a DE and not an OLB anymore.

  • Barwin at DE allows Kendricks or Alonzo to run stunts and twists with him. He can stay in or drop into coverage and allow the linebackers to get the quarterback. That would be fun to watch.
    Having Cox occasionally play out at DE in a 43 would be great. He would blow by most right tackles in the league and then run them over with some bull rushes.

  • Let me get this straight..”Bill Davis is talking about getting the most talented football players on the field at the same time” Really? Nike To Bill Davis “just do it” GEEZ

  • Putting a lot of moving parts into motion on the defense ,adding new players in the back end ,will be a major work in progress.im a bit concerned how Walter Thurmond has emerged in center field,at the end of the day ,we know they tried to upgrade that position ,so this is plan B? Defensively they appear physical and athletic ,health ,and improvement are a given.They were that bad last year on the back end..Its looking as huff the magic dragon is back? When history repeats itself,it’s usually ,just that,history for that player.Theyre trying to put a square peg into a round hole,and when he does catch a ball ,he’s a threat ,so I get the allure..he’s gotta 10cent head too..Ibe listened to the debate why they drafted Jordan hicks..I still think a deal will be in the works ,eventually.Pman stirring the Foles pot ,I’m also intrigued to watch his evolution vs great defenses in that division..If Sam is healthy by day 1 , I hope he makes Pman flip like a pancake..

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