Going into the 2014 NFL season the primary concern for the Philadelphia Eagles has to be improving its defense. Last season the Eagles gave up more passing yards per game than any other team and failed to stop the underdog New Orleans Saints on their home field in the playoffs.
With that in mind the Eagles added a number of new pieces in the offseason, including secondary veterans Malcolm Jenkins and Nolan Carroll. They also drafted big-time pass rushing linebacker Marcus Smith.
Overall the Eagles are confident that they will be much tougher this time around. The leader of the unit is inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans, who had this to say over the weekend:
“It’s another year in of understanding each other a lot better and understanding what Billy is trying to do defensively, I think the relationship has grown a lot. I kind of know what he’s thinking and what he’s going to call in certain situations, and I think overall the whole defense has grown because we’re more comfortable with what we’re doing.”
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) May 27, 2014
Philly did make strides in the second half of 2013 defensively as they adjusted to Billy Davis’ new 3-4 scheme. Over the last 12 weeks of the season they gave up more than 22 points in a game only once.
If the Eagles defense can collectively settle in and make a significant leap forward the team should be in line for a deep postseason run.