Skip to main content
Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles News

What did the coordinators learn from Week 1? 

Sean Desai
Sean Desai

The Eagles came away with a 25-20 win in New England in their season opener. The players and coaches will admit that the performance was not perfect, but what matters is they are 1-0. 

Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai and Offensive Coordinator Brian Johnson made their much-anticipated debuts in their new roles last Sunday.  

In a short week, with a game against the Vikings on Thursday, there was a lot to learn in a little amount of time for Johnson and Desai.  

Here is what they took away: 

Green dot responsibilities  

Going into Week 1, Nakobe Dean wore the green dot, relaying the plays from Desai as the MIKE linebacker. However, Dean suffered a foot injury in the win against New England.  

Dean will miss at least four consecutive weeks after being placed on Injured Reserve on Tuesday. Linebacker Nicholas Morrow was signed to the active roster to take Dean's place.  

Both safety Reed Blankenship and linebacker Christian Elliss wore the green dot at times during the rest of the game, Elliss more than Blankenship.  

Desai knows that he has two players with play-calling capabilities, one at linebacker and one at safety.  

"We are open-minded to whoever it is," Desai said. 

The defense made multiple fourth-down stops in the fourth quarter and only allowed six points in the second half. There was no miscommunication from either Elliss or Blankenship during the game. Desai will experiment with combinations before Thursday night's game, but he is comfortable with whoever is calling the plays on the field. 

Josh Jobe is always ready 

The second-year cornerback stood out during Training Camp and earned the backup spot behind James Bradberry. When Bradberry got injured late in the game, Jobe was called upon to hold down the secondary with Darius Slay and the safeties.  

Jobe pushed Kayshon Boutte out of bounds before he could get his two feet down on the Patriots' last offensive play of the game. Jobe's heads-up play gave the Eagles the ball back as they lined up in the victory formation. 

"He did a great job in the situation he was put in," Desai said. "He showed his mentality and approach which is a thing that we really like about him." 

Desai is confident in Jobe's abilities, no matter what situation he is put in. His role in Week 2 may increase with James Bradberry in concussion protocol, leaving his status for Thursday Night Football up in the air.  

Battling adversity 

Resilience, toughness, and character were the three words Desai used to describe his defense's performance last Sunday. 

"They kept coming back and they kept being physical," Desai said. "That brand is something we do not want to get away from." 

The defensive coordinator will admit that they gave up scoring drives that will need to be cleaned up. This is something his group has worked on this week and will continue to prepare for ahead of Thursday's game. 

Desai is looking forward to helping his players succeed in certain situations and with different techniques, but was happy to come away with the win.

Check out all the best photos from the Eagles' 25-20 Week 1 victory in New England.

Cleaning things up

"It was too sloppy," Johnson said.

In his first game as offensive coordinator, Johnson admitted that he had things to clean up.

Johnson referred to the three straight possessions where the Eagles were up 16-0 and could not move the ball as the most frustrating aspect of the game.

Limiting penalties and sacks were also noted by Johnson as part of how the offensive operation could be cleaner.

For Johnson, it is about learning what can be done better to put his offense in a position to succeed.

Making Adjustments

The Eagles faced a strong Bill Belichick defense in Week 1, a group that stifled the Eagles' offense after the visitors went up 16-0.

Johnson made changes going into the second half that led to more success moving the ball.

"Our communication in terms of adjustments was really good," Johnson said.

Johnson's offense was able to get into field goal range numerous times in the second half, helping the team keep its lead late in the game.

Good offensive coaches in this league can adjust, especially against good defenses. Johnson was able to adjust on the fly when the momentum was in the Patriots' favor, turning the tide the way of the Eagles.

Related Content