Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Defensive Coordinator Bill Davis

Q.  What were some of the things they were doing against your base to go at S Malcolm Jenkins when he was in the slot against their slot receiver?

COACH DAVIS:  Nothing.  A lot of times in our base, that's why we have the safeties we have so they cover that slot.  Big running game out of their 11 personnel on the first and second down, the read option in particular.  So we choose to stay in our base package and play the run.  The one touchdown he gave up was an all-out blitz.  No room for error on that one.  There's no help.  Nothing different if that's your question.

Q.  Third-and-15, the one on the run, how deflating are those plays? They have been a problem, those third‑and‑longs all year.  What can you do about them?

COACH DAVIS:  Third down is a very important down for us, the winning and losing game, third down is a turnover, getting yourself off the field.  Whether it's third-and-15 or third-and-five, the third down play is very important to us and the success we have.  When we give up any of the third downs, it's highly frustrating because it continues the drive, keeps our offense off the field, keeps their offense on the field where they have the ability to make more plays.

Although third-and-15, it is a huge advantage for us, third-and-10 still an advantage, and as you go lower in numbers the advantage changes.  But any time we give up a third down we are disappointed.

Q.  Their numbers are completely different, you do very well in third-and-short, and not at all well on third-and-15.

COACH DAVIS:  I don't have a specific answer for the difference in the two.  The calls that we make are similar.  Sometimes we're sitting in a bigger zone and it's just a matter of the pass rush and coverage combination.

So I don't have a specific answer for why the third-and-medium is better than the third‑and‑long but we definitely have to get the third‑and‑long better.

Q.  After the run ‑‑ did you scale back on dime because of that or was it more for what Seattle was showing?

COACH DAVIS:  No, the whole third down package was dime.

Q.  The snaps ‑‑

COACH DAVIS:  Yeah, that's about how many of the two‑minute combined with third down is what you're looking at in dime so.  We didn't scale back on that run.  We should have tackled it.  You can't make all run calls on every third down.  I knew they had it in their package.  I knew they could run on third down and third and 12 and 13 you hope somebody can get them tackled before he gets there and you don't ‑‑ you're running stunts and games and really pass rush patterns that are not really good to run fits.  You never even teach the run fits on it.

You have to rally to it because most of the time your safeties are split, your coverage combinations go out to the wide receivers and the guys are throwing the ball to.  So when they run or they screen you have to rally to those and get them down.

Q.  What's the effect of being on the field for close to 45 minutes and then going out the next week against a team that has had 10 days to prepare?

COACH DAVIS: We have got a great recovery system so we're okay. It's seven days and we're fine. We're ready to go. The amount of snaps we have in the game is completely in our control. We have to get ourselves off the field, some of those third down conversations we're having is what getting ourselves off the field means and in our better days, we get off the field on third down and when we have to play more, we have to play more and we are very confident in our ability to recover and train and it will not be an issue. Q.  What difference will it make for Cowboys QB Tony Romo and their offense to have 10 days of rest as opposed to the three days they had in the first meeting?

COACH DAVIS:  Oh, we'll see a different offense.  We'll see a healthier Tony Romo, we'll see a healthier team, a team that's got plenty of time to prepare for us, including a game with us under our belt but we also have that time.  It will be a little different.  Tony Romo will look completely different against us than he did against Chicago.  He looked a lot healthier in Chicago, and now 10 more days of recovery, I think we are going to get more of the healthy Tony Romo.

Q.  How does that manifest itself on tape?

COACH DAVIS:  His movement, really.  You saw in our game the movement of him going down right away and he has great escape ability, and you didn't see that in our game.  You just saw him protecting himself a little bit and then in Chicago you didn't.  You saw, all right, here we go, let's run around, let's extend the down, let's make some plays and I think we'll see the Tony Romo that we've always seen.

Q.  Has DE Fletcher Cox reached the point where he can deal with some of these other defenders ‑‑ the game plan, did he do that the first time against Dallas and how fit was he this past weekend?

COACH DAVIS:  It was tough to block him this past weekend.  He was a big part of us playing well against their inside run game and [Seahawks RB] Marshawn Lynch.  Fletcher Cox is getting better and better every week and he is a force in both the run and pass.

Q.  What have you seen out of LB Mychal Kendricks' progress specifically since LB DeMeco Ryans went down?

COACH DAVIS:  Mychal has steadily went.  I don't think there's a difference.  I don't think there's a before and after DeMeco went down.  When you talk about Mychal Kendricks you had an injury where he missed time and really would have loved to have him have those games to see how far along he would be right now but he's on a steady pace of improving every week.

Q.  What you just said about expecting a different Tony Romo and a different Dallas offense, is that something you need to impress on your guys that it's not going to come as easy?

COACH DAVIS:  We know that.  Every game in the NFL is a game in and of itself.  And that game on Thanksgiving means nothing to this game right now.  They are going to come out, every team that has beat us so far this year, we'd love to have another shot at, because we believe if we play better we can beat anybody.  And they believe the same thing coming into this game.  We all know what's at stake. It's a divisional opponent this week, we both have great records, we're excited about the challenge and we know they are going to come in here excited and that's what makes for great NFL football.

Q.  They are a vastly different team home and away.  Is there any explanation you see on tape?

COACH DAVIS: I don't think they are vastly different, I really don't. I think it's in the execution, like us. Win or lose, home or away, it all comes down to the execution and techniques within those game plans. Dallas can play well at home and they have played well at home and they have played well on the road so. I don't see a home/away correlation, I really don't. I do see the week of preparation and when you can execute a game plan and when Tony Romo is hot and distributing the ball around and that run game gets going, they are one of the better offenses in the league.

Q.  When you look DE Vinny Curry's production, 33 percent of the snaps, how much of that is because of the situation he's in and kind of finding that role for him or has he done enough ‑‑

COACH DAVIS:  I think we have got a great role for Vinny right now and adds to his success and I also think he's getting better at the two‑gap, first and second down stuff.  We're really happy with his progress.  He's always been a dynamic pass rusher and that's a role we choose to use him in the most.

We are always going to have a rotation in the D‑Line and we think it fits everybody the way we rotate him and we're very happy with Vinny and the production he's given us.

Q.  On Kendricks, very effective in the late blitzes because there's space.  How valuable is he in those types of positions where he can roam and get in space and not have to worry about defenders?

COACH DAVIS:  Mychal's strength is his versatility.  He's very sound in coverage.  He can run, he can change direction, and you can put him in different matchups, and even if he had to go with a receiver for a down you say 'Okay, Mychal can with run with that, he has that athleticism and speed.'  That makes you happy.

And his pass rush has really I think grown in the last year.  Okay, now we're going it blitz him.  Well he's a pretty good match up on a back.  The total package of Mychal Kendricks is why you can use him in spies or coverage or blitz or in zone.  He's a very well-rounded athlete.

Q.  When you saw him on that play, come up the middle on that blitz, the intentional grounding or the sack, there are very few inside linebackers with that kind of acceleration.  Can you think of any that can ‑‑ when you watch that on tape, just even ‑‑

COACH DAVIS:  I think linebackers in the NFL really fall into two categories.  You have the speed athletes you feel comfortable with in coverage and then you have the bigger bodies that you say, 'Hey, I love when they run between the tackles on this guy and he can handle that.'  I think he's right in between those two and that's what makes him unique.  He's got the speed and athleticism and burst, but he also holds his own very well inside those tackles when the run game comes.

When you talk about Mychal Kendricks and what separates him, he has enough thud with him, along with the ability to recover.

Q.  You went with LB Casey Matthews the entire game; is that because you're going in that direction or because of LB Emmanuel Acho coming off the injury‑‑

COACH DAVIS:  Had more to do with Acho coming off that groin still.  In practice he was good but not great and we couldn't afford to reinjure him and be stuck with Casey all on his own.  We'll work him back into a rotation and as he gets healthier ‑‑

Q.  How did Casey grade out?

COACH DAVIS:  He graded out well.  He's really communicating well and the run game and read option ‑‑ did a nice job on other than the blitz I put us in where the quarterback kept it.  For the most part, we fit the read option well.

Q.  How are the Cowboys using TE Jason Witten and why the success?

COACH DAVIS:  I think right now, [Cowboys WR] Dez Bryant is a huge target for them and Jason Witten has been a huge target for them.  I think Romo is spreading the ball around, the back is getting a couple more catches now and [Cowboys WR Cole] Beasley in the slot is getting a lot more.  The ball is being spread around and that's why you don't always have Witten getting as many numbers as normal.  But any given day he's a big part of that offense and a big target of Tony Romo's.

Q.  How do you think you guys played against Dez Bryant in that first game and what do you need to do this week?

COACH DAVIS:  Well, I think we made some plays on him and he made some plays on us, like the great players are going to do.

So we look forward to the challenge of all the weapons.  This is a team that really is one of the top offenses in the NFL, gets that running game going, has got a nice play‑action passing game and then it's got a star like Dez Bryant out there one‑on‑one you always have to make sure you account for him.

So we have got a lot of weapons that we have to defend this week and it will be a healthy, rested Dallas Cowboy team that maybe we didn't face on Thanksgiving but we are excited about the challenge.

Q.  As you watch that 44‑yard pass interference with CB Bradley Fletcher, what did you tell him?  What coaching point came out of that event?

COACH DAVIS:  We just talk about playing the man, the ball, finding the ball, about being calm at the ball and I think Fletcher did all those things.  We can't control how the official calls it and we can't worry about it.

What we have to do is they call it and doesn't matter if we agree with it or don't agree with it.  Did we play the techniques of asking you to play, of turning into it the ball, reading his body language, calm at the ball, through the hands, and I think yes is the answer to that.  They [threw] a flag, but so be it.  We'll line up and play the next play.

Q.  I know you took responsibility for the Seahawks QB Russell Wilson running touchdown.  Given the call, was there anything the players on the field could have done?

COACH DAVIS:  Well, the real thing I'm trying to get across, everybody is accounted for.  [LB] Trent Cole accounts for the quarterback on that.  Jenkins had the slot receiver on the other one.

What I'm trying to say is the call, if I had to do it again, I would not have made that call.  When you blitz everybody and leave one‑on‑ones outside, if one man makes a mistake, there's nobody to fix it.  And I had nobody to fix Trent taking a step and the quarterback getting outside.  I didn't have a post safety who could rally.  I didn't have a linebacker in coverage who could rally.

So what happened in a zero blitz and why I didn't like that call and would like to have it back is because there's no room for error when you blitz.  I still like the all out‑blitzes and puts a lot of stress on offenses but I just didn't find the right spot to call, is what I'm trying to say.

Q.  Was he responsible for Lynch there on the zone-read key?

COACH DAVIS:  Yeah, we have Trent on the quarterback and we have the second level linebacker on the quarterback.  In a blitz you're going to get him and he took a step forward and the quarterback kept it and went out.

Again, he's responsible for that, but again, my call, I would have loved to have that over because I have no room for error in that call.

Q.  Is that the way you want to call a game ‑‑ how is that affected by not being able to go to nickel?

COACH DAVIS: I can go to nickel at any time. It's part of our package and in the last three weeks I've sprinkled some of that in. I don't believe I don't have to go to nickel. Just in the passing situations, our dime package has really grown to where we like dime better than nickel, when it's a 50/50 mode, then we go to nickel, and if it's a little bit more run tendency we stay in our base. Q.  If DeMeco was here would you go more nickel?

COACH DAVIS:  No, DeMeco really, it doesn't factor in.  It would be the dime what role he played, but that has not factored in if it's nickel or dime.

Q.  Is there anything from a formation standpoint you have not seen much of?

COACH DAVIS:  No, they change formations every week and routes.  They have a lot of volume of offense, and you get your specific gameplan against Seattle, and they showed us most everything we had seen, maybe one or two new wrinkles that they had for us or they just majored in a little bit more.  But nothing that we weren't prepared for.

Q.  Trent continues to play at a high level, which is not a surprise.  But he's 32 years old.  Are you surprised that he is still playing at that level given his age?

COACH DAVIS:  You know, you take that on individual basis.  I've coached a lot of guys that are in their early 30s and it looked like they are in their early 20s.  I think it's on an individual basis but, boy, I love the way Trent Cole plays and the energy and the effort he brings is really what separates him.  I've never seen him take a play where he does not go all out.  We are excited about the level he's playing, especially the older guys late in the season, I think he's playing at his best.

Q.  Jenkins came close to having an interception against Seattle.  Do you see offenses attacking him any differently or is there any reason why he had a few early? COACH DAVIS: I think they come in bunches. He would have had one the other night. He's been close a couple times. I think they do come in bunches, how much zone you play, how much man sometimes dictates that, single safety, split safety. We are moving in and out of all those concepts. I don't personally see one thing that they are doing.

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