At the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Andy Reid sat down with CSNPhilly.com's Reuben Frank to discuss a wide array of topics as Reid embarks on his 13th season as head coach of this football team.
Here are Reid's takes on three key aspects of this football team.
1. Red zone defense - The Eagles had the worst red zone defense in the NFL in 2010. Teams were successful in scoring a touchdown against the Eagles in the red zone nearly 77 percent of the time last season. The team just above the Eagles, Kansas City, gave up a touchdown 70 percent of the time. The red zone defense was an Achilles heel for the team all season long. Reid explained to Frank that when you have issues, personnel-wise or schematically, they are exposed in the red zone because things happen so quickly. Obviously, that means there will need to be some different pieces on defense, which was already to be expected. But Reid indicated that he wants an attitude change when it comes to the red zone as well.
"The mentality we want is: 'If you're lucky enough to get in the red zone on us, you're not getting in the end zone.' It's that mentality. It's an aggressive mentality from a coaching standpoint and player standpoint," Reid said. "And when that doesn't work, as you're looking at that as a coach, that's not a good thing."
2. Defensive line - There have been a lot of resources invested on the defensive line. At the tackle position, there are two first-round picks (Mike Patterson, Brodrick Bunkley) and a second-round pick (Trevor Laws). At the end spot, there is a first-round pick from last season (Brandon Graham) as well as Darryl Tapp, who was acquired in an offseason trade a year ago. With a new defensive line coach in Jim Washburn, the belief could be that the talent on the current roster has underachieved. Reid said that it's more of putting them in a scheme that will maximize the talent.
"I think our defensive line is fast. I think the way Jim's style of defensive line is, that part, the speed part, will be exploited, and Juan's done a nice job of tying in the front that we want with coverages and linebackers," Reid said. "It's all going to fit together. So it's not just the defensive line playing (better), it's also linebackers and secondary fitting into the scheme. Juan has studied that and really knows (how to achieve) that."
3. The offensive line and the blitz - It was a problem at the end of last season. Teams strayed away from what they showed the Eagles on game tape and aggressively attacked the Eagles with the blitz. The Eagles scored fewer than 20 points just five times this season (including playoff loss to Green Bay) but three of those games were the last three games of the season. The Eagles lost all three of those games. How will changes in quarterback Michael Vick's game help? How will tweaking the offensive line assist? Reid explained.
"There's some things in the blitz game that we saw, and that's something that teams in the offseason will look at and prepare for. In return, we've got to make sure that we - as an offense - have the answers for these different looks. So that will be a primary focus for us, making sure we handle that right," Reid said. "And it's not just Michael. It's Michael and the center and how are the receivers adjusting and so on. It's the running backs, the rest of the offensive line, how are they working their adjustments. Those are all things we'll go back and examine."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 4:11 p.m., February 26