Alex Smith on the Eagles Pass Rush
No doubt that the line without Kearse was still able to bring pressure. Like I wrote after the game, they only sacked him twice but Smith must have thrown 4 balls away as he was being dragged down. He was flushed out of the pocket consistently and was knocked down pretty often.
I thnk Dhani has lulled people into sleep a bit this year. No player was more maligned on this defense last year and this offseason than Dhani Jones. While we haven't see any of the glaring mistakes from him we're used to, he also hasn't made any plays. Probably his greatest criticism in that time has been the job he's done covering TEs. However this year he's faced a severely hobbled Shockey and was rarely given the responsibility of covering Vernon Davis.
Clearly, the weak link on this team has been the secondary. No small reason for that has been that from very early in week one Lito Sheppard has been out. Then came Rod Hood's heel injury and all of a sudden the secondary is incapable of covering anyone. The fact is though, that in 04 when the pass rush was working the Eagles secondary sent 3 of it's 4 starters to the pro bowl. Given the way the defensive line is getting pressure this year there's no reason to think that a healthy group of Lito, Sheldon, Hood, Dawkins, & Lewis can't be better than what the group has been in weeks 1-3. Getting that group together and healthy for the Cowboys game in 2 weeks is imperative.