The Eagles have a very quick turnaround as they prepare for the Week 2 Thursday Night Football matchup against the Vikings, but before turning the page, DC Sean Desai recapped a bit about the defensive performance from their season opener.
Here’s what the defensive coordinator had to say:
On Jordan Davis’ Week 1 performance
“I thought he did a good job. He was physical at times for us. Really for everybody on defense right now, it’s just about building consistency, rep in and rep out, and being as dominant as we want to be in all of our matchups.
I thought he did a good job. Had a good start. There are still things we have to improve upon, not just with him but with everybody. I thought he came out and did a good job and tried to be physical consistently.”
On the linebacker position
Regarding the LB position after losing Nakobe Dean, Desai noted that they’re happy with the guys they have on the roster and the depth at the position. They rotated guys a lot during training camp so they’ve prepared players to move into different spots.
When Dean was sidelined during the Patriots game, Christian Ellis took over the green dot helmet, and they had a plan in place for that scenario. Desai talked about how they’re going to try a bunch on combinations ahead of their Thursday night game, and see what works best.
The DC explained that he needs to have a good rapport with whoever is wearing the green dot helmet to make sure they’re communicating effectively. He also acknowledged that it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone at the linebacker position, and that Reed Blankenship wore the green dot helmet in the two-minute.
On SAF Justin Evans earning a starting role
“It’s been a constant battle – I hope you guys don’t take that as evasiveness – throughout training camp. But it was. It was day in, day out. [Justin Evans] kind of earned it. He set himself apart a little bit with his physicalness at the point of attack sometimes. That we saw obviously in practice and in some games. His length and his ability to cover guys was good.
He did a good job in the game. He took a lot of command to his side of the coverage, the things that we require those safeties to do. He did a good job communicating out there and stepping into that role.”
On his overall impression of the Patriots game
Desai echoed the sentiments of QB Jalen Hurts, the number one most important thing was that they got the win as a team. He thought the guys fought hard through different situations, overcame a bit of adversity, gave up some drives they had to clean up, but they did and came back.
“I think the resiliency and the toughness and the character of our squad really showed there. Each individual player, they kept coming back and they kept being physical. That brand is something that we don’t want to get away from.”
The DC acknowledged that there are some technique and fundamental things they need to coach up, and are going to need to continue to detail some things. He said they coaches will be better at that and he’ll be better as a coordinator to put them in better situations.
“I thought the biggest thing was their toughness, their resiliency, and desire, chomping at the bit to keep going. That was really impressive by those guys.”
On DT Milton Williams
“Man, [Milton Williams] was so physical. I think you saw that in the game, striking people, knocking people back at the point of attack. That’s a good edge and a toughness that he brings because he’s so consistent with it.
Then he can convert, too, when it’s the play pass, and things like that, when he’s in there. He adds a little bit of rush element to win on it.
He falls right in line. But you’re right, he does get lost, and he shouldn’t, because he’s a physical player that we really like.”
- Desai said that Jalen Carter did a good job with the opportunities he had, and with a pass rush rotation the Eagles use, all those guys are clamoring to get on the field.
- The DC talked about how he is “extremely confident” in Josh Jobe stepping in for James Bradberry as the veteran CB goes through the concussion protocol. Desai noted Jobe doing a great job when he had to go in against the Patriots.