As the Eagles’ pass rush continues to struggle, people are now talking about Jordan Davis and his conditioning being a factor, but that’s probably not the only thing affecting the defensive tackle.
Brian Baldinger RIPS into Jordan Davis: “It is clear that [he] is out of shape. I gotta believe they fine him every week. He’s overweight, and it shows. He’s not pursuing the ball, he’s nothing in the pass rush.. I’m not sure why he keeps dressing.. When plays are going on, he’s… pic.twitter.com/2mch4JcQOu— Eagles Nation (@PHLEaglesNation) January 2, 2024
Whether Brian Baldinger’s suggestion that Davis is out of shape is true or not, BGN’s Jonny Page wrote an incredible breakdown of the defensive issues against the Cardinals, and he noted that Davis’ performance was certainly not that of a first-round pick.
“Jordan Davis is in this team to anchor and command double teams. He gets taken out of this play easily by 1 offensive lineman. Davis has proved in both seasons that he can have moments of brilliance, but he can’t sustain this level of play. Davis wasn’t awful in this game, so I’m not picking on him, but he was a 1st round pick that doesn’t rush the quarterback. He has to do better against the run.”
Davis played great at the beginning of the season, and don’t forget, this is still the guy who chased down Josh Allen just six weeks ago. This is also the guy who has played 502 defensive snaps this season, compared to just 224 his rookie year, and has also taken 131 special teams snaps in 2023.
Still, his conditioning has always been a point of emphasis with the coaches, and has been something they’ve focused on since Davis’ first training camp. Head coach Nick Sirianni said at the time:
“I think that he came to camp ready to go. Our guys in the training staff and the strength staff and sports science staff have just done a great job of knowing what our guys are supposed to play at. That’s something I’m always obsessed about is are you playing to the correct weight. I’ve had experiences throughout my career of guys being heavy and their play suffering. I’ve had experience of my guys through my career of them losing weight of what they were the year before and having phenomenal seasons.
So that’s always going to stick in my mind. I know that’s in Ted’s [Rath] mind, that’s in our staff’s mind as well of playing at the right weight. So, we are going to be on him about that. I know he came back where he needed to be, but that’s going to be something that we’re focused on. That’s not just Jordan, that’s everybody. I think he’s been running around well. Like I said, his weight was where we wanted it to be and his body fat was where we wanted it to be.”
Defensive tackles can take some additional time to acclimate to the NFL, and Davis appears committed — at least from the outside. He’s also far from the only problem the defense has had the second-half of the season. But, as a former first-round pick, he’s going to have high standards thrust upon him, and staying in shape is going to be part of that.