This stings, and frankly the jury is still out on the longevity of their success thus far, but this is interesting to share because of what is said/implied about Wade Phillips in terms of his "preparation of the defense" from week to week, or lack thereof. It's possible that both our HC and our DC are mailing it in.
Full story HERE.
"We don't have any egos on the defense," said Barwin, who signed with the Eagles as a free agent this year. "It's fun to play with 11 new guys that their goal is to be a good defense and shut teams down. As long as we keep that, we'll be fine."
"It's totally different [this year]," Ryans said. "We have great chemistry, a lot of younger guys. We have fun together, not only here during the day at work, but outside of here. We go eat dinner together. It's really becoming like a brother, you know? You care for that guy on the field and off the field. It's good to have our defense come together in that manner."
Ryans was here last year, too. After being acquired in a trade, he was expected to play middle linebacker and help bring order to the chaos of Andy Reid's final season. But with assistant coaches Juan Castillo and Jim Washburn getting fired in-season, and with the epically poor play of Asomugha and the secondary, it was an impossible task.
It's no wonder Ryans and the rest of the returning defenders were so willing to embrace Davis' scheme. It represented sanity in the asylum.
"He's smart," Barwin said. "He's really smart. He prepares us for the plays the offense is going to run. You understand the schemes and how they're trying to attack you. That really helps you during the game."
Barwin said Davis' defense is more complicated than the 3-4 run by Wade Phillips in Houston. It relies on more communication on the field. That makes the in-season progress even more remarkable, considering it was a new scheme with new starters at seven positions.
And that makes smart, versatile players even more valuable. None of Davis' players are any smarter or more versatile than Ryans and Barwin.
Davis said Barwin "wears a lot of different hats" during a game. He might set the edge on his side of the field against a run play, drop into coverage with a tight end or rush the passer. He made a huge play Sunday against Washington, sacking Robert Griffin III in the red zone and forcing a fumble that was recovered by teammate Fletcher Cox.
As for Ryans, he is an extension of the coaching staff, making sure a young and developing group lines up correctly and goes in the right direction.
"DeMeco is the leader of our defense and he's having an outstanding Pro Bowl year," Davis said. "We couldn't be happier with everything DeMeco is doing for us."
That thank-you note to Houston should be a pleasure for Davis to write.