With all the attention on the Eagles' injuries on offense and the gaffes on special teams last week, the Birds still have some work to do on defense, especially on the first drive.
Against Carolina and New Orleans, the opposition scored first by putting together a lengthy drive on their first possession. Against Carolina, that was about all the Panthers were able to do, being limited to 99 yards the rest of the game. Against New Orleans, that was just the beginning of a long afternoon.
“There is a feeling-out process every game but at the same time it’s important that the first drive of the game and the first drive of the second half that we are successful," defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said this week. "We didn’t do a good job of that the first week, nor the second week and that is an area that we want to address going into this week.”
McDermott was asked if he thought some of the struggles were do to growing pains among some of the young defensive players.
“I don’t know if it’s a growing pain or as much as it is the highs and lows of a season," he said. "It’s important that there is no knee-jerk reaction, but that we get things corrected. [I am] talking about fundamentals to playing the defense and the scheme and execution-wise we are going to continue to work hard to put a good product on the field each and every week and number one, be aggressive.”
Against Kansas City, the Eagles will get another look at Todd Haley, who was the offensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals last season. The Birds handled the Cards easily on Thanksgiving night and then had their season ended in Phoenix in the NFC title game.
"They do a lot of the same stuff that Arizona did and they do some things that New England does," safety Quintin Mikell said. "You’ve got little bits and pieces from a whole bunch of different teams. We just have to go out there; it’s really not about them it’s about us. It’s about how we come out ready to play. It’s about how fast we play, how aggressive we are. We just have to get back to doing that.”
That aggressive style is one thing that Haley has had his Chiefs working on this week.
“Great job of disguising, of either making it appear that they’re coming when they’re not or vice versa and that’s what is tough," Haley said. "Looks like they’re carrying over a lot of the same stuff to me. I would say that it’s hard to see a lot of difference now. Coach (Jim) Johnson was the best as far as the timing and instincts, when he did and didn’t bring (pressure) and staying ahead of the curve, so that’ll be on the new guy to pick up from there. But it doesn’t look like a lot is different. I can’t give enough credit. To me, going against anybody in the league, Coach Johnson was the one.”