Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Finally, a Defensive Coordinator: Bill Davis

So, it turns out Chip Kelly wasn't waiting for the Super Bowl, national signing day, or the vernal equinox. He was waiting ... well, we have no idea why he was waiting. The Eagles' new defensive coordinator, a league source confirms, is former Browns linebackers coach Bill Davis, who has been available to be hired for weeks now, and in fact interviewed for the job two weeks ago.

Finally, a Defensive Coordinator: Bill Davis

New Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis. (John Reid III/Cleveland Browns)
New Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis. (John Reid III/Cleveland Browns)

So, it turns out Chip Kelly wasn't waiting for the Super Bowl, national signing day, or the vernal equinox. He was waiting ... well, we have no idea why he was waiting. The Eagles' new defensive coordinator, a league source confirms, is former Browns linebackers coach Bill Davis, who has been available to be hired for weeks now, and in fact interviewed for the job two weeks ago.

The hiring was first reported by CSNPhilly.com's Geoff Mosher.

Davis was an Eagles ball boy in the Dick Vermeil years, when he was known as "Billy," and his father, Bill Davis, was a Vermeil assistant. The elder Bill Davis later ran Eagles player personnel in the Buddy Ryan era.

The younger Davis, 47, was the Cardinals' defensive coordinator in 2009 and 2010, the 49ers' coordinator in 2005 and 2006, without great results -- his teams finished 32nd, 26th, 20th, and 29th in NFL defense. But he also was not blessed with great talent.

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Davis has great experience with the 3-4 setup Kelly is believed to prefer. He also has worked with 4-3 schemes and described his Arizona defense as a hybrid.

Now that he is hired, presumably we will get to meet the rest of Kelly's staff, some of whom have been working at NovaCare for several weeks. Kelly refused to confirm any hires until his staff was complete.

Fans will note that the Eagles now have hired, unofficially, as their offensive and defensive coordinators, two guys from the 2012 Browns, in Pat Shurmur and Davis. Shurmur was the head coach of the 5-11 Browns, one of four teams to actually lose to the Eagles last season.

But when Kelly was hired, everyone made a big deal of how important it would be for a college coach with no NFL experience to hire NFL guys as coordinators, and Kelly seems to have done that. Both coordinators have Eagles roots, as well, with Shurmur having been Donovan McNabb's QB coach.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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