In Peyton Manning's 15th NFL season, there is nothing the Eagles are going to do to fool the Denver Broncos' quarterback, Birds defensive coordinator Billy Davis said Wednesday in his weekly confab with reporters.
"He sees disguises and people holding onto their (cover) 2-shell and dropping down every week," Davis said as his 30th-ranked defense prepared to face the league's most prolific offense. "I think the biggest thing about playing well against Peyton Manning, really, and it's a simple thing, is the executing of your techniques within your calls. He has seen every coverage you can throw at him ... Teams that deal execute at a very high rate their defensive techniques, and they get the turnovers. Turnovers are a part -- if you're going to have success against a Peyton Manning offense, you slow it down at least, (and) turnovers are a huge part of that equation. He hasn't turned the ball over yet" this season, via interception. Manning lost a fumble Monday night against the Raiders, one of five fumbles the Broncos have lost in three games.
Davis said he has had moments of success against Manning during his time with the Browns, the Cardinals and the 49ers, but Manning always seems to eventually figure out what the defense is doing and what it is leaving open. Then he works with what is available to to him.
The Eagles had some success against Manning three years ago, when he visited the Linc with the Indianapolis Colts, the Birds winning 26-24 and getting a pair of picks from Asante Samuel.
"We talked a lot about that last year in Cleveland, with coach (Dick) Jauron, who was on that staff," Davis said. "We put a plan together largely off of what they did in Philadelphia with (then-Eagles coordinator) Sean McDermott. I studied that plan thoroughly and implemented parts of it."
The teams that play Manning well "are all running the same coverages," Davis said. "There really is nothing new. You're not inventing coverages out here. But it really is about how you put some pressure on him, you have to get around him, not let him get into rhythm, like most offenses, and then the way you play your coverages, you have to be on point. You've got to be where you're supposed to be, and doing techniques the right way to have success against him."
*Davis said he isn't sure whether he'll have safety Patrick Chung (shoulder) Sunday. Chung was not scheduled to practice Wednesday.
*Davis said there is a "good chance" defensive lineman Vinny Curry will again be active. Davis called Curry "a good pass rusher" who is "getting better at the 2-gap stuff."
*Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, when asked a question about Michael Vick saying he regretted the decision to throw the pick-six ball against the Chiefs last week, said: "As you go through life, we all develop a list of things we'll never do again."
*Shurmur, who is in charge of advising Chip Kelly on replay challenges from upstairs, said the available views often leave something to be desired, especially on the road, where, for example, a giant scoreboard screen might not want to freeze-frame a possible home team turnover for you. "I don't want to lead coach Kelly off the bridge by giving him bad information," Shurmur said. "Each situation is different. Generally speaking, we want to try to be aggressive here in everything that we do. If we see something we think can get overturned, we'll try to challenge it."