Looking Deeper into Billy Davis
If you read the article I wrote on new defensive coordinator Billy Davis yesterday, you know that I wasn’t sold on the move from first glance. As a result, I wanted to take a deeper look at Davis and see what Eagles fans could expect from the new-look defense going forward.
Before we get into those numbers, however, here’s a brief outline of Billy Davis‘ career thus far.
|1991||Michigan State||Graduate assistant|
|1992-1994||Pittsburgh Steelers||Defensive assistant|
|1995-1998||Carolina Panthers||OLB coach|
|1999||Cleveland Browns||Defensive assistant/LB|
|2000||Green Bay Packers||Defensive assistant/DL|
|2001-2003||Atlanta Falcons||LB coach|
|2004||New York Giants||LB coach|
|2005-2006||San Francisco 49ers||Defensive coordinator|
|2007-2008||Arizona Cardinals||LB coach|
|2009-2010||Arizona Cardinals||Defensive coordinator|
|2011-2013||Cleveland Browns||LB coach|
The first thing of note is that the 47 year-old Davis has 23 years of experience and essentially all of it is in the NFL. Also, most of that experience is with linebacker, where the Eagles have struggled to find consistent play. Davis also had the benefit of working under Dom Capers, who currently runs Green Bay’s defense, for a few seasons.
However, the bad news is that Davis has been a defensive coordinator twice before. His first run was with the 49ers in 2005-2006 and his second was with Arizona in 2009-2010. Neither of those terms were pretty.
Here’s a look at Davis’ defenses by the numbers with LRK standing for “league rank”:
|PTS/G||YDS/G||3rd Pct||Int||Fum Rec||LRK YPG||LRK PPG|
His run with the 49ers was awful. Granted, the team wasn’t anything like the powerhouse they are today, but there’s no excuse in the NFL for being the worst in any statistical category. He managed that two consecutive seasons in a row. Ouch.
In Arizona, Davis first season wasn’t that bad. With a solid foundation of Darnell Dockett, Karlos Dansby, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Antrel Rolle, and Adrian Wilson, Davis managed a mediocre 2009 season in the desert. However, they plummeted into the basement the following year.
The only positives that Davis can hang on to is that his units regularly generated turnovers and were decent on third downs. Other than that, there’s really not much to like. This is why I’m very concerned with the defense going forward.
Davis is bringing in the hybrid 3-4 system that Chip Kelly is keen on, which you can learn more about here. As a result, the players will have to learn a new scheme from a below average coordinator that will be taught by a number of guys with limited to no NFL experience.
It’s not exactly the recipe for “Shutoutability.” In fact, it may just make the defense about as bad, if not worse than last year.
So, while I hope that Davis proves me wrong and gets his act together, I have very little confidence in him at this point. It feels like another dose of the Reid Conumdrum.