Looking Deeper into Billy Davis

Photo via ProFootballTalk

Photo via ProFootballTalk

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.

Year Team Position
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”:

2005 26.8 391.2 38% 16 10 32nd 29th
2006 25.8 344.2 44% 14 13 26th 32nd
2009 20.3 346.4 35% 21 8 20th 14th
2010 27.1 373.6 37% 17 13 29th 30th
Average 25 363.85 39% 17 11 27th 26th

Overall, Davis’ numbers are bad and he should feel bad.

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.

Posted on February 8, 2013, in Eagles, Posts, Stats Posts, Vince Quinn and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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