Philadelphia Eagles Hire Billy Davis as Defensive Coordinator

Billy Davis was a blip on our radar, but far from the lead in our imaginary race for Eagles DC… Then CBS Sports broke the story at noon on Thursday, Feb. 7:

This just in from Evan Hilbert of CBSSports.com:

“The Philadelphia Eagles and Chip Kelly have found their defensive coordinator, Billy Davis, according to Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com.”

Davis, who was the Cleveland Browns linebackers coach the past two seasons, met with Kelly late last month. His position with the Browns was precarious after Cleveland canned coach Pat Shurmur in favor of Rod Chudzinski. (Shurmur is expected to be named Philadelphia’s new offensive coordinator.)

Prior to his time in Cleveland, Davis was the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers for two seasons from 2005-06, and he later held the same position for the Arizona Cardinals in 2009 and 2010. Davis also has spent time holding various posts with the Steelers, Panthers, Packers, Falcons and Giants.

Kelly and the Eagles are rumored to be shifting from a 4-3 defensive scheme to a 3-4, which is in line with Davis’ experience.

I’ll leave that on the table for now, just to turn the page… It’s a big hire that means a lot to the Eagles’ chances of turning the team around.  Davis will have almost complete autonomy in how he runs the defense. I’ll come back later with some more meat to add to this breaking news. We’ll also take a look at some of the big name players being cut around the league for salary cap reasons, and wonder if any of them may find their way to the Eagles roster.

UPDATE 7:30 P.M. EST 2/7/13…

Reaction has been…well, lukewarm at best to the Billy Davis hiring. The CSN Philly.com poll being taken has 5% of responding fans FOR the hire, 44% AGAINST, and 51% responding “WHO KNOWS?—we’ll find out in September”…and that’s over 1,000 respondents so far.

That reaction is mirrored by our Bored members. Most folks are going “whaaaaa?” And JB-Sage-Lion hates it. But Dutch Rubb said it well: Billy Davis is an improbable hire from a backgound of coaching for some pretty bad teams, but so was Jim Johnson when Andy Reid hired JJ…so give the guy a shot to prove himself.

And as Leo Pizzini pointed out, Davis has worked under some terrific coaching influences. He worked under Wade Phillips in Atlanta. He was on staff with Packers DC Dom Capers and with 49ers DC Vic Fangio in Carolina. And he was defensive quality control for DC Dick LeBeau in Pittsburgh.

ATV provides this link to Tommy Lawlor’s igglesblitz.com column for those who want a closer look at Billy Davis as to how he stacks up to the remainder of the 3-4 coaching candidates’ style and philosophy:   http://www.igglesblitz.com/philadelphia-eagles-2/billy-davis-vs-the-world/

And here’s a PPW-provided link to a Bleeding Green Nation analysis of Billy Davis’ scheme trends:
http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2013/2/7/3964144/explain-the-scheme-of-eagles-defensive-coordinator-billy-davis.

JEFF STOUTLAND UP NEXT AS OL COACH?
I can almost hear Keith Jackson announcing Stoutland going to the Eagles from “AL—-A–BAMA”…. Although still awaiting confirmation, it appears Chip Kelly has landed Stoutland as his offensive line coach to replace the retired Howard Mudd.

Joe Pendry was a tough guy to replace when he retired from Alabama in 2010, but Jeff Stoutland was the first guy Nick Saban turned to for filling Pendry’s shoes. Stoutland made his bones at “The U.” but he became available to Alabama when head coach Randy Shannon went down in flames in Miami.

Stoutland is still reaching the peak years of his career. He’s only in his late 40’s. Like Pendry, he has worked in the NFL. At the U. of Miami he took a line that was in shambles and turned it into an All-ACC weekly honors winner in 5 of his last 10 games there.

More background info on Stoutland to come as his confirmation is awaited….

Check out other great articles at Eagles Eye.

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