The Eagles defense continued their pathetic play inside the red zone, yesterday against the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers and the Pack entered the Birds red zone three times and three times they reached paydirt.
It proved to be the difference in the game, because the Eagles got inside the Packers red zone three times and scored just one touchdown on those trips. They kicked one field goal, missed another and scored a touchdown on Michael Vick’s quarterback sneak.
The problems in the red zone have the Eagles front office concerned about defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. During the season, opposing teams got into the end zone at a 77% rate, which is the worst an NFL defense has done in that category in nearly three decades. I learned that the Eagles feel McDermott has made the team’s defensive system too complicated and gimmicky.
There’s concern that too many times during the season, he has had the team’s defensive ends playing pass defense. Earlier in the week, defensive end Trent Cole pointed a finger at the coaches and the scheme. Someone asked him if he was wearing down during the season because he hadn’t come down with any sacks in a good while. Cole said he was fine, but added he was just doing what the coaches wanted him to do.
They also feel McDermott has made the Eagles secondary coverages too complicated, so young defensive backs have trouble playing in his system. There’s concern that a talented player like rookie cornerback Trevard Lindley wasn’t able to play because of the complexity of the system.
I was told that defensive line coach, Rory Segrest won’t benefit from the fact that Eagles castoffs, Jason Babin and Chris Clemons both tallied more sacks in the season than any of the Eagles defensive linemen. Babin is headed to the Pro Bowl after coming down with 13 sacks for the Tennessee Titans. Clemons is still in the playoffs with the Seattle Seahawks after leading them in quarterback sacks with 11.
There’s concern that Segrest isn’t a top quality coach, so he may not be the guy to get the best out of the talent they have drafted.