Eagles D-Coordinator Addresses Derek Barnett Injury, Jordan Davis Snap Count

Jordan Davis

Getty Eagles first round pick Jordan Davis needs to work on his conditioning, according to former Eagle Seth Joyner.

The pall covering the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive line room has already been removed. One day after Derek Barnett was ruled out for the year, coordinator Jonathan Gannon was digging through the depth chart and piecing together the puzzle. The “next man up” mentality that the coaching staff casually floats into every conversation suddenly has new meaning.

Barnett’s absence will provide opportunities for the younger guys. Tarron Jackson — a surprise healthy scratch in Week 1 — is the most obvious edge rusher who should see an uptick in snaps. According to Gannon, it’ll be a collective effort to replace everything Barnett brought to the field.

“I talked to our guys about Derek. I know it happens in football. It’s tough because he’s one of my favorites,” Gannon told reporters. “What he brings to the team as far as toughness, accountability, how he plays, being a pro, leadership, we’re all going to have to step up and do our job to replace a player like that. We’ll have certain ways to do that with everybody that needs to – we have to rally the troops a little bit and try to replace them.”

Gannon will have to figure it out quickly as his seat is starting to get hot after only one game. Yes, the Eagles pulled out a gritty 38-35 victory in Week 1 but the defense was being crucified on sports talk radio. The unit was gashed for 181 rushing yards; they squandered a 17-point lead; and they failed to pressure the quarterback (1 sack, 6 QB hits). And the sack they did get came on a botched snap.

“I thought we did some good things, but 35 points is not good enough,” Gannon said. “Had a chance to put that game away a couple different times, I thought, and we didn’t do it. Then that’s what happens. You get into a dogfight like that. Overall happy that we won the game, but that is not the standard that we need. We need to improve quick, and we will.”

Jordan Davis Will ‘Keep Maximizing Opportunities’

The biggest talking point walking off the field on Sunday was Jordan Davis’ pitch count. The monstrous rookie only saw 22 snaps compared to 33 for Milton Williams and 29 for Marlon Tuipulotu. While it’s fair to assume the first-rounder — a guy the Eagles traded up to take at No. 13 — needs to earn his reps, it sure seemed like he was making an impact. The Eagles allowed 2.9 yards per carry when Davis was on the field.

“He did a good job when he was in there. I thought that he played his technique well, and what we’re asking him to do, he did a good job of executing,” Gannon said. “The 22 snaps, those guys all played, the five D-tackles that were up. They’ll continue to all play, and I think Jordan will keep maximizing his opportunities.”

The five D-tackles that were up included Davis, Williams, Tuipulotu, plus Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave. Collectively, they had nine tackles and half a sack.

Haason Reddick Goes Invisible in Week 1

Haason Reddick was inked to a $45 million deal to be a quarterback wrecker for the Eagles as a self-described “weapon of mass destruction.” He was unleashed on the Detroit Lions as advertised, rushing the quarterback on 82.1% of his passing snaps yet didn’t record a single pressure or sack.

The Eagles rotated him at defensive end and linebacker, allowing him to blitz off the edge and up the middle. Reddick finished with just two total tackles, one for loss — and shared his disappointment on Twitter after the game: “Not our best, but we got the Dub! On to the next!”

“I liked how we deployed him,” Gannon said. “I thought he was comfortable in the spots that we used him. Just like all our guys, looking forward to keep expanding that as we get going and setting him up, as all our guys, week by week what we think is best match-ups for us and how we can put all of our players in a position to affect the game.”

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