On Sunday, Eagles coach Chip Kelly addressed the decision to trade cornerback Brandon Boykin. On Monday, Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis, who’ll have to make do without the team’s former nickel corner, talked about the decision from his own perspective.
“I think from an organizational standpoint, you make a decision and we were all part of that decision, and Boykin did give us quality starting reps,” Davis said in response to the question of why Boykin is gone, via comments distributed by the team. “But the guys behind him and the guys that replaced him were close enough in theory, because Boykin did it on Sunday. Now, Walter Thurmond has done it on Sundays, [safety Malcolm] Jenkins has done it on Sundays. There are options there. JaCorey Shepherd has not [done it on Sundays], some of the younger guys have not. But there are enough options there to make it a good move for us as an organization.”
Davis, who said he’s a “Boykin fan,” explained that the move wasn’t a knock on the player.
“I think Boykin came out and he competed,” Davis said. “It’s no knock on Boykin at all. It’s a compliment to others, and it’s not [a knock on Boykin] for sure. Obviously, it’s not. We have to make decisions all the time and hope that it’s close enough and we’re right. And sometimes you’re proven right, sometimes you’re proven wrong. But, no, it’s not at all.”
Davis also addressed the vague criticisms of Kelly offered up by Boykin on his way out.
“He has got one of the most open door policies of guys I’ve been around,” Davis said. “He is wide open. Boykin . . . went in in the offseason and he had a long talk with Chip about his role, about outside corner, about nickel. [Boykin] came into my office. We had great conversations with Brandon about all those things. I think Chip has one the biggest open door policies for the players, and ask the guys in the building. He really does. It’s really being portrayed outside different than it is inside because it really is an easy-to-be-around atmosphere.”
So why have three players now (Boykin, LeSean McCoy, and DeSean Jackson) expressed concerns about Kelly?
“I think every one of those three people need to answer their own questions,” Davis said. “I can answer from my view of being in 10 different organizations with all different head coaches, schemes, systems, and I’m telling you from the bottom of my heart this is a very great place for players. We do more for players than anything I’ve ever been around. We do more for conditioning, their body, their health, their mental health, their growth and all parts of being a man and a player than anywhere I’ve been around. And you can just ask the players about how much we spend time on them, on their mindset, on their moods, on how their bodies are feeling, their hydration, all of it. I think it’s a couple isolated guys and they have to answer their own questions about that.”
There always will be isolated guys who complain. The strange thing here is that, while players get cut all the time by other coaches, rarely do players raise questions about the coach. Over the past year or so, three have taken aim at Kelly.