Eagles defensive coordinator admits he had ‘poor game plan’ against Rams


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — On Monday, 94WIP Sportsradio’s Ray Didinger didn’t mince words when asked if Los Angeles head coach Sean McVay out-coached Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and, by extension, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

“Thoroughly,” Didinger responded of the game, which the Rams won 37-19.

About 24 hours later, Schwartz appeared to indirectly agree with that sentiment.

“What happened on the field was, I had a poor game plan,” he said.

McVay’s offense rushed for 191 yards on 39 carries while passing for 258 — a total of 449. The Rams had 30 first downs, were 7-12 on third downs, and 4-5 in the red zone. It took nearly an entire half for quarterback Jared Goff to throw an incomplete pass.

Schwartz intended to make things simple against the Rams’ style of offense, but he admitted that backfired.

“I really should have had a more complex game plan, and it sounds funny to talk about, but a more complex game plan would have narrowed the focus of each individual player,” he said.

By the time Schwartz decided to try something else in the game, the Rams already had a substantial lead.

“I was probably a series too late on pulling the trigger and going to a different thing,” he added.

Schwartz has always made an effort to never call a player out in the media — even before his candid comments on Tuesday — which defensive back Jalen Mills appreciates.

“A lot of respect for Schwartz,” Mills said. “You don’t see a lot of defensive coordinators coming out saying those types of things, putting everything on the line for himself. But regardless of whatever he said, us as players — coaches coach, players play, and we gotta have his back too.”

Overall, the Eagles defense played well in Week 1, before the Washington Football Team made its comeback. They did not perform well in Week 2. Both weeks, the defensive line, in particular, was disappointing.

Merrill Reese, the voice of the Eagles, agreed.

“Very, very disappointing,” he said. “That was supposed to be the strength of this team, and (defensive tackle) Fletcher Cox is one of the premier defensive tackles in the National Football League. I’m not pointing a finger at Fletcher Cox, but I can say in broadcasting the games, his presence in the opponent’s backfield has not been there. I haven’t seen it. He’s just looked very ordinary so far.”

Reese said they also need more from Brandon Graham, who recorded the one sack on Goff.

“They just need a greater collective effort and they need more individuals to step up and make big plays,” he said.

The Eagles have four sacks in two games. It would help them to get more. In addition to the defensive line, overall, they must be better.

“Things we’ve typically been very good at over the last four years, we’re not very good at right now,” Schwartz said. “It’s my job to put the guys in good positions, and I don’t feel I did anywhere near a good enough job doing that.”