By Harry Allison

As little as he liked to discuss Sam Bradford’s quarterbacking of the Eagles, coach Chip Kelly was absolutely effusive about why the defense has become the face of this team.

From today’s presser at the NovaCare complex:

“I think it’s improved personnel but there’s also a comfort level with the players and the system,” Kelly said.

“Brandon [Graham] (above) is here for three years. Connor [Barwin] is here for three years, that front-seven with the exception of Jordan Hicks has been here for awhile.

“The fact that you have a player like Malcolm [Jenkins] who has kind of helped keep the back-end together and now Walter [Thurmond], Byron Maxwell and E.J. Biggers have started to all form a group back there in the secondary has also really helped.

“The one thing that Billy [Davis] has benefited from is that continuity that we have up front is we’ve had the same defensive line and those outside linebackers have played a ton of snaps for us. Really just the only addition at inside linebacker is Jordan Hicks who has exceeded some people’s expectations, not ours, in terms of what he can handle as a rookie … When you have some continuity from that standpoint, those guys understand the system to the point where you can make tweaks and you can make adjustments when the offense presents something. When the coaches are talking about adjustments, the players are finishing their sentences.”


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