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How Bill Davis saw through the snow vs. Lions
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The visibility was awful on Sunday. From the press box -- which is on the same level at Lincoln Financial Field as the box where the assistant coaches and coordinators sit -- you could see hazy approximations of players, but it was difficult to make out who was doing what. Early on, watching the game through the snowstorm was like trying to peer through gauze.

It couldn’t have made things very easy for Bill Davis and the other coaches that day. On Tuesday, someone asked the Eagles’ defensive coordinator what it was like in the coaches’ box.

“It was a little warm,” Davis quipped.

He continued: “You really couldn’t see the jersey numbers. The personnel groupings was a little bit challenging to see on the field because you couldn’t see jersey numbers.”

Davis, who’s in constant communication via headset with other members of the Eagles’ staff, said he relied more on his coaches who were on the field.

“They could see better down there,” Davis explained. “They weren’t doing a whole lot of personnel groupings because of the severity of the weather, so it wasn’t a challenge. But we could not see from up there.”

According to Davis, it wasn’t until the “end of the second [quarter], early third” -- when the snow slowed some and the visibility got better -- that he was able to see what was really happening on the field. And those still shots of personnel groupings and formations that you see players and coaches going over on the sideline? Those were useless too.

“The still shots were almost impossible to look at because it was whited-out,” Davis said. “You could see a little bit of the image, but you weren’t positive of what was happening.”

Despite the conditions -- or maybe because of them -- the Eagles' defense turned in another quality performance. It was the ninth straight game the unit has limited its opponent to 21 or fewer points. That’s the longest streak in the NFL. While the Eagles had 478 yards of total offense, the Lions were held to 228 total yards.

Most notably, dynamic Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson wasn’t much of a factor. A year ago, when the Lions played the Eagles in decidedly better conditions, Johnson had an excellent day against the Birds’ secondary. He finished with six catches on 12 targets for 135 yards that afternoon. This past Sunday didn’t go nearly as well for Johnson, who had just three catches on 49 yards and no touchdowns.

When the field is sloppy and the weather has a significant impact on the proceedings, coaches tend to praise the equipment staff for making sure the players have the proper spikes on and so forth. Davis did exactly that on Tuesday. But the defensive coordinator also said he and his assistants tweaked their play-calling based on the feedback they got from the players about the on-field conditions.

“We did a lot of communication with the secondary in particular about what’s the footing like,” Davis said. “What coverages are you feeling more comfortable with? How is pressing? How do you feel when you press them? How do you feel when you’re off? All those things factor in when the weather is like that.”