Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis’ hit on Eagles running back DeMarco Murray, in which he folded up Murray on a short gain, got plenty of reaction from fans and gave energy to his team.
But it was another Davis play that had a fellow NFL coach call Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott on Monday to praise his defense’s fundamentals.
Davis’ stop of Eagles running back Darren Sproles for a loss of 1 yard on a second-quarter third-down play was one of the better defensive plays in Sunday night’s victory over Philadelphia.
“I had a coach call me this morning and say I’m showing my guys that play,” said McDermott on Monday afternoon, though he would not reveal who the coach was or which pro team he’s affiliated with. “That is awesome fundamentals. It’s a lost art. To make that tackle in space, with nobody else around, and a back of Sproles’ quality, I think is phenomenal fundamentals and it’s a leader leading by example.”
Down 14-3 with more than 2 minutes left in the first half, Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford checked the ball down to Sproles in the flat. Davis had read Bradford’s eyes while playing in zone coverage and sped toward the running back before the ball arrived.
Davis continued on that straight line path and wrapped Sproles around the waist with both arms before sliding down to Sproles’ feet to drop the speedy back for a loss of 1 yard.
“It is unusual for a coach to call you, just from a fundamental standpoint and say hey we’re watching what you do,” McDermott said. “It just reaffirms what we’re trying to establish with our players.”