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Improved defense on horizon for Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles' defense was far from perfect last season.

They ranked 29th in total yards allowed and 17th in points given up.

Most importantly, the defense improved steadily as the season wore on. And it was good enough to help the Eagles capture the NFC East with a 10-6 record and a playoff matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

The Eagles fell 26-24 on a late drive, which led to a game-winning field goal.

Philadelphia made a number of roster changes on defense, including the addition of safety Malcolm Jenkins, cornerback Nolan Carroll, first-round draft pick Marcus Smith, a linebacker and edge rusher, fourth-round selection Jaylen Watkins, a defensive back and fifth-round pick Ed Reynolds, a safety, among others.

Upgrades have been made across the board.

"Last season wasn't a great season by anybody's standard defensively in the statistic category," defensive coordinator Bill Davis told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "But if we can grab the understanding that we had at the end of last season with how we fit ... within the system, our goal is to take that and continue to climb this season."

Davis credited the entire defensive staff consisting of defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro, outside linebackers coach Bill McGovern, inside linebackers coach Rick Minter and defensive backs coach John Lovett.

"We work extremely well together," Davis told the Inquirer. "There's no egos. The best idea wins. It's not, 'My idea.' It's whoever has the best one."