I can imagine there is nothing more frustrating for a head coach than when they implement a new play/concept during the gameday week, call it, get the defense in the perfect position and then the execution lapses. This happened on Sunday night when the Eagles unveiled a new packaged concept.
Often times the Eagles' packaged plays can vary and include both pre-snap and post-snap reads. Foles will often look over the defense and if he sees a numbers advantage somewhere on the field, he can make his read there instead of post snap in the read-option. I believe that was the case on this particular play. The way this play was executed was not a packaged play with a post-snap read option, but based on the design you will see how the packaged concept is there for the next time they decide to call it.
With only 10 receptions and 75 yards receiving, Brent Celek appears to be a forgotten man in the Eagles offensive attack. What's more, while Kelly pointed to Celek often last year as a 29 year old player who benefitted greatly from Kelly's SportsScience program, he appears to have lost a step this year when he has had some opportunities in the open field.
Despite this, Celek is still playing the most snaps of all our tight ends (70%). Zach Berman and Marcus Hayes did some good pieces on Celek this week. Chip Kelly after the Giants game on Sunday Night:
"I think he's awesome," Kelly said. "I love the way he approaches everything. He's got the right demeanor. He's everything you want. He's totally selfless. He's exactly what you want. When you talk about what a Philadelphia Eagle looks like, Brent Celek is what a Philadelphia Eagle looks like."
In the previous post, I covered how Chip foiled the Giants plans of attacking our inside zone running game by giving the Giants defense a heavy dose of sweep read and attacking the edges of the defense. In part 2, I wanted to focus on a couple of other aspects, but Fran Duffy and Sheil Kapadia largely beat me to the punch with some great posts. Despite that, I promised a part 2, so here it is and I hope it adds some additional insights and highlights to those 2 terrific pieces.
One of the great things about the Chip Kelly offense is the simplicity of it all. As we've repeated in this blog many times, Chip isn't really inventing anything new. He's taking a lot of old football concepts that have been used for years and packaging them together and dressing them up in different ways. A great example is of the Eagles bread and butter play, the inside zone. The Eagles run this play as well as any team in football right now, but sometimes the simplicity can make things predictable. One of the much talked about things about Chip Kelly's inside zone run game is that based on the formation, you are really telling the defense what you are going to do. This doesn't automatically make it easier to stop, good execution trumps all, but teams can get a bit more creative and try to focus on stopping the foundation of the Eagles offense. Perhaps no team in the NFL defended the Eagles run game last year better than the New York Giants, and they did so by attacking the Eagles inside zone scheme.
Using things like a "nut stunt" the Giants were able to really limit the effectiveness of our inside zone game. Sheil Kapadia did a great job of getting some excellent scoop from the players on the Giants strategy to thwart the inside zone scheme and did a really nice All-22 breakdown. Sheil also did a good job getting some insight from Eagles players prior to the Giants game last week that suggested that the Eagles had a few tricks up their sleeves:
"We've got a couple more things to really beat their scheme," said Molk. "It's a tough thing against the inside zone. It really hurts the play dramatically. So it's just all about understanding that they're gonna do it and adapting to it."
"We have certain calls for that, but the linebackers bump up too. But we have a lot of variations that we're gonna run this week, mix it up a little bit."
And boy did Chip have a plan. Over the course of the next two posts I'll dive into Chip's game plan of how to take advantage of the Giants attempting to cheat on our inside zone game.