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I love these breakdowns and the illustrations. Makes me so eager for the season to start again.


Ryan -always love your posts and insights - one quick note though. I think Bryce is the RB in the first Detroit gif and Polk in the second. Takes nothing away from the function of the play, but just wanted to note that.


"However, as Foles hands off check out Riley Cooper at the top of the screen. Instead of blocking his man downfield, he stops against the off coverage and turns back to the ball expecting a potential pass his way with a good 7 yard cushion:"

Wouldn't they get called for illegal men downfield, if Foles decided to pass there?


Thanks Kevin. You are right. Not paying close enough attention :)

Brian, good point. I guess it depends on how quick he gets the ball out.


Two things:

1) The first is a minor quibble about terminology - Foles doesn't have three reads, he has three options. The number of reads in these packaged plays will always be one fewer than the number of options. Read 1 is if the edge defender crashes, he keeps the ball and read 2 is if someone cuts off his running lane to pass or pitch.

2) That play against the Lions /does/ have an unblocked defender, it's just not the usual guy - nobody makes any attempt to block Glover Quin. He's the guy responsible for Foles on the keeper and he's the guy they allow to run himself completely out of the play. Take a look here for some pictures of it http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2014/6/19/5822844/eagles-film-review-chris-polk-running-back#240725799


"Instead of blocking his man downfield, he stops against the off coverage and turns back to the ball"

It doesn't matter if Cooper is not eligible to catch a pass, the DB must still play his man because Foles keeps Cooper in the play.

If Cooper keeps running, he leads the DB to the play. The DB completely changed direction to counter Cooper's look towards Foles, and since Foles keeps his eyes on Cooper, the DB can't look (follow Foles' eyes) elsewhere to follow the play. When Cooper does release towards the play, he blows by the DB and gives him a little arm block as he goes by. Cooper is now in a position to help if there is a weird ending to the play (like a fumble.)


On that Lions 2 point conversion it looks like the Lions had the nunmbers to stop the play if the first edge defender had simply crashed on McCoy instead of freezing. It will be interesting to see what wrinkles the Eagles add when teams get better at maintaining their assignments.


Fabulous presentation, you picked apart every relevant piece of these plays. The play designs are key in freezing the edge defender. I don't know how many times I have seen a DE or OLB come down the line and squelch these kinds of plays. However, one of the real keys here is the blocking of Peters, Mathis, and Kelce. In each play, Peters and Kelce have their blocks at least three yards downfield, with no chance of making the play. Kelce also has his man screened well away from the ballcarrier. The execution is as beautiful as the play design.


quickly becoming one of my favorite Eagles blogs along with Iggles Blitz, Birds 24/7 and Eagles Rewind.


Thanks DEG0EY, you are absolutely right about the terminology, I was sloppy there. I've updated it in the post for better accuracy.

@ZT6, absolutely. That's the key to the whole play. It was surprising how much teams respected Foles as an option on the read-option in 2013. Of course they don't have much choice on the goalline and in short yardage. But of course, as we've highlighted here, Chip is finding other ways to create that horizontal threat that keeps the defense honest. That's the real take home from this.

I've got a piece coming up in the 2014 Eagles Almanac this offseason that will talk more about packaged plays. Make sure you check it out. I'll post a link when it is ready.

Jimmy Wilson

What shocks me are the game to game ajustments Chip Kelly made this year which are just astounding for a 1st year coach not to mention having drastically different QB's throughout the year. For example in the Cardinal game they knew the best corner in the league Pat Petey would follow Desean Jackson around the field regardless of where DJ line up aka #igothimcoverage. Chip lined Desean up all over the field tailback,slot,out wide and used him on jet motions all over the field. The sole reason for this imo was to dictate coverage buy identifying where Patrick Peterson is and second to use meshes and disguises to free up Desean Jackson. What really blows me is just how much of a rabid wolverine Pat Petey is look at the Cardinal GIF, there's no question he was step for step with Desean and even avoids a block buy Lane Johnson. Moving forward I think Maclin will be used as a possession receiver and rookie Josh Huff along with Darren Sproles will be used in Desean's role as far as the jet motion and bubble screen/decoy receiver. Eagles play calling vs Oregon Ducks play calling really shows the difference between the NFL where you play football for a living vs going to class and having a strict amount of practice time in college. Seeing Oregon struggle against the Stanford Cardinals stout defense the last few years I think was an evolution for Chip because their complexity of their scrape exchange not only flustered Oregon but it forced Chip to evolve his offense and create package plays which has NFL defenses scrambling for answers.

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