Credit goes out to commenter MIT who reminded me in the comments section the other day that this wasn't the first time the Eagles have run the Emory and Henry formation. Turns out Andy Reid rolled it out back in 2009 when Kevin Kolb made his first career start in place of an injured Donovan McNabb.
For those of you who have access to NFL Game Pass or Rewind, this game is still in the archives and I recommend checking out at least the first half for entertainment purposes. Heading into that game as a big underdog, we saw one of the more creative game plans from Andy Reid utilizing the wildcat formation several times and yes, even the Emory and Henry Formation. Recognize this?
There is it is. The same 3 x 3 x 3 formation we spoke about when highlighting play #8 on the ChipWagon Top 25.
This time, you'll notice Desean Jackson taking the snap from the shotgun formation. This is a little different than the play Chip Kelly ran against Washington which added the read-option component. Seems like the plan here was to catch the Saints defense by surprise and use Desean Jackson's athletic ability to make a play. So on this play, you will see that Westbrook getting the ball isn't really an option and he's designed to block that unblocked defender highlighted in red below:
Max Jean-Gilles gets blown up at the line, but Westbrook gets a terrific cut block on Charles Grant sealing the edge for Jackson to get outside:
and Jackson is able to navigate through a crowd and get the first down:
There were some other interesting plays in this game. The Eagles ran a wildcat formation about 8 times in the first half alone. Some of them, with interesting features that have now become staples in the Chip Kelly offense.
One wouldn't be that far off if they mistook the play below as the standard inside zone read-option we've grown to love as the base play in Chip Kelly's offense. Here, Desean Jackson is once again the "QB" in a shotgun formation:
Brent Celek is going to release off the line and appear to be going on a pattern. This leaves an unblocked edge defender that Desean is "reading":
I think it's important to note that I don't think Desean was given the option to hand-off...the mesh point seemed pretty artificial, but Desean is trying to sell it to force the unblocked DE to crash, which he does just enough:
And with that little hesitation, Desean is able to get by the defender and convert the first down:
One more play with familiar elements that you can almost imagine Chip calling with someone like Brad Smith in the backfield. On the bottom of the screen you can see Jeremy Maclin coming on the Jet Sweep motion. Brian Westbrook is taking the snap in the shotgun. This is the old split zone we've seen Kelly run with James Casey and Brent Celek as the H-back:
Maclin draws attention from the second-level defenders, and nice execution on the sift block:
And a huge hole emerges for Brian Westbrook:
After 10 years you almost couldn't imagine a more different approach to offensive football than what we've seen with Chip Kelly but this is an interesting blast from the past to highlight that Andy is also a student of the game who has seen his share of football concepts.