Just about the only enjoyable thing about watching that game yesterday was to see Chip throw a few more wrinkles on tape for his offense.
One of which, was the long overdue implied usage of James Casey, the jack-of-all-trades TE, Halfback, Fullback, F-back we signed from the Texans on a 3 year, 12-million dollar deal, who has spent most of his time on the bench.
Back in week 2, we saw Casey for the first time, in what I thought, was going to be a fairly regular look in our offense given how Casey was used in Houston. Unfortunately, he didn't take advantage of his opportunity. Let's take a look back.
Red zone possession, Eagles are in a Pro Set or Split Backs formation. You will notice James Casey is the FB highlighted in yellow:
He's going to drag across the formation into the flat:
Should be an easy TD, but we all know how that ended:
Possibly a combination of that drop, the design of the offense, and the emergence of rookie Tight End Zach Ertz, we just haven't seen much of James Casey since then.
However, yesterday, the Eagles threw in a new package and a nice misdirection play in for Casey that we ran at least 3 times based on my cursory review. This had James Casey lined up as the F-back highlighted in yellow:
Vick is in the Shotgun and we see the first bit of a new wrinkle. Vick actually turns his back to the defense and McCoy is going to run behind the QB (very different than the inside and out zone read stuff we are doing). McCoy is going to come to the bottom of the screen, and Casey is going to drag to the top in the flat. You can see the key Giants defense in red. If he reacts to the run fake, Casey should come open pretty quickly:
And sure enough if he does:
Vick rolls right and needs to get rid of the ball quickly for a nice positive gain on 1st down:
Except he doesn't...and Rolle buries him for a sack and a terrible start to a new drive:
We run the same play and same formation again a little later. Casey in yellow:
Except this time, a hand-off to McCoy:
3rd time. Casey in yellow:
Same play, hand-off to McCoy. False start on Jason Kelce:
4th time. Casey in yellow, this time Bryce Brown at running back:
Hand-off to Brown:
Nice blocking, but he only manages to get 3 yards:
For those doing the math, we ran that play 4 times for -14 yards.
The more exotic look we saw yesterday was something Moose and Goose seemingly missed, or at least didn't feel the need to comment on. This is the type of play that is successful thanks to the fast-paced no huddle offense. You have a standard personnel package but you are going to do something wonky to get a nice match-up that the defense is not prepared for.
We ran it twice. We saw something sort of similar before with the Emory and Henry formation. However, this time we were kind enough to keep 5 blockers in. This is an unbalanced line with Celek at RT. Where is Lane Johnson you say? Why he is split out wide next to Jeff Maehl at the top of the screen. Note James Casey behind the 2. It's worth noting we get exactly the type of coverage we hoped for on this play. We have a 3 on 2 match-up on the top:
Vick immediately gets the ball out.
Excellent blocking. Yup, that's Lane Johnson out there against Antrell Rolle:
One of the best plays of the game for a 1st down. Nice physical run by Casey:
We ran it one more time in the 2 minute drill at the end of the half except we flipped for the formation and it was Desean instead of Casey. You can now see Celek at LT:
Again a favorable matchup and some decent blocking in front of Jackson:
Barkley gets it out quickly: