When Chip Kelly hired Billy Davis the rumours quickly began to build that the Eagles would transition to a 3-4 defense. Chip and Billy kept the lid on exactly what they were going to run for the majority of the offseason but the general consensus was that the Eagles defense was going to a 3-4. Which begged the question, who is the nose tackle? The Eagles addressed that very quickly with the acquisition of Isaac Sopoaga from the 49ers, a 330 lb 9 year veteran. The Eagles proceeded to spend a 3rd round pick on LSU product Bennie Logan with an eye on him towards nose tackle. Bennie weighed in at 309 at the combine, but likely played more around 290ish at LSU. After going through Chip Kelly's programme this offseason and playing his first NFL season, one has to wonder whether Bennie still weighed around the 309 he was listed at. The kid has incredible quickness and speed and certainly doesn't look like a 300+ pounder out there. He had a very good season. So good that the Eagles decided to jettison Sopoaga to the Patriots in the midseason for a late round draft pick swap.
Looking back on the 2013 season, one of the most exciting aspects was Chip Kelly and Nick Foles' ability to transform this Philadelphia Eagles offense from a lackluster red zone team to a very good one. No question this is the part of Nick Foles' 2013 that will be positioned heavily in his campaign to be the next franchise QB of the Philadelphia Eagles. In almost all types of football, the team that scores TDs instead of Field Goals is generally the team that wins. The Eagles went 3-5 in the red zone against the Saints on Saturday and unfortunately it wasn't quite enough. Rob Ryan's strategy against our red zone offense was to rush only 3 and drop 8. A strategy that worked just well enough to allow the Saints to pull out of Philly with a win.
We took a look back at the biggest red zone failure of the night in a post yesterday. On that particular play, the Saints only rushed 3 and dropped 8 defender in coverage. Nick's decision to hold the ball too long and wait for a play to develop in the red zone not only cost the Eagles a TD, but ultimately cost them 3 points, which would have been the difference in the game.
Anytime you lose a game by 2 points it's easy to go back with a magnifying glass and pick out 2 or 3 things that stick out in hindsight that could have been the difference between the Eagles preparing for Carolina this week vs. the Eagles preparing for next year.
Unfortunately, the aftermath of Saturday night revealed that you don't need a magnifying glass to see all the missed opportunities the Eagles left on the field. From Alex Henery to Colt Anderson to Riley Cooper to Patrick Chung, the list goes on. But for me, while I was proud to see the Eagles fight back in the 2nd half, the reality is, they probably shouldn't have been in that position. Here we take a look back at 3 drives that resulted in 0 points that in mind really summed this one up as a missed opportunity for the Eagles. Something Chip Kelly referred to as "Leaving the Meat on the Bone" in his press conference today.
One thing we have seen a lot more of in recent weeks has been Desean in motion in the backfield. He's lined up in the backfield, he'll motion on a jet sweep look, he'll motion on a reverse look. For the most part, there is nothing "tricky" about this although we did run the double reverse as few weeks back. There's a few reasons Chip likes to move Desean around. The first, and most important reason, its the defense off for Foles as to whether the defense is playing zone or man coverage pre-snap. Another reason, is to use Desean as a form of deception. Drawing interest in one way, and moving the ball to the opposite side. Finally, it also can be used when the defense is in zone coverage a numbers mismatch on one side of the field. We'll take a look at all.