At #4 I wanted to highlight Chip Kelly's ability to adapt, adjust, and evolve concepts through the 2013 season. I think this is one of the most important aspects of a successful NFL head coach. You can have all the greatest ideas in the world, but the other 31 coaching staffs have smart people too and they catch onto new concepts fast.
As I've highlighted since the birth of this blog and more specificially through the course of the Top 25 plays of 2013, Chip Kelly is not inventing anything new in football. Virtually every concept he has used as been combined with and applied to different ideas that were created and implemented by the football forefathers.
In #13 of the Top 25 we talked about the use of mesh concepts on shallow drag routes underneath. The idea here is to create traffic and confusion leading to a free receiver coming outside. Chip and the Eagles ran this concept with high success all over the field and at the goalline often combining an underneath mesh concept with a wheel route out of the backfield.
In week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys, Chip went back to this concept for a big TD, albeit with a new wrinkle.
On this play you can see that Cooper and Ertz are going to run their alternating shallow crosses underneath in the end zone. However, note on this formation Chip Kelly lines up both Desean Jackson and Lesean McCoy in the backfield, and following the snap they will run criss-crossing routes in the backfield:
As you can imagine this creates a mess in the middle of the field for the Cowboys defenders changes those 4 receivers:
Ertz's get the "rub" on Riley's man breaking Riley free for a TD.
The following week in the wild card matchup against the Saints, Chip goes back to a familiar look except this time he flips the position of Desean and McCoy and now has Ertz lined up in-line:
This time Lesean and Jackson again cross paths in the backfield and Riley runs his shallow cross. Ertz however starts off as if he's going to block. But as Foles rolls out Ertz turns and heads towards the sidelines in the same direction as Cooper:
Foles has some nice hi-lo options but Ertz is wide open for the TD, our last of the inaugural Chip Kelly season:
Same concepts, different variation and an offense evolving on a weekly basis right before our eyes that gave defenses fits in 2013.
Keep an eye out for the Top 3 plays during the last week of August.