In Parts 8 and 9 we highlighted how the Eagles started to run more plays under center in order to not tip their hand on the direction of the inside zone playside. It will be interesting to see how much this continues in 2015 now that we’ve had a complete overhaul of our RB corps. As pointed out by Sheil Kapadia:
According to ESPN Stats and Information, Murray is second among free-agent running backs in yards-per-rush out of the shotgun over the last two seasons, behind only new backfield partner Ryan Mathews.
However, in 2013 and 2014 one of the Eagles very favorite plays is the split zone. The split zone is a very common variation on the inside zone that many different teams run. The general idea is to run inside zone with your 5 OL to the playside. This will often involve leaving the backside edge defender unblocked like we do in our inside zone from the Shotgun formation. However, on this play, the QB does not “block” the edge defender because he’s under center and will turn his back to the defense. This defender now becomes the assignment for the H-back who starts lined up on the opposite of the formation. Let’s take a look at a few examples.