All-22: McCoy’s 3rd-And-15 Run

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Chip Kelly admitted afterwards that the call wasn’t part of some grand plan. He was, in fact, deciding to be somewhat conservative and play to the game situation.

The Eagles were down 20-13 in the third quarter against the Colts and facing a 3rd-and-15 from the Indianapolis 31. That’s when Kelly decided to go to old reliable: an inside zone run.

“I was actually thinking if we could get into field goal range,” he said. “They were doing a great job when you get into real long yardage situations… they are going to rush three, they are going to drop everybody in coverage. There are not a lot of holes in there to fit a ball in, so I said, ‘Screw it. Let’s run it and get out of it.’ ”

That was the thought process, but 21 yards later, LeSean McCoy had a first down. Darren Sproles would score from 19 yards out three plays later to tie the game. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Three Eagles Leftovers

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

From the design of Chip Kelly’s offense to Darren Sproles’ workload to Billy Davis’ A-gap pressures, here are three Eagles leftovers from this week.

1. Based on how his Oregon teams operated, Kelly was asked if there’s something about the design of his offense that lends itself to running backs and tight ends playing bigger roles than wide receivers in the passing game.

“We are equal opportunity distributors,” Kelly said. “How do you want to defend us? Doesn’t matter. If there’s a matchup we can exploit, we’ll exploit it. But… we don’t have a set number that this needs to go here, this needs to go here. A lot of times, it’s different guys, different games. And one game it’s one guy, another game, it’s another guy.

“So it’s not by design, to answer your question, that we are trying to go one way or another way.” Read more »

All-22: The Emergence Of Zach Ertz

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With 5:15 left in the third quarter of Monday night’s game against the Colts, the Eagles needed someone to step up and make a play.

They were trailing 20-6 and faced a 3rd-and-11 from their own 43. They had a good hunch of what the Colts were going to do on defense: rush three and drop eight.

Zach Ertz lined up in the slot. He would run an over route downfield to the opposite hash mark. Read more »

Marcus Smith Now Practicing At Inside LB

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Eagles first-round pick Marcus Smith II has yet to play a snap this season.

In Week 1, he was in uniform, but did not get on the field. In Week 2, he was one of the Eagles’ seven inactives.

It could be awhile before Smith contributes, but the Eagles have decided to try a different plan – for now. Smith spent the entire practice today working at inside linebacker, not outside linebacker. Read more »

Kendricks Misses Practice, Is ‘Day To Day’

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Inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks left Monday night’s game against the Colts in the second half with what he called a calf strain.

But Kendricks was not practicing during the portion of today’s session open to the media.

“He’s day to day,” said Billy Davis. “I’ve got a plan for either [way], and obviously without him practicing today, we’ll see where that is. We’ll have the other guys get the reps. Toward the end of the week, we’ll have a better feel.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘More Than Just Two Weapons’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The question posed to Chip Kelly was about the Eagles’ starting wide receivers.

The answer revealed a little something about the head coach’s philosophy and the reasons behind some of the team’s offseason moves.

“The good thing about this group is we’re built in a manner that I think we have more than just two weapons,” Kelly said. “So if for some reason they’re going to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to go try to play press man and play those guys out there.’ Then we have to be able to beat you other places. That is one of the reasons it happened to us last year. I think bringing Jordan [Matthews] in, and getting [Zach] Ertz a little more playing time and getting another running back in there is: Who is going to match up with your inside guys? We got into that situation last year, and our outside guys got shut down. So now you have to get to your slots and tight ends.”

The term shut down certainly got my attention. The Eagles set franchise records in yards and points a year ago. By any statistical measure, Year 1 of Kelly’s offense in the NFL was a success. Read more »

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