The more we get to know Chip Kelly, the more we realize how much of his success is rooted in simplicity. Where Andy Reid boasted a playbook that could stretch from floor to ceiling, Kelly seems to believe more in focusing on a smaller amount of plays and perfecting them.
It is about execution, and on offense, it is largely about the men up front.
To get a feel for what Kelly wants out of his offensive line in Philadelphia, it’s best to go back to his Oregon days for clues. The Duck offense was based off the inside zone play. Kelly, in a NIKE Coaches Clinic back in 2009, discussed what he expects out of his offensive line on this play, while giving a glimpse at his overall football philosophy.
We want to get off the ball and be a physical, downhill-running football team. This is not a finesse play. We teach our offensive linemen a play we call the bust block. The idea is to bust their sternums up against their spines on every play. We want to come off the ball, create a double-team, knock the crap out of the defender, and deposit him in the linebacker’s lap.
In 2011, Jason Kelce looked like someone who was made to play for Howard Mudd.
Tucked away behind the Eagles’ mistakes in the 2011 draft was the selection of Kelce, a sixth-round pick out of Cincinnati. As a rookie, he caught Mudd’s eye and stole the starting job from Jamaal Jackson on the practice fields at Lehigh. Kelce’s athleticism was exactly what Mudd wanted out of his center, and the rookie showed steady improvement, leading many observers to project a Pro Bowl campaign for him in 2012.
But in the team’s second game against the Ravens, Kelce suffered a torn MCL and ACL in his right knee, ending his season. Now, with Mudd retiring and Andy Reid gone, Kelce is waiting to find out what scheme the Eagles will be running in 2013.
Michael Vick has seized control back at the line of scrimmage.
Entering the year, he and Jason Kelce planned to share responsibilities pre-snap so Vick could focus on the other tasks at hand. While Vick had final say, it was the center that was calling out the bulk of the protections. Even when Kelce went down and the unproven Dallas Reynolds stepped in, the set-up stayed in place.
The intended results never came. In fact, instead of Vick feeling more focused in, he actually felt somewhat disengaged.
“Mike, when he’s forced to fix the protections like he was last year, I think he is more in tune to everything,” said Kelce. “That’s one of the things that we ran into problems with at camp was sometimes when you have the center doing a lot of that, the quarterback kind of goes on autopilot. I think that’s why Mike wanted to move back to that. He feels more mentally engaged and he feels like he’s more part of it, he has to focus on each and every play.”
I’m pinch-blogging for T-Mac with the reader mailbag this week. These are e-mails I’ve received in the past few weeks (edited slightly for viewing purposes). Topics include the 2011 draft class, Nick Foles, Trent Edwards and more.
Tagged with: Curtis Marsh
, Danny Watkins
, Dion Lewis
, Jaiquawn Jarrett
, Jamaal Jackson
, Jason Kelce
, Michael Vick
, Nick Foles
, Sheil Kapadia
, Stanley Havili
, Trent Edwards
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Here are some plays from the Eagles’ offense that stood out after watching the All-22 tape.
If you missed the defensive breakdown, click here.
Eagles center Jason Kelce will not play again in 2012. The team announced today that he has been placed on season-long injured reserve.
With Jason Kelce sidelined, the Eagles are likely to sign veteran center Steve Vallos Tuesday.
Here’s a player-by-player review of how the Eagles offensive linemen performed after re-watching Sunday’s game against the Ravens.
The Eagles had not been in contact with Jamaal Jackson as of Monday morning. Here’s a look at some possible candidates to add depth to the center position:
As cut-down day was approaching, Dallas Reynolds‘ goal was simple: to not get a phone call.
Every year since 2009, as the team was shaping their roster, he was left on the cutting-room floor. For three seasons he was relegated to the practice squad. His practice squad eligibility now up, it was make the 53 or bust. Fast forward a couple weeks, and the 28-year-old is not just on the team, but starting under center in front of Michael Vick for the 2-0 Eagles.
“I’ve been looking to this moment for a long time,” said Reynolds. “A few years on the practice squad and now to be active and have a chance to play and start, I’m excited for the opportunity.”
It should not be understated how important of a role the BYU product is now filling.