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 »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Testing Chip’s Depth Theory

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Back in June, Chip Kelly sat at the head of a conference table at the NovaCare Complex and answered questions from a group of reporters about his coaching philosophy.

With Kelly, it seems nearly everything stems from the way practices are structured. So he went on for awhile about why the Eagles move at such a fast pace.

“The only reason we practice fast is because we want to get more plays in,” he said. “And if we get more plays in, guys will get more reps. The more times they get reps, the better they get as a player.

“We have 90 guys on our team that we’re trying to improve on a constant basis. So how do we improve them or make decisions or evaluate them if we never get a chance to have them on film? I’ve never understood that – in the offseason especially. I hear stories of other teams where the threes don’t get any reps. Well, how do you know if the threes are any good or not? And how do you know why they’re threes? They could be twos if you ever put them on the field and give them the opportunity and put them on film and say, ‘Hey, this guy’s pretty good.’ ” Read more »

Notes: The New-Look Offensive Line

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Pat Shurmur didn’t want to reveal who would be starting at left guard and right tackle this week in place of the injured Evan Mathis and Allen Barbre, but the early portion of practice Wednesday seemed to paint the picture.

Dennis Kelly was working at left guard with the first unit and Andrew Gardner was at right tackle.

“I think we’re better here than in most places I’ve been because we get so many reps in practice, in our training sessions, that the guys that are going to fill in — just like the guys that did on Sunday — have a better opportunity to do so,” said Shurmur. “Everybody deals with it. It’s rare when you have to put two new guys in a game, we’ve all dealt with having to put in one, but the guys that went in did a great job and I think it’s a function of our culture and our practice that they were able to do it so well.” Read more »

Zone Read: Eagles-Jaguars, the Day After

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Watching from the sideline, linebacker DeMeco Ryans knew the Eagles had a first down before the ball was even snapped.

Darren Sproles had just picked up 8 yards on a screen, but he was tackled short of the sticks, and the offense faced a 4th-and-1 from the Jacksonville 49. The Eagles were trailing 17-0 in the third quarter.

“Sitting on the sideline, I knew we had ‘em,” Ryans said. “Because as a defense, you’re kind of happy about a third-down stop and you’re not expecting a fourth-down play. Our offense gets on the ball and runs it quickly, catches everybody off-guard.”

Chip Kelly didn’t hesitate. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur told him the Eagles were short, and Kelly made a tempo call – a message that can be communicated with one or two words. The call lets the offensive players know it’s time to bust it back to the line of scrimmage and get the ball snapped. Read more »

MRI For Mathis Monday Morning

Evan Mathis

Evan Mathis has missed only one game since joining the Eagles in 2011 and is known as one of the toughest guys on the team, so when Jason Peters saw what he saw and heard what he heard, he knew it had the potential of being serious. Read more »

Eagles Add Pistol To Toolbox For 2014

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Chip Kelly believes his job is to provide players with answers.

If he hasn’t armed them with solutions to their on-field problems, he has come up short as a coach.

Last year, there were many answers as the Eagles had one of the top offenses in the league, setting franchise records in points, yards and a number of other categories. There were occasions, though, where opposing defensive coordinators stymied the Birds’ attack.

So the offseason has been about adding layers to the offense. The foundation remains the same: spread ‘em out and run the ball until the opponent forces you to do something else. But there will be new wrinkles added in 2014. Some might be obvious in four days when the Eagles host the Jaguars. We might not see others until November or later, depending on the rhythm of the season.

Either way, it seems likely that one of the wrinkles revealed itself in the preseason: the pistol. Read more »

Players Answer: Which Eagle Is Ready To Break Out?

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

We recently took the pulse of the Eagles’ locker room, asking a simple question: Which of your teammates has impressed you this summer and is primed for a big/breakout season?

Some players couldn’t name just one or two. Others identified half the roster. We removed those responses and were left with 19 answers. They are listed below. Read more »

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