If you’re a coach, you’re going to get fired. If you’re lucky you’ll get another gig in another city, and you’ll move your family there and hope the stay is long enough to grow some roots. But it probably won’t be.
Given the transient nature of the profession, it is understandable that a coach would insulate himself and zero in only on the Sunday in front of him until he is told that there will be no more Sundays with his current team.
“Absolutely. There’s no question about that,” he said.
Against the Cowboys, the Eagles turned in one of their best offensive performances of the season, coming away with points on six of 10 possessions. The balance was there. Foles dropped back to pass 35 times and handed it off 26 times for a 57 percent/43 percent split.
“To me that’s the best back in football,” Ryan said, per ESPNDallas.com. “I really believe that. I think he’s tremendous. He’s so talented. He’s got vision everywhere. He’s so quick. And I think (offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinwheg) is the only guy probably that can stop him because that guy is phenomenal. So if they don’t give it to him, that’s a good thing. But he’s super talented.”
We don’t have the All-22 images yet, but ESPN did a good job of providing clear shots of the seven sacks the Eagles allowed in Monday night’s game against the Saints. So here’s one man’s attempt to figure out what in the world was going on with the Birds’ protection schemes.
Over the past couple days at the Novacare Complex, players and coaches have tried to articulate what exactly has gone wrong with an offense that is scoring just 17.1 points per game, 28th in the league.
During training camp, it seemed like the 2012 version wouldn’t be far off from last year’s group. Michael Vick and company produced 64 pass plays of 20+ yards in 2011, eighth-best in the league. The plan was to cut down on turnovers, get DeSean Jackson back on track and resume the high-flying, big-play attack.
But a few things happened to derail that plan. Demetress Bell failed to be even adequate filling in for Jason Peters at left tackle. Another hole was created when center Jason Kelce suffered a season-ending injury. And the offense failed to fix the turnover problem.
After the Cardinals game, Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg decided to switch things up. More balance, coupled with a methodical passing game, was Plan B. If the defense could come up big (like it did against the Giants), perhaps that kind of offense would be good enough for the Eagles to get into the playoffs.
Nope. That hasn’t worked either.
One reason why Andy Reid is sticking with Michael Vick is because the quarterback has actually shown real improvement in a couple key areas.
Most notably, against the blitz.
In the last three games (while the offense has still had plenty of issues), the Eagles have done damage against the blitz. Just look at the numbers. Vick is 29-for-42 for 405 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions against extra pressure. That’s a 69 percent completion percentage and 9.6 yards-per-attempt.
If you’re a glass-half-full kind of fan (c’mon, there has to be one or two of you out there), this is something to be optimistic about looking ahead to the final 10 games.
Since the Eagles were on bye last week, there’s no new All-22 to break down. So instead, let’s take a look at some of the ways the offense has beaten the blitz in the last few weeks.
Why aren’t the Eagles hitting on more big plays? Michael Vick still has a big-time arm. They still have an outstanding vertical downfield threat in DeSean Jackson and other options like Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek.
The way I see it, there are three factors. Let’s knock them out, one-by-one, with a little help from the All-22.
Vick will be the starting quarterback a week from Sunday when the Eagles host the Falcons, and Mornhinweg will continue with play-calling duties.