Monday night we got our first regular season view of the new Chip Kelly Eagle offense. While it is very interesting from a coaching perspective, I see some serious flaws that make me question how far the team will go this year.
Where there is space there will be collisions. The concept of spreading the offense and thus the defense has great merit. However, the skill players of the Eagles are all small by NFL standards. The spacing of the O linemen allows the defenders room to get up to speed prior to hitting the ball carrier. LeSean McCoy is not big enough to carry the ball 31 times a game. Very few backs are. Both QB Mike Vick and WR DeSean Jackson are small and injury prone. If any of those three get hurt, the offense will be much less effective.
The opponents’ defense is not the only group that runs out of gas. The Eagles blitzed out of the gate scoring 33 points before the Redskins could get an offensive point. Then the Birds had to hang on by their fingernails to squeeze out a 33-27 win. Both the Eagle O and D were worn out in the second half. While some of that is due to not playing a full game in the preseason, the pace of the game will exhaust both teams. The defensive line will become tired sooner but the number of snaps will take a toll on the big guys on offense as well.
The more defenses see it the better they will scheme to stop it. The Redskins made several key adjustments at half time that helped slow down the Eagles. There was more pressure on Vick after the break. That caused him to become much less accurate. The inside blitz was particularly effective. The Skins also tightened up coverage on the wideouts forcing him to hold the ball longer.
This offense will generate points in bunches only as long as the small three players remain healthy. But the defensive coaches are really good at finding ways to slow down any unique offense.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith Radio Show.
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