Let’s Talk RBs

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 211 Comments »

Back in 1994 Jimmy Johnson was fresh off being the Cowboys coach. He was new to broadcasting and an interesting guy. He made my jaw hit the floor one day when he explained that he would take Emmitt Smith over Barry Sanders. Say what?

Johnson then showed video of Sanders on a long TD run. As he was on the way downfield, Sanders inexplicably drifted toward the left sideline. By the end of the run, he was only a couple of yards away. Jimmy joked that if the field was any longer, Sanders would have run out of bounds. Emmitt wasn’t nearly as dynamic, but he was  a more controlled runner. There were no wasted motions or steps. He “trusted the play”, as the saying goes in football circles. You run where the play is designed to go. That way everyone knows how to block for you. When you freelance and take chances, the blockers are clueless since the runner is behind them initially.

I don’t think anyone would dispute that LeSean McCoy is a great runner. He regularly makes our jaws hit the floor with his explosive lateral cuts and great juke moves. Tackling him can be about as easy as eating soup with a fork.

While McCoy is a great RB, I do wonder if he’s always the right player for some situations.

Late in games, you want to move the chains and work the clock. This is situational football. You must play to the situation. Shady has a hard time letting go of his instincts to go for big plays. He’ll see a defender in the backfield and cut left or right. He’ll then try to get outside. Suddenly no gain or a short loss gets worse.

Running the ball into a stacked box is tough. If you do it with a N-S runner who has some pop, he’s going to get stuffed plenty of times. He won’t have the wiggle to make guys miss. But he can wear down defenders. He can break some arm tackles since he runs hard and with power rather than trying to be elusive and light on his feet. That runner can break a big play vs a stacked box if he hits the right spot and there is a bit of a hole. We can all remember Emmitt Smith doing this. The Eagles might have limited him to 21 carries for 73 yards. Then he’d break off a 39-yard run late in the game and suddenly he’s 22-112. That used to drive me nuts.

Remember Marion Barber? He was a terrific “closer”. Barber ran with violence and power. He was very hard to tackle. Dallas would use other runners initially, but Barber would be the 4th quarter guy and he was a huge pain in the butt.

The Eagles ran the ball really well vs the Packers in the 4th quarter. They struggled the last 2 weeks and were inconsistent in games vs the Giants and Raiders. The running game stagnated in the season opener when the team had a big lead over the Skins.

I’m certainly not blaming McCoy for all the struggles. Chip Kelly is using a formula that isn’t favorable. He is spreading out the defense with 3 WRs and then trying to run against 7 and 8-man fronts. 5 OL and a TE aren’t going to win that battle very often. Defenses are daring the Eagles to throw the ball. I do think the problem is compounded by McCoy’s style.

I’d love for Kelly to try and mix things up. Bryce Brown has the size and strength to be effective. Chris Polk was very good at this type of running while he was in college. I think part of Kelly’s hesitation is that Brown had major fumbling issues last year. Polk had some fumbling problems this summer. Kelly also seems to like sticking with his star RB. I’m assuming this is Kelly’s choice and not that of Duce Staley.

McCoy can be a downhill runner when he wants to. You saw him attack the hole on the 4th/2 run late in the 1st half on Sunday. That was perfect. That’s what you’d like to see more of. Shady does have the NFL record for 50-yard runs in the 4th quarter, but that’s part of the problem. The Eagles don’t need big plays when protecting a lead. Just move the chains and keep the clock rolling. Shady’s instinct is to go for the big play. That means moving laterally and trying to get outside. Running wide against a stacked box is a losing proposition.

The Saints normally do a great job of mixing up RB duties so that everyone does something they’re good at. I love the fact Sean Payton is very situational with his runners. He maximizes their output by doing that. When you have a great RB like Shady, you need to feed him the ball. Giving his touches away wouldn’t be smart…for most of the game. I do wonder if mixing in the backups late would be something to try.

I hope the Eagles have leads in upcoming games so we can see what adjustments Kelly makes, whether to the lineup or the playcalling.

* * * * *

Just how critical is Shady to the Eagles success on the ground? This is an interesting question. Kelly had all sorts of productive runners while at Oregon and New Hampshire. I tend to think Kelly would get production from the run game no matter what. McCoy averages 4.7 yards per rush. A lesser RB would be closer to 4.0. He also wouldn’t be near the top of the league in rushing yards.

McCoy is a special player, but RB is the most replaceable position. The Eagles went from Herschel Walker to Ricky Watters to Charlie Garner to Duce Staley to Brian Westbrook to Shady. That’s 20 years of really good RB play. There were also guys like Heath Sherman, Correll Buckhalter, Dorsey Levens and Leonard Weaver mixed in.

The Eagles saw last year just how explosive Bryce Brown could be when he was getting fed the ball. He has yet to really get going as a runner this year, but Kelly is right that a lot of that is due to Shady’s healthy. I will admit that one of my few disappointments with Kelly is how he’s used the RB corps. I hoped this would finally be the year when all 3 RBs got regular touches. That simply hasn’t happened.

We’ll see what happens down the stretch.

At some point, you have to play the backups. Either you believe in them in enough to have them on the roster or you are wasting roster spots.

_


  • Guest

    Hey Tommy, what are the chances we extend Maclin’s contract coming off an injury like that?

    • TommyLawlor

      All depends on money. I’m sure the Eagles would love to bring him back for a year at a cheap rate. Mac might be open to that. Would be great to see him, Coop and Djax on the field together.

      • Anders

        Do you think we give Cooper a new contract? I fear he might cost us too much

        • bdbd20

          Coop is a certainly a more tricky situation. Could a rookie do a lot of the same things for a much cheaper price? If Mac walks, then the choice is easy to sign Riley.

          If we commit decent money to Maclin, the team may choose to let Cooper test the market and use that money elsewhere.

          If he continues on this pace, Riley’s numbers are gonna be pretty good. Somebody will pay him.

          • Anders

            Somebody is 100% going to pay Riley based on his relative good numbers and his size.

            I personally think Maclin would have had much better stats than Cooper have right now in this offense.

          • bdbd20

            Maclin’s recovery will play a big part in this. Chip has to be sure that he can be productive. If Coop walks and Maclin isn’t recovered, the offensive will certainly suffer.

            I’m not sure if Maclin will take a 1-year deal. He seems like a good guy and good teammate, but what happens if a team offers him a 5-year deal with a $15 million signing bonus? I wouldn’t blame him if he took it.

          • Anders

            Im one of those guys who think we should try to get Maclin cheapish for 4 years.

            A lot of players have ACL tears now a days and Maclin’s wasnt that bad (no cartilage dmg) and he did tear his other ACL in college and was still one fast and shifty guy.

          • bdbd20

            I think the organization would be thrilled to get him on a short (incentive-laden) deal.

            The major hurdle will be the market. Teams may work him out and see the talent that made him a 1st round pick.

          • http://twitter.com/sitko77 Mark Sitko

            the team will not commit decent money to Maclin, he doesn’t deserve it – they will offer a very low cost one year contract and he will either take it or walk…Maclin has no leverage – the league is not a fan, he is soft and he gets hurt – he needs to prove he is worth a contract at all

          • Anders

            except I know a lot of fans from other teams who wants to throw money at Maclin.

            You bet if fans want Maclin, so will another GM. Not sure how a guy who has been one of the best young WRs in NFL history does not deserve a new good contract?

          • Adam

            Eagles fans wanted to throw money at Ed Reed, Plaxico Burris, and any other name they’ve heard of. That’s not really a good indicator of actual GM interest.

            Best young WR’s in NFL history? Based on what? That’s a pretty bold statement.

          • Anders

            ONE OF the best. Never said the best.

            It is based on the stats collected by WR before their 25 year birthday, he was no. 4 or so in many stats like catches, yards and tds and all the guys in front of him is HOF’ers

          • Adam

            I’d be interested to see those numbers. Tried googling a few different combinations of that but I can’t find it.

          • Anders
          • anon

            Didnt realize his numbers were so good — makes you think how good we could be if he was our possession receiver.

          • Anders

            It is one of the reasons I want him back. People hate him for no reason except he hasnt broken 1k yards and he isnt Hakeem Nicks

          • Andy124

            People (not me) hate him because of the ‘self-tacklin’ thing.

            I would be stoked to see him playing the slot. I think he’d be deadly there.

          • Anders

            Its funny how we kill Vick for taken too many hits and we kill Maclin for preserving his body.

          • Andy124

            And DJax.
            But there are, rightly so, different standards for QBs and all other players.

            I’m fine with a tiny guy like DJax protecting himself. A little less so with a guy with decent size like Maclin. And there are situations where I don’t care who you are, put your head down and plow forward for whatever you can get.

            All that being said, I’m not going to hate on a WR for not being as tough as I’d like.

          • Anders

            I would love to have known how much Colts fans complained about Marvin Harrison or Rams fans about Torry Holt, I know both had great career, but both often went down rather easily.

          • BlindChow

            Expectations for QB’s are different than for WR’s.

          • dropscience

            I was (wrongly) in the same camp until I read Jason Brewer’s (I think) piece in Eagles Almanac before the season. I’d just started to appreciate Mac whenever he was lost for the year.

          • Stephen Stempo

            Because he plays a position where an ACL tear is a gigantic RED FLAG.

          • Anders

            He had one in college. Also there is a big difference on how problematic an ACL tear is. An ACL is nothing, the problem is if there is cartilage dmg and there wasnt (that is Graham’s proble)

          • Stephen Stempo

            which means he now has 2. Listen I love Mac don’t get me wrong but he’s never been the most..physical..player. The last thing I want is a Maclin who’s even more averse to contact.

          • Anders

            He got one on each knee, so shouldnt really affect him.

            Also Maclin had no problems with contact in college or the first 2 years. The problem was the last two years (after the Dunta Robinson hit, but Jackson had same problem and he is now taking big hits again)

          • Neil

            Are you really saying if fans want to throw money at a player a GM will? That’s…a stretch. I’m not saying no way a GM will be OK with giving him a multiyear deal, but yeah.

          • BlindChow

            You bet if fans want Maclin, so will another GM.

            Well, you gotta know THAT’s not true. Plaxico, Ochocinco, TO, Kerry Rhodes, Tebow…

          • Adam

            I agree. People tend to overvalue our own players, but the fact is Maclin is a guy who’s never broke 1000 yards in the NFL and is coming off his 2nd ACL tear. There will be lots of tire kickers but no one is going to give him a fat contract.

  • IG

    Hey Tommy, what are the chances we extend Maclin’s contract this year?

    • Mike Flick

      The biggest question with Maclin is whether he would be a good blocker and buy into the blocking concepts.

      Seeing how Desean responded with being a willing blocker, seeing how Cooper is blocking, Avant is a willing blocker. I think the coaching staff would have gotten Maclin to buy in on being a blocker.

      We could use an upgrade at the #3 receiver and adding Maclin back into the mix would accomplish that.

    • Stephen Stempo

      Correct me if I’m wrong but don’t we have Benn back next year ? I think he had two years.

      I think that’s up to Maclin. If he’s willing to come back on a one year incentive-laden deal.. yeah I’d give him a look if he’s lost a step or just gets beat out there’s no risk and we could cut him early this summer. It also depends on how much faith the team really has in Cooper, it’s been a nice run, but who knows other receivers have had stretches of games where they’ve looked good too. Though Kelly does love competition and adding a hungry Mac to the WR jam might light some fires.

      a vexing question.

      • Anders

        Benn will be back next year, but he is having trouble staying healthy.

        • Stephen Stempo

          It’s a numbers game. Though I admit I’d love to have Maclin back, especially since none of our WR’s not named Cooper and Jackson have impressed me. Damaris Johnson where have you gone? I also think WR isn’t as valued in Kelly’s offense( as compared to Reids where he would regularly have 4-5 WR sets). Chip seems to like 2 and 3 WR sets. Depth may not be the premium there I think they let Mac test the waters. I’d also have to see who’s a FA this coming year.

          I’d love to get a BIG WR in the draft too not every draft has those.

          • Anders

            Maclin is one of the best options in FA

            http://overthecap.com/freeagents.php?Position=WR&Year=2014

            Basically Maclin And Nicks will be the two best options in FA.

            I agree that I would love another big WR and this draft will most likely have a good amount of them through the whole draft.

          • Stephen Stempo

            Maclin MIGHT be . We don’t know. Like I said give him a shot but don’t go crazy and if another team gives him 4 years good for them.

          • anon

            All of our other WRs are 5’8 practice squad guys — w/ Maclin and Benn down we have no depth, which really isn’t surprising.

    • kajomo

      I don’t know what the eagles will do, but i want to re-sign both maclin and coop to long term deals. Benn seems to always be injured so i can’t count on him. I would draft a slot WR in the mid rounds.

      This team NEEDS Foles to be successful. I want to surround him with as much talent as possible. With Ertz developing he would have a very good supporting cast.

      I also want to build the defense through the draft amd don’t want to spend a premium pick at the WR position.

      • Anders

        We can get a big WR with Coopers talent for a 4th round pick. who will cost around 10 times less.

        • kajomo

          You hope we can replace Cooper with a 4th round pick. 1st round WRs bust all the time and you know you can replace Copper so easily in the middle rounds?

          I believe in building through the draft and have no problem drafting to replace current players. I view this differently because of the importance of Foles’s developement.

          The Packers did this with Rodgers. They paid Driver, Nelson, Jones, and Finley to make sure he had the supporting cast. They built the rest of the team through the draft.

          • BlindChow

            I would be nervous about trying to “fix” something that’s working, particularly if money is the chief motivator.

            I mean, look at AJ Jenkins and Jonathan Baldwin. Both 1st round picks, both busts. And they were believed to have a lot more talent than Cooper.

          • Tumtum

            Not sure how we can be sold on Cooper. He has had two lack luster games. They tried to get him involved last week with peterson locking down DJ and he wasnt up to the task. If i had to decide today to keep Mac or Cooper, body of work heavily favores Maclin, so I would go that direction. Luckily we have a bunch of football left for Cooper to prove it.

  • T_S_O_P

    I’m with you completely on this Tommy, but had Jimmy already of had Barry, would he of drafted Emmitt? That said, my favourite run this year was by Polk in the Buccs game where he lowered his shoulder Into Woodyard and… BOOM. On the other hand, Polk has been responsible for a few breakdowns too. I try and tell myself, this is a training year, an install year. What we need is for the Dallas game to be meaningless so that we can rest our starters, maybe then we can have a repeat of my favourite RB game day performance – Pickle Juice Duce.

    • eagleyankfan

      Exactly. OMG — JJ picked his rb over another. The fact is — Barry was the better runner — period. JJ also has better wr’s and qb’s than what Barry had — a lot easier and a lot more running room for JJ’s rb….

  • truehaynes

    Do you guys think chip might just be unorthodox enough to put Vick in at the end of games. If your going to run the ball over and over again at least make a lb account for Vick, even if he’s just giving the ball to McCoy over and over. Do you guys really want our franchise qb keeping the ball because no one respects him? He’s not going to slide every time especially if hes going for the first down, and I dont want Vick as the starter again. And if the read lb does go straight for mccoy I’d rather have Vick than nick. I’m just saying if were never going to pass why have nick instead of Vick, besides the fact that it would seem rediculous to the football orthodoxy. I doubt nick would even mind, he knows he’s the starter and he wouldn’t lose his job no matter what Vick does, especially since we won’t see Vick as a passer. If only Vick would learn to slide

    • Andy124

      If we’re never going to pass, why have Vick instead of another RB?
      If we’re never going to pass and they’re putting 7 and 8 in the box even when the offense is spread out, why not put in big bodies and play smash mouth?

      Bottom line, you don’t take your stud qb out of the game to be cute. Especially when the cute option has a history of turnovers. Have we not learned from the Reid days of outsmarting ourselves?

      • Anders

        The thing would be Vick at QB with McCoy in the back field. Vick would have gained yards on the “sack” by Daryl Washington where Foles kept the ball.

        • Andy124

          Seriously, this ‘put Vick in as a closer’ talk that keeps popping up just makes me want him off the team after this season even more.

          Bring in a vet that’s been studying the game forever that can be a mentor to Foles.

          • anon

            I think you’ve wanted Vick off the team since the year started. To be fair any starting QB in philly is going to be subject to the same scrutiny unless MB (or a vet scrub) is the backup.

            What verterans do you think would be back there that would be better than Vick? Please let us know b/c it seems like the same terrible vet backups are getting passed around the league.

          • Andy124

            I think you’ve wanted Vick off the team since the year started.
            Before that even.

            I really have no idea who will be available in free agency next year. Give me a list and I’ll pick some. Hopefully Barkley can be our primary backup next year.

          • Anders
          • Andy124

            Henne has plenty of experience and we might be able to get him a lot cheaper than he’s currently paid.

            Is Garrard even in football anymore? Not sure what his reputation is.

            Derek Anderson could be an option. Again, no idea if he fits the student of the game mold I’m talking about.

            And Trent Edwards was reported to be a real student of the game when he was with us last year and I read alot about how he was helping out Foles.

          • anon

            Hahahahahha. Gerrard is sitting on the bench behind Geno (which should tell you all that you need to know since Geno is playing them out of the playoffs). Chad Henne is rotating of the bench in JAX. I don’t even know who Derek Anderson is.

            The two games we lost where MB played are probably the most important losses of the year. Look at the Packers. I’d take Vick over all those guys b/c we’d have a chance of winning — I don’t think you should let your hate of him cloud what’s good for the team.

          • Andy124

            I’m not clouded. Like I said, hopefully Barkley can be our primary backup next year. That’s contingent on the coaches liking what they see out of him in practice.

            I’m not looking to bring in a guy to see the field.

            Derek Anderson is a big tall guy. Got off to a real good start in his career but fell off pretty quickly. He’s been around a while now.

          • truehaynes

            So if files were to get iinjured next week or even next year you wouLD rather have barkely come in instead of vick? That’s rediculous.

          • Andy124

            That’s contingent on the coaches liking what they see out of him in practice.

        • BlindChow

          That’s assuming they would have made no changes in pre-snap positioning and defensive playcalling if Vick were in the game.

          • Anders

            What would they change? They was already putting 7 and 8 guys in the box and run blitzing.

          • BlindChow

            Washington (or someone else) may have been closer to the edge if a speedier QB was behind center. As it was, there was no fear Foles would beat him.

          • Anders

            well that opens things up inside right?

          • BlindChow

            There were still more defenders than blockers. The “read” guy was crashing on McCoy, meaning Washington wasn’t even a factor in the event of a handoff.

            Anyway, if Vick was such a great option at the end of the game, the first Washington game wouldn’t have ended up as close as it was…

          • aub32

            So you mean to say that this team isn’t better than their first gam at Washington? Have you not seen the improvement in the O line? We aren’t talking about a whole half. Are you telling me that Vick and McCoy couldn’t get a few first downs on the ground?

      • BlindChow

        I’d rather switch to a power running endgame if we’ve decided pre-snap to never throw the ball. Really, I don’t think it would matter as much if we had at least one more score before downshifting into “coast” mode.

      • aub32

        I’m not for the idea, but I am surprised you are so against it. Vick moved the chains in this offense. The running game is unquestionably better when he is on the field. I’d like to see Kelly figure it out with Foles on the field. Though having Vick team up with LeSean isn’t so bad. Are you against it because it’s Vick? It’s a better option than running wildcat plays with Brad Smith.

        • BlindChow

          He didn’t move the chains at the end of the first Washington game, which is the exact scenario we’re discussing here. Once they stack 8 in the box and know we’re running, it’s an uphill battle no matter who’s QB. The Redskins proved that in both games.

          • aub32

            A big part of why things failed in the Washington game was offensive line mistakes. Plus Vick can still throw the ball. He’s not a RB.

        • Andy124

          I’m strongly against the idea of taking your quarterback out of the game for any reason other than injury and mop-up time. I don’t like the wildcat either and this is way beyond that. Talking about taking the starting quarterback out for an entire drive?! An entire quarter?! A quarter and a half?! You don’t have much faith in your starter if you’re taking him out at the end of a tight game. You want your best players on the field at the end of the game. You also want your young, developing starter getting experience in closing out games. But not here. Some want the backup in during crunch time. It doesn’t really deserve consideration and yet, it keeps getting brought up.

          Are you against it because it’s Vick?
          I can’t help but think people are only for it because it’s Vick. Can you possibly deny that? When else have you ever heard of people suggesting playing the backup quarterback with a long history of turnovers when trying to protect a lead? A guy who was at the helm for more than his share of blown leads? Boggles the mind.

          • aub32

            So every blown lead was Vick’s fault? I have read plenty of your comments, and you usually look at things from a team aspect. However, in this case you appear to blame Vick for the blown leads. You have said before that looking at wins and losses is a bad way to judge a QB. Foles has been great, but look at his 4th quarter production. Had our D been as bad as it was in 2011, 2012, or even in the beginning of the season you can bet he would have lost some of these games.

            I completely agree that we shouldn’t want to take our starter off the field for any significant amount of time. However, if Chip Kelly can put in Brad Smith on a 1st and goal situation, then why the heck wouldn’t Vick be a better option. You seem not to want him in because his name. I am at least open to the idea because of what I saw on the field. The run game was the best in the league with Vick on the field. Shady had more space than any RB in the league was seeing. Now with LJ nearly up to speed it would only be better. Vick has been great as a ball carrier this year. So why wouldn’t it work is my question? I don’t care how this team moves the ball or scores points. Lane could be in for QB for all I care. If it’s something that has the potential to help the team, it shouldn’t be dismissed just because you don’t want Vick on the team.

          • Andy124

            So every blown lead was Vick’s fault?
            The topic is putting Vick on the field to help protect a lead. I pointed out that he’s been on the field when many leads were blown. He didn’t play defense, but he also didn’t lead time killing drives or scoring drives to padpreserve the lead. He’s no Mariano Rivera of football. Out of my entire post, this is the only point you addressed. So safe to assume you agree with the rest?

            However, if Chip Kelly can put in Brad Smith on a 1st and goal situation,
            He can line up Allen Barbre at QB if he wants to, but he shouldn’t. I hated that call. But not as much as the Vick alternative. With the Brad Smith play, you at least have convential personell on the field. The defense wouldn’t know anything unusual was up until the offense lines up. They can run it for one play and switch back to a normal offense the very next play without substituting. I’m still strongly against it, but for different reasons that I’m against putting Vick in.

            I completely agree that we shouldn’t want to take our starter off the field for any significant amount of time.
            Then why are you debating it?

            So why wouldn’t it work is my question?

            Anything could work. But if you don’t think that having Nick in at QB gives this offense the best chance to succeed at this point, then I don’t know what else to tell you.

    • Stephen Stempo

      I can see that scenario, I can also see a scenario where Kelly does that and Vick fumbles or throws a pick and the ENTIRE stadium starts rioting. So actually I can’t see that scenario.

      • Anders

        I cant remember, but have Vick fumbled this year and a QB keeper or scramble?

        • Stephen Stempo

          no, but he did have a huge RZ fumble in KC. It wasn’t a scramble at the same time that’s another problem he doesn’t really “feel” pressure.

          • Anders

            yea, but how is he getting sacked if all he has to do is either hand off or run the ball?

        • BlindChow

          He had a lot of fumbles on keepers in 2012. The worst one was against the Steelers as he was diving for the end zone.

    • eagleyankfan

      unorthodox is not the correct word to use there. Replace it with either: stupid or dumb.

    • BlindChow

      We tried this. In Washington, week one. It had the exact same result as Week eleven: they shut our offense down and got right back in the game.

      The QB’s 40 time isn’t the problem here.

    • Mike Flick

      I actually think that is a really good idea.

  • Jeff M.

    I mean, Bryce Brown has gotten opportunities this year. He’s had a couple of moments, but way too many plays like the run for the 8-yard loss Sunday. Hard for me to criticize Chip for not getting him involved. Frankly don’t know if he’s deserved it with the way he’s looked this year.

    Maybe Polk deserves a look – but at this point I’d defer to the coaching staff as to deeming him ready to get significant snaps.

    • Anders

      So you are blaming Brown for getting hit in the back field right after he took the snap? What about blaming the ol for not doing their job?

      • Andy124

        Should have been a 2 yard loss. He made a very bad decision to run backwards like that. Killed the drive with that decision. OL is responsible for the 2 yard loss.

        • Anders

          tell me what he was suppose to do here (this is the 8 yard loss):

          http://i.imgur.com/nTGDygI.gif

          • Stephen Stempo

            .. not that.

          • Anders

            His only other play where he lost yards against the Cards he was tackled right as he got the ball from Foles.

          • anon

            I feel bad for BB, he’s my favorite runner on the team but just can’t get started in this system.

          • Anders

            I think he is misused a bit. In theory he should be a great OZR runner, but not every RB can learn it. Last year and this year when used on IZR type runs, he is doing good (we ran essential IZR last year without the QB keeper option)

          • Stephen Stempo

            there’s always the possibility that he just had a few good games. These things happen.

          • Adam

            Unless this is a stretch play, he should probably just try running between the tackles. Worst case scenario he gets tackled for a 1 or 2 yard loss. He’s running backwards as soon as the play starts. He’s got a pattern of running E-W looking for the sidelines when we need him as a N-S bruiser to close out games.

          • Anders

            Its an outside zone run (so yes a stretch play) and this is right after he takes the hand off, so he has no chance to stick a foot in the ground or let the blockers do there job (both Kelce and Celek fails)

          • Adam

            OZR is not a stretch play. He needs to learn to cut his losses just like a QB needs to learn to take a sack sometimes.

          • Anders

            But if you notice, he does not lose extra yardage, he got pushed from around 8 yards deep to over 10 yards deep and then gets it back. Had Celek not failed his block, Brown would have run for daylight.

          • eagleyankfan

            looks like 82 AND 87 were overmatched on that play…

          • Adam

            It’s not an isolated incident man. It just so happens on this one play that the end result would have likely been the same if he ran N-S instead of for the sidelines, but this has been a common theme for Brown all season. He’s beyond talented but his bad habits are going to cost him his job if he doesn’t.

            He’s a 7th round pick. We don’t need homeruns from him, we’ve got Shady for that. With the little resources we have invested in him, at some point the coaches are going to say if you don’t start doing what we need you to do we’re going to find someone who will.

          • Anders

            But I dont understand why people blame Brown on plays where he is suppose to go E-W to start the play. Problem is the blocking on OZR has often been terrible with way to much penetration for any cut back lane to open.

          • Adam

            Stretch play = blockers flow to the sideline, Brown should run E-W.

            OZR = off tackle run. N-S.

          • Anders

            The RB in an OZR has to run E-W to start the play, he then looks for a cut back lane, but if the blocking sucks, he is forced to run wide.

          • Neil

            No, he has the choice to run wide. When you start eastwest and the play is blown up, your two options are cut forward for damage control or run laterally or backwards because you think you’re faster than the defense. Brown has proven the latter is not a sensible bet at the NFL level even if you have his speed over and over.

          • Adam

            It’s clear the coaches don’t trust him to close out games. He’s obviously not doing something right. Shady is carrying the ball way more than he should, especially with the lead. At some point we need to stop making excuses for him.

          • anon

            Everyone knows he’s a great back, but just getting nothing on his spot chances. And frankly Shady gets killed at the line a lot too but he has enough chances that he gets to break a couple. I’d like to see BB get the ball in space.

            CK said he’s not getting the ball b/c of the NS aversion and the slips.

          • Anders

            Where have you seen the last quote? Never heard him say that

          • anon

            PE.com i want to say it’s his post-game PC, he basically said with BB the slips are amplified b/c he doesn’t get the carries.

          • Anders

            I understood that as he didnt blame BB for the slips and he was actually defending him

          • Stephen Stempo

            I hate to play devil’s advocate but Everyone? And a Great Back? I’m not sure either of those statements are true. I mean he’s shown flashes.. but so did Damaris Johnson last year and I haven’t anointed him “supremely” Talented and universally lauded. I agree he probably is better in space though where has had a yard or two to get up to speed.

          • Anders

            Didnt we complain that Shady didnt get enough carries to close out games under AR? McCoy had 19 carries last game.

          • Adam

            No? Not running the ball enough to close out games =/= want more carries from Shady. It mean’s using a power back to close out games, which is what we should have in Brown.

          • Anders

            A lot of fans wanted AR to use McCoy more to close out games.

            I also think the need for a power back is overrated if the OL and TE is just doing their job.

          • Stephen Stempo

            is he beyond talented? I mean listen I loved brown last year for that what 3 game stretch? Just because Baldinger called him Bo Jackson.

          • Anders

            Brown was the no. 1 recruit out of high school, he has a rare combination of speed and power.

            Everybody calls Brown super talented, but people forget that this is really his 3rd year playing meaningful football since high school (aka most RBs would first be entering the draft now)

          • Adam

            That’s great, but the bottom line is he’s a 7th round NFL pick. His pedigree isn’t going to save him. The light bulb need’s to come on quick. because there’s a plethora of talented backs that can be found in the mid to late rounds that will, as I said earlier, do his job if he can’t.

          • Anders

            You are assuming Brown is 100% to fault for his lack of production.

            Take Sundays game, on 3 out of 5 runs, Brown was hit by a DL in the backfield. Most RBs not named Shady aint going to juke that (look at AP, he is often tackled in the back field like Brown, but because he gets 20 carries, he will also break his share and people will forgot the 3-4 plays where he got tackled in the back field)

          • Adam

            I can see you’re Brown fan, but if you’re going to sit here and pretend that Brown doesn’t have a big problem with trying to bounce runs outside, then that’s fine. But don’t be surprised when we pick up a back in the off season that will run between tackles and can stay on his feet.

          • Anders

            We have two of them in Polk and Tucker, yet Brown still get more carries.

            I think Brown is a terrible OZR runner (and the blocking has been bad on them this year) and think his talent is wasted on that type of runs. I dont think Brown has bounced that many IZR runs outside this year.

          • 47_Ronin

            +2

            I agree completely that Brown’s talent is being wasted on some the play calls and the some of the blocking has been at fault. I think a meme has developed in the Eagles media coverage that Brown bounces outside too often looking for the home run but I never see any analysis of the blocking up front. I’ve seen many plays like the one you posted where a defender is in the backfield, while Shady is great at making a juke and causing the defender to miss, that’s not BB’s game.

            This is where I would love to see more diversity in the play calling and personnel grouping. I think Brown would be a more effective runner in more traditional running formations (e.g. QB under center and having a lead blocker).

            Look back at the 2012 RB draft class and see who’s better than Brown. I would say only Doug Martin is clearly better and Brown has had better rushing games than Trent Richardson. You really can’t take “armchair” GMs seriously when someone says “just draft a RB in the mid rounds” like RBs grow on trees. Everyone is not Mike Shanahan, if that were the case there would be a lot more RBs topping 1,000+ rushing yards every season.

          • Adam

            It’s been noted since Bryce Brown entered he NFL that he has a habit of trying to bounce runs outside. This isn’t something I’m making up, and if you watch 2012 and 2013 Eagles games you could see it too. It’s a bad habit that’s probably due to lack of playing college football. You can bounce runs outside all day in high school with no issues.

            He’s had an issue with fumbling, bouncing runs outside, and this year staying up right. It doesn’t take an “armchair” GM to see it. And while we’re throwing out these armchair terms, remember you’re sitting behind a computer as well.What exactly makes you any more qualified than me to share my opinion on this matter?

            No one is arguing Brown isn’t a talent back, but Chip and company aren’t going to change the system and personnel just to put him in a better spot to be more effective. Brown could very well flourish in another system, or on a team where he doesn’t have to come off the bench cold. They’re going to go out and find a back who can do what’s being asked of him in this system.

            2014 has lots of good running backs and with the position being devalued in the draft there are going to be lots of running backs available in the mid rounds. This isn’t an armchair GM remark, it’s facts. Where you’re pulling 1000+ yard seasons out of, I have no clue. I’m talking about finding a guy who can put his shoulder down and punish people for gains rather than running backwards and to the sidelines.

          • Neil

            Taking for granted that you can find a good back in the midrounds is unreasonable. For every good pick, there’s something like five that do nothing. Many teams have mediocre-bad situations at RB; it’s not like they grow on trees. Truly good instincts are hard to find. I think it’s true that your odds aren’t much better if you take one early though.

          • 47_Ronin

            Ok, several items. 1) Brown did have fumble issues but he has 0 this season, it appears he worked on this and has improved his ball security. 2) A more complete critique of Brown’s rushing attempts would look at the blocking and I’ve only read Anders posting anything on the blocking, and I think it’s an infirm argument just complain about bouncing runs outside but not say anything about the blocking. 3) You can easily google and find many quotes from Chip Kelly stating that his offense will suite his personnel and he shouldn’t be pigeoned holed as ___ offensive guy. He just said something in a similar vein last week as he mentioned he runs a “See Coast Offense.” 4) In the Brown pile on, I haven’t read anything on his pass blocking, which has really improved this year. 5) I never said you’re not qualified to your opinion, but I don’t think you can seriously say there are lots of mid to late round RBs that can consistently grind out 3-5+ yards, if you have some names please put them out there (I love draft talk and scouting players). These mid round players have to perform other duties besides run N-S get tough

          • anon

            that’s what im sayng

          • BlindChow

            Brown sure doesn’t seem to be getting punished for it. So either the staff doesn’t see it like that, or Polk must be REALLY bad if they’re not using him more…

          • Adam

            And Celek pushed his block to the sideline because it’s an OZR and Brown was supposed to go off tackle, not to the sideline like a stretch play.

          • Anders

            No, Celek lost his man, had Campbell not blown the play, Celek’s man would. Kelce and Celek was the bad guys on that play.

          • Stephen Stempo

            Well it’s not his fault. If the field were 40 yards wider he’d have been able to turn that corner. I blame the NFL.

          • Andy124

            Won’t be able to see that for about another 10 hours.

          • BlindChow

            I say stop, reverse field, and try to pull a Gio.

          • Andy124

            He should have pulled a Crazy Ivan.

  • planetx1971

    I would like to think that the result of Shady losing some carries might result in the light going on & changing up his approach accordingly. Situationally atleast. The dancing around routine IS maddening when we just need the tough couple yards. I wondered if that was the reason Foles ran it on that 3rd & 2 play against AZ. I just wish Brown showed us more this year. At this point I don’t know if we have anyone on the roster to get it done.?

  • GaEagle1023 – Tom

    With Foles at QB, he doesn’t turn the ball over….so why not just keep playing the same offense in the 4th qtr? It’s not like we are behind and we have to pass, and the D sits back waiting for it. Just mix it up.
    I agree a power running game to control the clock would be IDEAL, but since there is a reason Chip is avoiding it, then play the 4th quarter like there is 5 quarters and we win easily. I think the problem starts when Chip first starts thinking about killing the clock…and that is when we get into trouble.

    • anon

      The assumption would be he doesn’t turn the ball over. Not a great assumption in pro football.

      • Stephen Stempo

        … I’m .. This… what?

        • anon

          He hasn’t, but he almost had 2 yesterday, i don’t think a strategy based on foles not turning the ball over means that you should keep passing. You never know when TOs happen and they can happen at a terrible time ask Romo.

          But i do think we should keep playing until a little later in the 4th.

          • Stephen Stempo

            well yeah I get that. I agree I just wasn’t sure what you were getting at.

            I agree about going for the jugular though. I think Kelly is still feeling it out. Also who knows how some of those plays are supposed to go. It could be Nick playing it safe, though i’d hate to think that. Get the TE’s more involved late with some short over the middle stuff to keep those LB’s honest.

        • BlindChow

          He wants us to play Vick at the end of games. Now there’s a guy who doesn’t turn the ball over!

      • GaEagle1023 – Tom

        No assumption…its the stat. Any QB can turn the ball over right? But he’s not Geno Smith.
        My point is what we do for 3 qtrs. works and works well. Then we stop. Chip doesn’t trust his RB’s to grind it out in the 4th, so why not just keep doing what worked? Meaning, run our offense

        • BlindChow

          Actually, we’ve been changing up mid-way through the 3rd (usually after we score). In Tampa and Green Bay we didn’t switch to low gear until the 4th. Being just one more score up might give us the cushion that makes the endgame less nerve-wracking.

          • GaEagle1023 – Tom

            Well said. But like Tommy said in his previous article…this is a good problem to have

  • A_T_G

    Off-topic, but outdoors, Brees blows.

    • Andy124

      I should have started Foles.

    • bill

      It amazes me to say this, but I think people underestimate just how good that Seattle defense is – it affects all three phases of the game. The offense can be content just taking the conservative plays and not worry about only getting 3 out of red zone trips. STs play with no fear – a mistake will likely be erased anyway.
      Then, you add in the noise level when they play at home, and it really is enough for the offense to get about 10 points. Once they do that, it’s pretty much game over. The only the Seahawks don’t make the SB this year is if they choke.

      • Anders

        The noise shouldnt be a problem for us if we gets to play them.

        I also think we can pass on the defense with 2 guys out. My only fear against Seattle is their pass rush, not their coverage any more.

        • jshort

          Speaking of noise, What ever happened with playing loud music during the home games? Was that something the NFL would not let them do., or just news fodder.

          • Stephen Stempo

            good question I was at the game and didn’t really think about it. Maybe the network came down and said you can’t do that since it might have interfered with the mics that pick up the game noises and stuff.

          • jshort

            Seattle was crazy loud, fans know when to pump up the noise. Instead of windmills, they should have walled off the holes at the Link with speakers and amp up the fans.

          • BlindChow

            Aren’t there plans in the works to seal up some of those openings?

        • BlindChow

          Brees wasn’t able to pass on them with 2 guys out…

          • Anders

            He was under duress by that scary pass rush I talked about

        • Ark87

          I agree with you. I think part of the reason we have been so good on the road is we work well silently, and very fast. Going so fast, the lack of verbal communication hurts the D at least as much as it hurts us.

          The given parameter for competing with any play off caliber team is to continue staying positive in the turnover category. I’m starting to believe there is a little more to it than luck now. (Even once you bring in the coulda/shoulda been turnovers, we would still be doing pretty well in that category).

          • OregonDucker

            THIS my friends is Chip ball!!!!

  • Mike Flick

    Maybe the way he is using the running backs is all part of a master plan, call it the Polk plan.

    Every day tell Polk that if he just shows a little effort, he would get some carries.

    At the end of the season when we need it, turn the kid loose. Polk will run like a man possessed, with a healthy shoulder. Teams will be focused on Shady, and not be prepared for the Polk plan. He should average about 25 yards a carry, and take us all the way.

    You can’t spring it too early though, wait til they least expect it.

    • GaEagle1023 – Tom

      Kind of like Ali’s “the rope-a-dope?” Sorry to the Philly faithful and Joe Frazier fans

    • OregonDucker

      Put in Polk and Shady. A two back set will punish the DL and break some huge plays. Think of the possibilities. Polk blocking for Shady, Shady in motion, pass to Shady, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/sitko77 Mark Sitko

    The person I think of who would regularly break a long one for a TD when we were running out the clock was Duce…

  • http://twitter.com/sitko77 Mark Sitko

    You don’t mention how Kelly was going to the backups early a lot this year. I was really pissed that we stalled a few drives due to this – what seemed to happen is he would have Brown in and they would be in their hurry up mode. Suddenly it would be 3rd and 3 or so and they would hand off to Brown and he would get stuffed. I would always be thinking – “hurry up with Brown is not better than regular speed with Shady – you need a 1st down here, GET THE BEST PLAYERS ON THE FIELD”. I think Chip learned from this mistake as well…and it has cost Brown opportunities. But bottom line, Brown is just not clutch getting the little necessary victories that Shady is apt to get.

    • Stephen Stempo

      there were a couple plays I remember where brown was in and really just got stuffed.. specifically the 4th and short I think against Washington. Brown hasn’t done much this year to instill confidence. I think a mid round runner might be in the works this year.

      • Anders

        The play against Washington was hardly Browns fault consider London Fletcher wasnt blocked.

        • anon

          Same with his big loser vs AZ.

          • Anders

            yep, people blame Brown, when it is often the blockers fault. McCoy just make them look better because he is insane.

          • Stephen Stempo

            jeez. Listen I like Brown; I do. He’s an Eagle I want him to do well, I think he has some talent, but guys… I know Brian Baldinger said he was Bo Jackson like but that was Brian Baldinger, you might wanna pull up on the reigns a little bit with the Brown love. I agree he isn’t getting a lot of help on those plays.. but he’s Bryce Brown.. is he even a top 50 back in the league?

          • Anders

            What has Baldinger’s praise anything to do with me complaining about poor blocking?

            I saw a stat the other day that McCoy was hit a league leading 30% (or something crazy like that) times in the back field, thing is McCoy is so insane at turning bad plays into positive that we forget how poor the blocking often is.

          • BlindChow

            Yeah, name one person who’s basing their opinion of Brown on Baldinger. A strawman if I’ve ever heard one.

            Most people are big on Brown because of those two games in 2012.

          • 47_Ronin

            “Bryce Brown.. is he even a top 50 back in the league?”

            Ok Brown was a 7th round pick who played one season of college football as a freshman backup. How do you determine whether he is a top 50 RB after one NFL season? I know we’re all passionate fans but let’s not be so quick to judge a player after such a short period. What would you like to see out of Brown? I guess Brown would need to average 6-9 yards/carry to meet your top 50 category given his limited amount of touches.

    • Adam

      Chip doesn’t handle backups/subs. Position coaches do that. So Deuce is to blame as far as putting in Brown goes, but for a guy Brown’s size and speed they should be able to rely on him late in games to run downhill and punish guys while closing out the game.

      • BlindChow

        I think part of the problem is if they get a big play, the Eagles step up the tempo, and if Brown is already in the game, they’re not going to switch RB’s and allow the defense to sub in fresher players.

  • Andy124

    McCoy can be a downhill runner when he wants to. You saw him attack the hole on the 4th/2 run late in the 1st half on Sunday. That was perfect. That’s what you’d like to see more of.

    That’s what I’m talking about. We just need to convince McCoy to run every play like it’s 4th and short when we’re in kill the clock mode. He’s good at it when he chooses to be.

    • Ark87

      We ride McCoy pretty hard. When it’s time to run N-S (exclusively, like at the end of a game), I say rest him. N-S runners get old way too fast, take too big of a beating. He’s a young guy, would be nice to get 5 more elite seasons out of him.

      • Andy124

        I’m good with that. But right now they’re keeping him in there and I’m just saying if they could remind him to run every play like it’s 4th and 2 I think he is capable of doing a very good job, much better than what he’s shown.

        • Ark87

          Can’t disagree

  • Stephen Stempo

    So I’m trying to find if I can go back and watch the Gruden QB camp on Foles, but I can’t I did find a pre draft comment section about it where someone had this to say about Nick:

    ” Foles has an outside shot of being an NFL starter. The best QB Arizona has ever had. Guy is a gamer. He’s got the height, arm talent, intangibles and toughness to play in the league. He can make every throw and has very nice touch to be able to throw a laser in a window, a deep bomb or a crossing route. His biggest weakness is that he’s a gamer. Plays better in games than in practices, and always has.”

    Kind of chuckled since this seems like a pretty spot on observation in 2012.

    • anon

      Isn’t this a story about running backs?

      • Stephen Stempo

        E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES.

      • Stephen Stempo

        We could discus the fluid nature of comments sections at blogs and how topics can change based on whims of the posters. Or that in everyday conversation topics do tend to change based on information that the parties engaging in the conversation feel like they should share or want to share.

        also.. Nick Foles. :-P

        • Andy124

          lol. Also could have said:
          “That explains why we’re talking about Vick again.”

          Coming from me, that would have been a bit too abrasive, even though it was just an innocent joke.

      • jshort

        Yea, but you can only talk about them for so long. According to some of the stuff i’ve read it takes 5yrs for a QB to develop. most RB’s are gone by then.

  • eagleyankfan

    I always thought Riggins and Morris(of the Giants) were the best at running out the clock in their day. Better than that rb on Dallas.

  • nicolajNN

    I’ll just leave this thing I just stumbled upon and thought fitting to the topic at hand
    http://d24w6bsrhbeh9d.cloudfront.net/photo/axNoDjp_460sa.gif

    • Anders

      HAHAHA

    • jshort

      Andy Reid just before that PPK competition.?

    • A_T_G

      Boy, at first I didn’t even recognize Nnamdi wearing blue and white.

  • GB

    Not sure I agree with the Smith v. Sanders comparison although I understand the point you were trying to make. Sanders had a crap team around him especially on the OL whereas Smith had a stud OL. Obviously, its much easier to run behind and trust an OL who is reliable, capable and loaded with PB talent…and just as obviously its quite hard to trust an OL that consistently gets your block knocked off, is not reliable, capable or full of talent. Sanders was runing for his life whereas Smith was running for yards. The reality that Sanders performed at such a high level as the sole focal point of every defense is amazing and clearly makes him a better individual player IMO. Smith was a focal point, but the Cowboys were loaded on offense which definitely helped him.

  • GaEagle1023 – Tom

    My Christmas wish is for the Eagles to establish a North-South component to the run game, and throw quick slants. If we get these in, I think we can beat most teams.

    • BlindChow

      Maybe we should just rotate the stadium 90 degrees after half-time.

      • GaEagle1023 – Tom

        Problem solved! Got a spare lazy susan laying around?

        • A_T_G

          I would suggest we call AZ and ask them about their roll out field, but they might not take our call this week.

  • Daniel Spector

    You forgot to add the great Lorenzo Booker to that list

  • Iskar36

    McCoy is certainly not a north-south runner, but if I remember correctly, last season (and maybe the season before in fact), he seemed to have improved dramatically on his situational running, and later in games would be more North and South than he would at earlier times in the games. He became much better at picking his spots on when to go for the big play. Has he regressed in that area this season? Could CK possibly have a different emphasis for McCoy this year? Or am I simply remembering how McCoy ran last season?

  • Ark87

    Not a big fan of the big shift in gears at the end of games. You consistently build big leads by sticking to simple counting principles, stick with it. Take what the defense gives you. You got to think of your offense as defense at the end of a game. You score points, think of it as nullifying their next touchdown if they get it. They simply can’t catch you if you’re scoring points.

  • bsuperfi

    I really think the key is mixing in another back a lot more. Shadys not getting any younger, he’s logging a ton of touches, and rbs fall off the cliff fast. A closer is critical, especially because we want to make sure shady is still healthy and running full speed during our hopeful Super Bowl window in the next few years.

    Along the same lines, we need to think to the future with wr. I like cooper and maclin right now as good wr2 (without ranking them). We all know djax isn’t a true 1. He’s going now but in 4-5 years he may not have the same elite speed. We need to groom a wr for this system now.

    Ideally there’s a window where djax and shady are still in force, but we need to hedge our bets.

  • BobSmith77

    I understand why Jimmie Johnson made those comments about E. Smith over Sanders. It always amazed me how E. Smith would seemingly get stronger as the game went on and he went over 20 carries. Man was just a closer. Regularly blugdeon some good Eagles’ defenses in the early 90s. Still have nightmares of 22 running up the middle, breaking tackles, and gaining yards in large chunks in the 2nd half at a few Boys-Eagles games at the Vet.

    For my money though at their absolute prime, I still take Thurman Thomas over either E. Smith or Sanders. He was a more complete back including his ability to catch the ball and his ability to even line up in the slot at times as a WR. Thomas’ reputation just took a real hit because of some crummy performances in the SB.

    Given how pass-happy the NFL has become today, I would take Thomas either over Sanders or Smith because of his ability to be a receiving threat and his great hands.

  • jtre

    Looks like there is no possible way for us to finish with the same record as the Cowboys and win the Divison. If that happens we would have to hope for a wild card spot. If we win out we won’t have any issues though

    • Ark87

      Both teams control their own destiny, can’t ask for more than that.

    • RobNE

      you’ve run thru all the tie breakers?

      • jtre

        yea

        1st tiebreaker: head to head. even if we beat them in the last week it would be 1-1 and go to the next tie breaker
        2nd tiebreaker: division record. the best we can finish is 4-2 and the worst they can finish is 4-2. so if the Cowboys lose to the Skins and us it would go to the 3rd tiebreaker
        3rd tiebreaker: Best win percentage in common games. ans we lose that one too

        we don’t win any tiebreakers with the boys unfortunately. we could finish at 10-6 and not make the playoffs. I would be soo mad lol

        • RobNE

          but do you know we lose the 3rd tie breaker? for example, we both play the Bears yet. There must be other games to be played for which you are assuming outcomes. Or under any scenario (we beat Bears, they lose to Bears) we still lose?

          • jtre

            (Sorry if this may be confusing lol) But yea there’s only one possible way that will have to go to the 3rd tie breaker. If the Cowboys beat the Bears and Packers, then lose to the Redskins and us they would be 9-7 with a 4-2 division record. For us to have the same record as them would mean that we would have to lose 2/3 between (Lions, Vikings, Bears), which would then put us at 9-7 with a 4-2 division record.The 3rd tie breaker is common opponents. We have 8 common opponents with the Cowboys. (Chiefs, Chargers, Broncos, Lions, Vikings, Raiders, Bears, Packers) Right now we are 2-3 and Dallas is 2-4 against common opponents. In the above scenario Dallas will end up at 4-4 vs common opponents, and the best we would end up with is 3-5.

            So basically we just have to make sure we finish with a better record than the Cowboys, or we’ll have to pray that the Panthers or 49ers slip up these last few weeks so we can get a wild card spot.

          • RobNE

            thanks for that breakdown.

  • BobSmith77

    It is me or would it be crazy to insert M. Vick in certain situations in the read-option when the Eagles are up?

    As for Kelly, I bet he starts to make some more adjustments and moves away from the read-option a bit more if the Eagles have a decent lead late over the next few weeks.

    Kelly’s clock management skills and some of his in-game decisions haven’t been particularly impressive this year but unlike Reid I do feel Kelly is willing to make adjustments as necessary.

    • Ark87

      not crazy, per se. The play when you bring brad smith in the redzone, the definitely-not-a-wild-cat-play, why not just bring Mike Vick in?

      Ultimately the reason must be non-football reasons. It could injure Mike’s pride. It could work really really well, crack the controversy door open a little bit to be blown wide open the minute Foles struggles. Regardless, of which mobile player he has playing QB in those situation, it fans the flames that chip reeeaaaaallly wants a mobile piece back there (even though he’s proven he doesn’t need one, want and need are different animals).

      • D3FB

        Kelly was asked why Smith and not Vick during the presser. He said Smith had been healthy and practicing longer in recent weeks.

        • BlindChow

          I think it’ll go the way of the swinging-gate 2-pt conversion. Since it failed the first time, we’ll never see it again…

          • Patrick

            You’re gonna feel so dumb when we win the Super Bowl with the swinging gate PAT, after a Smith read-option keeper!

          • sonofdman

            This might be my favorite comment of all time.

          • mtn_green

            If you dig deep into fishduck you’ll see that plays are shelved but never disappear. He takes a play that was done once a year prior and then has a whole game based upon it.

          • BlindChow

            Twenty years from now we’ll all still be talking about the old Swinging Gate Game of 2015.

      • BlindChow

        It could injure Mike’s pride.

        It could also injure Mike’s body.

    • BlindChow

      This has been suggested in the comments so many times since Sunday Tommy almost has to devote a post to it…

      • Andy124

        Could make a 1-word post out of it.

        No.

        Would be classic. lol

  • GEAGLE

    Polk has been a WARRIOR on ST…Bryce has been pretty darn solid in blitz pickup…While we aren’t getting the rushing contributions from them that we would like, but we aren’t wasting roster spots either. Both are making contributions..Hopefully they both grow in this offense…Adrian petersons backups don’t get many carries, so I don’t have that much a problem with Shady dominating our carries as long as he stays healthy…
    ..
    My problems with the run game are I wish we would see more of Casey lead blocking as an H back..I think we have the personel for a NASTY pistol attack even tho Chip doesn’t use it…I also would like to see more two back sets…

    • 47_Ronin

      Amen. I’m glad I’m not the only person who has noticed Brown’s pass blocking, he has really improved in that area. I posted a link in a post serval days ago that broke down 2 staple plays in SF’s power running attack out of the pistol, one was basically a variant of the counter trap/trey made famous by Joe Gibbs. The 9ers used a FB as the pulling blocker to spring Gore. I think Brown and Polk would be devastating runners in counter plays with a lead blocker. This basic run play is so effective many teams run other variations of it, Chip should have this in his repertoire.

      Sometimes it seems the Eagles don’t want to put more bodies in the backfield b/c that would lead to the defense adding more defenders in the box, but that’s not necessarily going to stop a successful running gain.

  • ztom6

    Unless you’ve got some specific plays to talk about, I don’t see how the Eagles struggles in the 4th quarter have that much to do with Shady. As you said, he can be a tough runner when the situation calls for it and he’s very good in short yardage. I’d put it more on playcalling/scheme and the fact that our OL has a bad habit of letting defenders come scot-free into the backfield before the play has even had a chance to develop. Nothing like a 5 yard loss to kill drive that supposed to be chewing up the clock.

    • A_T_G

      Your choice of words make it clear why Jake Scott was such a poor choice at guard. Ah well, hindsight 20-20 and all that.

  • Anders

    According to @fboutsiders, #Eagles have been best in the NFL over Wks 9-13 (Foles era): 1st in O, 15th in D, 3 in STs http://t.co/1d0FkiWbm6— Sam Lynch (@shlynch) 3. december 2013

  • ICDogg

    This is where an actual fullback would come in handy.

    • Anders

      James Casey is around the same weight as many FBs.

      • ICDogg

        For that matter, so am I.