Building an Offense

Posted: June 4th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 53 Comments »

There was a lot of criticism of the Eagles offense last year. Fans, writers and analysts all had issues with what they saw. Some said the Eagles didn’t run the ball enough. Others thought Carson Wentz didn’t run enough. A lot of people hated the small-ball passing attack. Some critics focused on personnel use. Why no fullback? Why didn’t they run more 3-TE sets? There were plenty of beefs about players usage as well.

The offense was 22nd in the league in yardage. They were 16th in points, but got help from 5 non-offensive TDs and a safety. The offense itself only scored 32 TDs. That’s not ideal.

This is Year 2 for the Eagles offense under Doug Pederson. This should be a better offense, hopefully much better. Part of that will be due to personnel upgrades. Part of that will be Wentz no longer being a rookie.

I also think coaching will be a factor. The staff should have a better idea of what they want to do and how to use the personnel. I wrote my column on the offense and how the coaches may use the personnel.

I’m curious to see how the coaches do this season. They will finally have some good pieces to work with. Pederson has given us every indication he’d like to throw the ball down the field, but a rookie QB and poor WRs killed that idea last year. It will be interesting to see just how vertical the offense becomes. Let’s hope the days of constantly throwing quick screens are over. That was torture, especially with WRs who lacked RAC skills.


One player who can help on both deep balls and quick screens is WR Shelton Gibson. has a highlight video up, focusing on him as a deep threat.

Mack Hollins is the rookie receiver drawing the most praise. Gibson might start to impress this summer, or he could be one of those guys who will struggle as a rookie and need more time to get going. We’re barely into June so it is too early to know anything definitive about the rookies.


I found some mock draft scenarios yesterday while doing some cleaning. I will scribble down ideas to see how they look and to compare them. That helps me when I’m doing mock drafts. Also helps me to see the big picture when discussing the draft. Too often we fixate on one idea. Really can help to compare different scenarios.

One of the scenarios had Derek Barnett in the 1st round, Rasul Douglas in the 3rd round and a WR from UNC in the 4th. To be fair, that was Ryan Switzer, the slot receiver and RS (now a Cowboy).

The other two scenarios on that sheet didn’t have any correct picks.

Always fun to look back at things like this.


53 Comments on “Building an Offense”

  1. 1 johhnyblaze said at 4:44 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    Maclin said to be in preliminary talks with the bills

  2. 2 Media Mike said at 6:17 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    That would seem to be a good fit, but that doesn’t present a QB upgrade for Maclin and doesn’t put him in a position to make the playoffs.

    But if they’re paying the most………….

  3. 3 mark2741 said at 5:42 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    Regardless, if the Eagles don’t make a big jump (at least 10 -6), I am certain that Pedersen will be let go at the end of the season. Why? Because history has shown that the good coaches in this league make it happen starting season 2. I recall Lurie mentioning that last season. I also have noticed Banner (FWTW) on Twitter saying that. Gone are (and should be) the days of hiring a guy and waiting 4+ years for him to get results, regardless of the team’s quality upon taking it over.

  4. 4 Media Mike said at 5:51 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    I’m still ok with a 4 year process to eval a coach unless there is something drastic going on behind the scenes like with Kelly.

  5. 5 mark2741 said at 6:01 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    I’m trying to come up with an example where that strategy has worked – where a team went from really bad, to 6-10, to 7-9, to 9-7, to 11-5, etc. and eventually won a SB. We heard it was going to happen for the last 4 years with Gus Bradley.

  6. 6 Media Mike said at 6:03 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    That might be true, but I’m not sure switching coaches every 2 years fixes that.

  7. 7 Ryan Rambo said at 10:55 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    Starting over sucks.

  8. 8 Media Mike said at 6:04 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    Took Carroll until year 3 to have a winning record. Went 7-9 x 2 to start.

  9. 9 FairOaks said at 8:21 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    Devil’s advocate, he didn’t have his QB until that season 3.

  10. 10 Stephen E. said at 9:48 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    Hurricane Katrina happened in 2005. It wasn’t fair that Haslett had to deal with completely losing two home games, and playing the rest at a crappy venue far from home, but that team wasn’t going anywhere anyway.

  11. 11 ChoTime said at 11:22 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    There is no strategy, guys. Get a bunch of great players, a great QB, a good system, and get really damn lucky with injuries.

  12. 12 Dave said at 6:35 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    Coaches with franchise QBs are the same coaches that have winning records. If Wentz turns out to be a franchise QB, Pederson will be the coach for a long time. If Wentz falters, Pederson will not be long in Philly.

  13. 13 Forthebirds said at 10:27 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    and Howie with him.

  14. 14 ChoTime said at 11:21 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    I don’t know, Howie seems to be able to survive anything.

  15. 15 Forthebirds said at 4:01 PM on June 5th, 2017:

    True He may out survive cockroaches

  16. 16 D3FB said at 7:59 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    They will have to take a step back in the win column and with Wentz for Doug to be gone.

    You’re not going to implode the roster (which is what a coaching change will bring) and take another step back with an ascending QB entering his third year.

  17. 17 Forthebirds said at 10:21 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    10-6 would not get him fired even if did not get them into the playoffs. i think Pedersen gets at least another year, unless the Eagles regress.

  18. 18 Media Mike said at 5:50 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    I have a lot faith that Pederson did the necessary self scouting this off season to fix the play calling mistakes from last year. There was a lot of stupidity with the play calls, but Pederson was doing it for the first time on his own. I really hope he took a long and hard look at his own mistakes and doesn’t repeat them.

  19. 19 Dave said at 6:30 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    Some things I really liked about his coaching:

    – Agrressiveness on 4th down
    – Playing Wentz and sitting Chase
    – Utilization of rookies
    – Using linemen as H-backs/fullbacks
    – Clock management and hurry-up offense success

    Some things I really hated about his coaching:

    – Making Agholor a big part of the offense while neglecting the TEs on passing down (Ertz and Burton)
    – Giving Kelce the starting center job with no competition
    – Making Agholor a big part of the offense while neglecting the TEs on passing down (Ertz and Burton)
    – Not requiring Schwartz to actually do his job and coach Rowe, regardless of his laid-back demeanor
    -Making Agholor a big part of the offense while neglecting the TEs on passing down (Ertz and Burton)

  20. 20 Media Mike said at 6:33 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    LOVE the aggressiveness on 4th down / HATE the play calls and/or Kelce induced limits on said play calls.

  21. 21 Dave said at 6:37 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    I’m not sure why everyone thinks Blount will be successful in short-yardage situations when Kelce will be getting blown up on 3rd and 1.

  22. 22 Media Mike said at 6:39 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    Because Seumalo will be starting at center and we’ll have a new LG!

  23. 23 Dave said at 6:43 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    Not unless Kelce gets traded.

  24. 24 Media Mike said at 6:45 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    I’m not taking Kelce being the starter on this team week 1 under any circumstances.

  25. 25 Gary Barnes said at 8:43 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    At least we know Kelce can play C. Seumalo we have zero idea, he has no track record or experience at this level.

  26. 26 Media Mike said at 5:31 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    True, but what we know about Kelce is why I’m eager to seem him upgraded.

  27. 27 Gary Barnes said at 8:09 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    Understood, that’s why I’d advocate a full competition between the two for the C position and letting the best player win. If Kelce recaptures his game, then Wentz and the O will be better off. If Seumalo beats him out and proves he can play more effectively, then again all should benefit.

    What I would NOT do is dump Kelce and then act shocked when Seumalo either does not pan out or gets injured and we have no good option. Keep both and let them COMPETE.

  28. 28 Dave said at 7:37 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    What would make you think a guy that played center in college and was effective starting at guard in the NFL could not play center in the NFL? Unless you are questioning his ability to make calls at the line, he surely has proven that can physically handle playing center.

  29. 29 Gary Barnes said at 8:05 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    I’m sure you do not need me to explain how playing C in college is different then at the NFL level or how playing OG is different than C.

  30. 30 D3FB said at 7:49 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    Sem can play C. There is no doubt. There is no maybe. It’s his best position long term.

  31. 31 Gary Barnes said at 8:03 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    He has never played C at this level before. There is absolutely a maybe until he proves he can do it effectively. We are talking about this season, not “long term”.

    Kelce is a,proven player who provides an established level of performance and experience with Wentz.

    I keep both of them and allow a full competition for the position: may the best player win. Having a reliable backup C is smart in either case, plus Seumalo can also play OG. If Kelce loses out, then you let him go at the end of the season and ride with Seumalo.

  32. 32 D3FB said at 8:14 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    He’s played C in college. He’s proven he’s a capable NFL starter at G. He’s a high IQ kid and the son of a coach whose skillset works best at C. This isn’t black magic. This isn’t saying well make Gordon the starting C. This is a very clean very easy thing to do.

    This isn’t a maybe. This isn’t converting Gerry to LB.

    Sem can play NFL C. 100%.

    We would still have a reliable backup C in Wiz.

    It does seem like they are riding with Kelce and that’s ok. I’m not one of the durrrr Kelce is a pussy who gets pushed 504030 yard into the backfield every play always no matter what!!!! people.

    That being said to act like there’s real risk in having Sem be your starting C this year is silly.

  33. 33 Gary Barnes said at 10:20 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    Again, no one said this was black magic or that Seumalo couldn’t be the starting C here.

    The point is he has never played C at the NFL level before and there is always an adjustment period for a player doing something for the first time at the highest level even if everything goes perfectly (which is rarely does).

    So of course there is a risk inherent in starting him. He’s never made the line calls. He’s never worked with Wentz as the C. He’s never had to be the leader of this OL.

    If he wins the competition vs Kelce, that is fine and should give the team more confidence. I’d be all for that, but I’m not an advocate of simply handing him the job and expecting no hiccups.

  34. 34 D3FB said at 11:06 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    The risk of naming him the starting C is very small. Wentz already makes almost all of the adjustment calls. Also again he’s a smart kid who knows the game well and processes at a high level. Protection calls aren’t rocket science. As long as you’re not DGB level dumb they aren’t hard. I’m 90% sure he spent time snapping in practices (and if not then than certainly in warmups last year). 5-10 practices and a QB and C are on the same page.

    This argument is like saying Jordan Hicks would need to beat out Mychal Kendricks for the WILL job if they wanted to move him.

    This is likely all moot because nobody is gonna trade even a bag of peanuts for Kelce.

    Seumalo is our 4th best OL. He gets to start whereever the hell coaches want him to. Feel free to have a BS competition behind him but nobody is knocking him off.

  35. 35 Forthebirds said at 10:41 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    I agree unless the Eagles were to get a trade offer that was too good too pass up for Kelce. He gets a lot of respect around the league. His problem is in pass protection so the comment that Blount won’t yards behind him is dead wrong. Kelce can get into the secondary. Not many centers can do that. Despite the improves WR corps, I see the Eagles running a more balanced attack.

  36. 36 wee2424 said at 11:32 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    Blount may very well be the reason Kelce loses his starting spot. If Kelce is the culprit for why Blount is not having the success he should then I think you will quickly see a new starter at C whether it is Seumalo (briefly forgot how to spell his name) or Wiz. One of the differences between this year and last is that we have quality depth amongst the interior OL to replace injured or ineffective players.

    I think it is pretty apparent that a big part of the reason why Barbre has not been cut, Wiz was surprisingly resigned, and Warmack signed is due to Kelce being on a VERY short lease with his starting job

  37. 37 ColorSgt said at 10:55 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    I really felt like Doug was forcing it to Ags at times. Like if he could get him to make a few good plays, he could build off that and bring his confidence up. But it never happened. I give Doug credit for doing that. It was worth a shot for a game or two. Not the whole season. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and try something else.

  38. 38 Forthebirds said at 10:33 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    You left out making Agholor a big part of the offense.

  39. 39 Forthebirds said at 10:30 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    he was limited by a horrific WR group. Not saying he didn’t call a fair share of bonehead plays, but good players can sometimes make bad calls look good.

  40. 40 Media Mike said at 6:28 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    Mark Sessler, Charley Casserly, and Gil Brandt; SLAP YOURSELVES! Nobody wants to see Dallas or the Giants in a Super Bowl. I’d like to see a bottomless pit to hell open up at both Giants / Cowboys games this year and send both franchises and their fan bases into oblivion.

    And props to Steve Wyche for selecting Raiders / Seattle; that would be a great game.

  41. 41 Dave said at 6:32 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    I’ll take the Raiders / Eagles…we finally get to settle the score. Jaws would be the honorary captain.

  42. 42 Media Mike said at 6:32 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    I don’t need to greedily put us until the game, but I’m not going to sit idly by and let enemies into that game without a fight.

  43. 43 Ryan Rambo said at 9:51 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    Be greedy bro! Be greedy!

  44. 44 wee2424 said at 10:27 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    You all know it is going to be NE in there again unfortunately. Seems as though the 2017 team is going to be better then the 2016. Im not saying I want it to happen, I don’t, but it will.

    Would love for Oakland to get in. I think Seattle is going to be a very consistent playoff team, but I think there SB days are behind them.

  45. 45 Media Mike said at 5:37 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    I don’t mind the Patriots being in the Super Bowl as is guarantees that the Steelers won’t be.

  46. 46 Sb2bowl said at 11:27 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    Agreed. Living in PA is insufferable with those bastards slinking around.

  47. 47 ChoTime said at 11:17 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    Someday the wheels will fall off, and it will be sudden.

  48. 48 wee2424 said at 11:50 PM on June 10th, 2017:

    Idk. BB has the franchise running like a well oiled machine. He is annually putting out a championship quality team in the salary cap era. That is unheard of.

    I will never doubt BB, and I think he will have something up his sleeve for life after TB.

  49. 49 greenblood0118 said at 9:39 PM on June 4th, 2017:

    Someone posted a YT video of every Wentz pass in the second Redskins game last year. Several times on 3rd and 4th down and 3 yards or less Pederson called roll out pass plays. Don’t expect that to change much unfortunately.

  50. 50 eagleyankfan said at 7:31 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    Why not? This year – new rb with LB. Danger guy Pump – stud wr in AJ…just to name a few offensive weapons. Natural progressions of Wentz should be opening the playbook a bit more this year too. Last year != this year….

  51. 51 D3FB said at 7:47 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    A game against a good front 7 where Wiz, Seumalo and Barbre were all starting. The run game wasn’t exactly working.

    Also bootlegs are smart play calls on third down (especially for Wentz). One or two easy reads and then you put your foot in the ground and run for it.

  52. 52 ChoTime said at 11:16 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    Maybe Eagles fans have not recovered from Reid’s broke-a$$ rollout call with Donnie where everyone would be covered and 5 would get run out of bounds or throw a ball into the dirt.

  53. 53 xmbk said at 8:03 AM on June 5th, 2017:

    I think ESPN is just letting agents write the articles over there now.