You may remember Nick Fierro of the Allentown Morning Call, whom we quote here from time to time--- and sometimes disagree with his opinions on the Eagles. Nick's biggest advantage as a sports editor and writer is his access to Eagles training camp--- which of course was an abbreviated session this past summer.
Fierro gave the Eagles a "B" overall in their 20-13 victory over the Redskins on the road... And he called it a "rare conventional win for the Eagles"... he's probably right about the conventional label, by which I think he's referring to the excessive use of LeSean McCoy and a straight-up running game..
Nick Fierro correctly identifies the "dumbing down" of the Eagles offensive game plan to more of a straight running attack with an established lead in the game. This works well if you can "out-physical" an opponent, which I would dare to say is not the case with the way the Eagles are built.
I'm pretty sure Nick Fierro played football at the high school and college levels. We have Leo Pizzini and JB99 as ex-collegiate players here to provide a pretty nce panel of experience, too. So it's funny how Leo and JB analyzed the Eagles offensive game plan against Washington a bit differently than Fierro...
First, here' Fierro's somewhat simplified Report Card:
Surprisingly controlled the line of scrimmage and moved the ball with relative ease against one of the league's top defenses. Especially impressive on final series, when it had to keep ball on ground to pound out two first downs.
Shaky performance on final series knocked final grade down a notch. Still, the results for this rebuilt unit were most encouraging: Four interceptions and nearly perfect on third down. Looks like coordinator Juan Castillo is safe.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C-
Gashed for nearly 30 yards per kickoff return, thanks to lanes wide enough to drive an aircraft carrier through. Punter Chas Henry's 35.7 net was not impressive.
Lesser head coaches and/or staffs might not have responded to adversity as well as Andy Reid and his crew did this past week. We see it all the time in this league. It was obvious from the first series that the team was more together than ever on this day. And the play-calling wasn't bad either.
Fierro: "They did it with a running game that netted 192 yards, including 126 on a career-high 28 carries by LeSean McCoy; did it with tight end Brent Celek tying a season high with four receptions, including his first touchdown of the season; did it with a defense that surprisingly resembled Buddy Ryan's old 46, producing three interceptions for Kurt Coleman and one more for fellow safety Nate Allen."
"Finally, they sealed it with a running game that sandwiched two crucial first downs around the two-minute warning to keep the Redskins, who had closed to within a touchdown behind backup quarterback John Beck with just under three minutes remaining, from getting the ball back."
"They controlled the football for a staggering 38 minutes, 8 seconds, thanks in large part to stuffing the Redskins' ground attack and holding them to one first-down conversion in 10 third-down attempts."
"This is not how the modern-day Eagles under coach Andy Reid typically prevail. Not even close."
Though far from a perfect game by the Eagles, it was a perfect result, particularly the way they closed it out after Beck finished off an 80-yard drive by scoring on a quarterback draw from the 2 with 2:44 to go.
McCoy first ran for 11 yards behind Mathis at left guard, then ran another play on the left side for 7 more, before gaining 2 more around left end.
That left the Eagles with a crucial third-and-1 at the two-minute warning. Quarterback Michael Vick took it from there, stretching across the line of scrimmage for the necessary yard on a sneak and then kneeling three straight times to finish it with the Redskins out of timeouts.
"It feels great to be able to close out a game on the ground, especially for the offensive line," Kelce said. "We did a good job of closing the game out. Finally we got a quarterback sneak to go through for a freakin' couple inches. That always feels good."
But I'm going to suggest the offensive game plan was anything but "conventional" or "vanilla", and that anyone who thinks Shady should get 28 carries a game from here on in is probably going to be disappointed. I think the Eagles simply threw a change-up at the Redskins, and Shanny missed the pitch badly. I'll be back after a short break here with excerpts from Leo Pizzini and JB's discussion from earlier Monday to make the point... and the reason why I would give the Eagles offense an "A-minus", mostly for their execution of one of Marty Mornhinweg's most sophisticated game plans ever.
* ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
After the break: OK, Here's where real football knowledge takes over--- you wanna talk "conventional" ?--- listen to these guys:
Leo Pizzini: I don't think we were too conventional either... offensively or defensively... we ran a ton of draws... not I-form runs and stuff like that... and that kind works for our O-line that doesn't get as much push... they can trap... that's Howard Mudd kinda running... lots of draws set up by quick passes... same as we used to see in Indy... that three-wide set and double tight set was the ticket... spread the field... quick pass, trap draw... maybe soon, Vick will just start making the calls at the line... that's all that is missing... and if the offense ran a hurry up out of the 3 wide single back... with pre-snap reads and calls from the line... I say look the ef out... this offense could just run down the field all day...
Marty can do it.. that's the thing... he just needs to let his players play basic football a little more often... just play... we don't have to always outsmart the other team... we have talent... wrinkles are good... but we shouldnt make an orgami puzzle out of every clutch situation... 4th and one... everybody run 15 yard routes!?... stuff like that... Marty needs to be better...
MM just gets too cute too often... he has called some amazing games... when he gets it right in the film room... but my take is... when the D adjusts... he digs way too deep into his bag of tricks... and there are some really bad tricks in the bag... ones that look really cool and fun in practice and on paper... but just incorporate too much unnecessary risk... that also don't consider the repercussions of exposing our weaker links...
He'll definitely try anything... his predictability is kind of curious... he seems to randomly call some untested play in a clutch situation... then the most predictable and obvious looking play in a similar clutch situation... theoretically... that sounds like the right thing to do... but... something is missing... Maybe more sight adjustments built in... more audible options... I honestly don't know... the quirky plays he calls seem kinda random... not like a skilled call to counter what the defense is doing... so nobody really fears the counter punch play call from Marty and they just snuff out the predictable, traditional play call...
I would just like to see the offense flow... how about that play action bomb to Maclin... that should be 3 times a game... play action!! ... simple!!... roll out, go downfield... more stuffs like that... it fits!
My final kinda thought going forward - we are too cute on offense... we don't need all that... just basic misdirection... play action, designed counter cutbacks... screens and underneath crossing routes... stuff like that... the flip 90! ... the Djax end around fake dive up the middle... spread the field and give Vick the green light to be Vick... not goal line flea flickers and pulling guards to create misdirection... we have enough skill to be really productive with a more simplistic scheme... that's the final fix if our D adjustments hold... I'm optimistic on all counts...
JB99: How about that tunnel screen to Celek? Niiiiiice! Everybody on the Earf was waiting for that play... to Shady.... not Celek.
Not sure if this has been discussed yet, but did any of youse see that BEAT DOWN Shia LaBeouf took up in Vancover? That'll learn some sissy actor to talk smack to a druken, shirtless, fat, hairy, canadian... errrr HOSER was that you???
It seems that the team decided that ronnie "quick thinking" brown has cost us enough, and that they kinda liked that short stocky guy they got rid of last year. So, they tossed out ronnie, picked up Jerome and and grabbed a 7th rounder in the process. Even when things don't end up working out in the long run, at the time of the trade it seems that our FO always finds a way to get the best of it. In fact, I didn't think that I would ever see a team get a better deal for an overrated QB that wasn't being used than we got for kolb ....
... until the raiders stepped to the plate. Wow. A first and another conditional first for carson palmer. It feels like Al Davis is still making the decisions over there. In fact, I'm not sure he could do much worse ... even now.
@Poet no doubt... we should have offered them VY for half that and boff sides would have been better off.
UPS signed his own ticket out with that never to be forgotten "fumble" vs SF... see ya Ronnie we hardly knew thee
A draft pick and no more blundering half back run/options on the goal line! My vote is cast! Me's thinks it's a slam dunk for us Birds!
From Shagghi: "though 4sure we would do something 2 help ower team...... but a trade 4 a rb we had last year and didn't really pane out 4 us?????? come on y no trade 4 a lb...??? guess andy has a plane that doesn't invole any new guys 2 castilo defence,,,so we will just have 2 wait till the end of the month when DALLAS comes too town.... too see if we have all the peaces to this puzzle?????if so and the picture matches the one on the box!!!!!!!! BOY OWE BOY............ 1 lov EAGLES 4LIFE"
Why aren't you guys recruiting this great poster Shagghi? What gives?
@Jerkedup#3 hmmmm Its sard to get a gripp on what hees sayin when yews so fukin bizzy tryin to figger out wut hees rightin.
@Jerky Shagghi is an artist...a legend in his own mind...
HAHAHAHA Damn dude needs some hooked on phonics and some 3 grade grammer lessons and a bunch of other shit. WOW
I had some of those 3 grade "grammer" lessons, they're really not all that they're cracked up to be. @Demappulls!
get the FUG outta here..... I leave and BOOM.....the Iggs make a trade....WOWS.....a simple one...I like it though...another pick in the bag and we gots similar players
So Da' Bears were taking offers for Forte? What are they...... retarded? Who is their #2 guy? Marion Barber!!! lol wtf!!
Check out these 7th rounders
I was disappointed when they signed Brown. I would have prefered Ricky Williams of the two Miamia backs....
Yeah, Southy tried to warn us but we weren't buyin it (with regards to Brown). We can all tell him ho we were wrong when we see him... LOL... So what did R. Brown cost us? How does the $$ in his deal match up to the money Harrison got/gets from us, etc? I mean I really didnt want to see him leave in the first place but thought he would be after mo'money. We did secure one of those highly sought after 7th round lotto tickets though!
@Demappulls! 7th round pick, huh? Name some good players who have been drafted in the 7th round!!!!!! hmmmmmmmm
@Demappulls! I think we gain on the deal by $75 and a pack of Marlboro Reds. Throw in the 2013 undisclosed draft pick and we're looking like Monty Hall on Let's Make a Deal!