DEFENSIVE Coordinator Jim Schwartz will be running a base 4-3 out of a Wide 9 alignment. This is pretty much the base look that you can expect from the Eagles starting this year:
That is what it looked like when Schwartz ran it in Buffalo and Detroit. Given his hiring here based on those successes, you can safely bet your house that that’s what will be installed here.
For Eagles fans who cringe when you hear the term Wide 9, relax. Let me show you why it’ll be different under Schwartz than it was under Jim Washburn.
First we have Washburn’s version:
Note the position of Safeties Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman. They are in no position to help the Corners deep. At that time if you recall we played an aggressive man-press coverage. Remember how often Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were beaten deep? Man press is only good up until you lose that press. Once the WR gets that step, the CB has to trail him. At that point Qb’s would just lay the ball out in front of the receiver. With no help deep it was a set-up. We got crushed by the same trick over, and over, and over, and over, and over.
Now we have Schwartz’s version:
Do you see where the Safeties are? So the QB can’t just flip the ball out there. He has to hold the ball and scan for the open man. Every second the ball is held it gives the Defense a greater opportunity to make a play by reaching the passer. Our current CB’s Eric Rowe and Nolan Carroll aren’t as talented as Asmougha and DRC, but due to having help deep, they’re going to look a whole lot better.
And so will the Defense.
For a while I’ve been hoping/praying/screaming for a switch from the Single-high Safety look to one that uses two deep Safeties. Finally we did it. Now it should make the Wide 9 everything it could have been in 2011-2012.
I for one can’t wait.