RECEIVERS getting open early helps get the ball out of a QB’s hand, and helps move the chains. Running crisp routes helps, but what helps even more, is looser coverage. A great trick for loosening coverage, is using play-action.
The Eagles use play-action, but often it features ball fakes out of Shotgun (which defenders never buy), or is used when we aren’t running the ball enough to sell it. As a result, we rarely see a situation where a TE blows by a LB and gets open down the seam for a 20 yarder. We never see a Slot WR get an inside step on a Nickel, and blow past an in the box Safety, for a race to the end zone.
We use play-action like amateurs. Most of the time we aren’t fooling anyone. We need to run more to convince teams that we will run, and we need to run more plays from under Center. Period.
Another thing we need to do is, after a handoff, run the QB out of the pocket like it’s a legit bootleg. If we do it enough, opponents will be hesitant whenever they see it, because they won’t know which end of the dog is wagging. That will make both the pass AND the run more effective.
Like a pass or a run, play-action is a weapon. We should be using it as such.
CALLING for 25 rushes per game has less to do with being in love with running, and far more to do with keeping QB Carson Wentz upright. Whether or not you believe he’s injury prone, the fact is, he sees far too many defenders swarming around him.
The playoff game vs Seattle proved that Wentz won’t be protected from illegal hits, let alone questionable ones. So Philadelphia is 100% on our own at protecting our QB’s. Instead of whining about it, we need to be about the business of fixing the problem.
Play-action would freeze a defense, but if we’re throwing the ball 40 times per game, we can’t sell play-action on 17 to 20 handoffs. Again, this is not about running the ball for the sake of running. This is about having our QB survive 16+ games.
25 handoffs also allows our Offensive Line to fire into the defensive front and take some of the starch out of them. You know, wear them down and tire them out. That way their pass rush is less explosive. Which goes a long way to protecting the QB, and thus the ball.
Running the ball can’t just be something we do to kill clock. It can’t just be a set-up tool. Stop thinking of the run as a shield. It’s not a shield. It’s a second weapon. We need to make a serious commitment to mastering the use of it.
DE Khalil Mack, stiff armed to the ground, by RB Jordan Howard
If we are in a constant state of varied attack, it’s harder for our opponents to defend against us, or mount or sustain an attack of their own. Handing the ball off, needs to be a consistent part of our attack,