Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is down at the Senior Bowl looking for talent, but he’s thinking about the types of improvement which he needs from the amazing offensive talent which is already on the ballclub.
“We did some great, great things,” Mornhinweg said Tuesday to Matt Malocco of the Bay Area Comcast Sportsnet . “But there were some things we’ve identified that we need to get better at. It’s an important offseason for more than a handful of our players. I just hope we have an offseason.”
He’s talking about working with his football team so they can adjust to the defensive strategies that they’re been facing of late. When teams adjusted to the Eagles and started blitzing them or playing two safeties deep to take away their deep game, they took too long to adjust.
They need to work on that this offseason, but they won’t be able to workout with Mornhinweg after March 4th because that’s when a lockout will take affect. Eagles players won’t be able to workout at the Nova Care complex and they won’t be able to practice with their coaches. OTA’s and mini-camps will be put on hold.
That has Mornhinweg concerned and it should.
“Most of these guys are real young guys or Michael (Vick), playing in his first year [back] as a starting quarterback,” Mornhinweg said. “There are a lot of things this offseason that will be important.
“It was great for some of these guys to get their first playing experience. You get a great evaluation of the players that way. But you need to work with them in the offseason to really help them with the detailed movements they can get better at.”
Vick should spend the entire offseason working on recognizing the blitz. He should demand that Mornhinweg and Andy Reid allow him to get the play and come out of the huddle with at least 15 seconds to go on the play clock. The Eagles have made it a habit for years of giving he quarterback the play too late for him to come to the line and make adjustments.
The must catch up with the game. If they can make teams pay dearly for blitzing them and playing those two coverages, their offense will be putting up at least 30 points each week.
Vick and the offensive line, especially centers Mike McGlynn and Jamaal Jackson need to get sharper with knowing which way they need to slide the line and the key is knowing which defensive player should be considered the middle linebacker. Vick could study video tape of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Aaron Rodgers as they make their pre-snap reads.
Of course the running backs, LeSean McCoy, Owen Schmitt and Jerome Harrison and wide receivers, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, need to recognize when they get a blitz look because they might have to pick up the blitzer in the running backs’ case or have a hot route read in the wide receivers’ case.
Of course the tight ends Brent Celek and Clay Harbor are a big part of the communications and adjustments to the blitz. Celek and Vick need to get to the point where they know what each other are going to do without saying anything to each other. Celek needs to become Vick’s outlet. There are many times they need to make an adjustment before talking to Marty and Andy on the sideline.
If the tight end and receivers have a hot route read, that means they need to shorten their route so Vick can get the ball out of his hands. He can’t rely solely on his ability to run with the football.
I want to see Andy and Marty work with his football team to make this adjustments on the first series of the game rather than struggle for three and a half quarters without making any adjustments.