Eagles Must Be Smart About Turnning Loose The Defensive LineBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, General News, News Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
The Eagles’ defense is facing two Cleveland Brown rookies this weekend. One of them, Brandon Weeden, is a quarterback. The other, Trent Richardson, is a running back.
Running backs can step into the NFL game and not miss a beat. The position relies on athletic ability and instincts, which are at their peak when an athlete is young. On the other hand, the quarterback position relies much more on experience and individual game preparation.
To put it simply, Weeden can’t beat them this weekend, so I would like to see Juan Castillo take away the Browns running game, by moving eight into the box at times and letting middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans control the defensive line. Ryans is experienced enough to have a good feel for when the Browns will run the ball and when they will throw it.
They should give Ryans the opportunity to control the Eagles defensive line by making a presnap read, then a call which tells them to rush the quarterback or play the run. If the Birds play the pass on every play and turn their defensive line loose to rush the passer, it’s going to open up running lanes for Richardson. The only way the Birds could lose this game is if, Richardson has a big day which allows the Browns to control the ball and the offense plays poorly.
The Eagles have to play smarter now that the preseason is over and the regular season is ready to begin. They can’t just have their defensive linemen running up field and leaving this huge running lanes, so Richardson can run draws and trap plays for big yardage. If the Birds let that running game get going, it’s going to give Weeden more confidence.
The top defenses in the league will allow the players to make changes in the game just before the play. It’s important that the middle linebacker and his defensive line be on the same page. Good, experienced linebackers have a good idea whether they’re going to see run or pass before the play begins.
I know from experience that once the game starts and gets going, the big offensive linemen tip off run or pass based on their stances. After a few plays, the big fellas get fatigued and don’t care who knows whether they’re getting ready to run block or pass block. They sit back with little weight on their hands when they’re going to pass block and lean forward with all of their weight on their hands when they’re going to run block.
Add to this, the formation the offense is lined up in, then the down and distance of the play, and an experienced linebacker like Ryans should be able to be very accurate about knowing whether the Browns are going to run or pass. The Eagles need to have a code for run and a code for pass. It would make this defensive line more effective.
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