Eagles 2012 Offensive OverviewBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, General News, News Friday, September 7th, 2012
For the most part, the pieces are in place for Andy Reid and Michael Vick, as they enter the 2012 season. They’ve got tremendous talent on both sides of the ball and there’s no way this team should be left out of the playoffs at the end of this season.
I will admit they were dealt a tough hand with the loss of Pro Bowl left tackle, Jason Peters, the best left tackle in the NFL and maybe the best offensive lineman in the league, but injuries happen.
King Dunlap is nothing to call home about, but he should be able to survive with occasional help from Brent Celek and Clay Harbor. The backs will chip that defensive end when it’s needed and they’ll slide the line his way when necessary. Hopefully, Demetress Bell wakes up before the season is over and is able to jump in there if needed.
If they can register a 10-6 record they are in the playoffs with the opportunity to go deep with at least a couple of wins. I’m confident they can accomplish that. Getting into the post season and winning at least one game has to be one of their goals.
This offense is potent. Remember this team broke franchise records moving the football despite having such a bad season a year ago. I guarantee you that they’re going to move the football a ton in 2012, but getting into the endzone will be the key. Vick has to make good decisions and be accurate in the red zone because they’re not going to be able to rely on giving the ball to LeSean McCoy and letting him run behind Peters In the NFC East you have to block Jason Pierre-Paul, DeMarcus Ware and Brian Orakpo two times each year.
People have no idea how much they’re going to miss Peters this year. He was a key in their pass protection, running game, red zone offense and short yardage offense. Peters made everybody on the offensive side of the ball better.
McCoy will have another big year in 2012 but he will do more as a receiver this time around. The Eagles brain trust will split out the young ball carrier more often and throw the ball to him. He’ll be more like Brian Westbrook this year. McCoy will have to better this year than he was in 2011 because he won’t be running behind Peters. Still I expect him to put up big numbers.
Celek and Harbor must become the weapons they’re capable of developing into and Vick must be decisive and smart about his decisions with the football. He should take the short throw if it’s there. Reid and Marty Mornhinweg should start Vick out majoring in the short throws to the tight ends. The tight ends will always be singled covered by a linebacker because teams can’t afford to put a safety on them with all the other weapons in the offense.
Putting the ball into the end zone is really the biggest question mark about this offense. I would have signed Plaxico Burress for this reason because I’m not as confident about them in the red zone as I would be with the 6’6″ touchdown maker on the roster to give them a boost down there. This team will probably break the Eagles single season yardage record again this year for moving the football, but they only put points scored on the scoreboard.
Reid and Mornhinweg are brilliant game planners and they have found ways to move the football with far less talent. I was shaking my head at some of the plays and formations they will be featuring this season. The word proper word is variety. Big Red has his weaknesses but they’re not in the area of his ability to find ways to move the football. More than any other team in the league, these guy put their quarterbacks in position to succeed and I can tell you that they’re going to light up any teams that have big weaknesses in their defensive secondary.
I was watching part of the practice yesterday and couldn’t help but be impressed with the outside speed and explosiveness of DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Damaris Johnson. They will stretch the field and you can’t take a play off or it will be six points on the board.
I think Jackson is primed for a big year, and Maclin may be headed for a breakout season. They’ve played with Vick for a few years now and I think this will begin to show more and more. I see them advancing to being able to complete intermediate routes more often because they know teams will back up and respect their speed. Jackson will be more of a complete receiver and Maclin has gotten bigger and stronger, so he’ll be able to go inside more often.
There’s one team in the league that can stop them offensively and that’s the Philadelphia Eagles. If they stay away from mistakes, look out. I think they’re taking a chance offensively by going into the season with only four wide receivers, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and Damaris Johnson. Big Riley Cooper is on the shelf for a game or two while recovering from the fractured shoulder blade.
They’re putting a great deal of confidence in the youngster, Johnson, who will be returning punts. They held onto a good football player in rookie running back Chris Polk, but in all likelihood, he won’t even dress for the game on Sunday or most of the games this season. I don’t think they need four running backs.
They could have held onto to Mardy Gilyard, who showed them late in the preseason, that he could get open short and deep, as well as make the tough catch.
He would have been a legitimate backup outside along with Johnson. The two backups would have provided them with a similar pairing to Jackson and Maclin off the bench, if somebody were to get hurt. It seems like a simple case for a team that prefers to throw the ball as compared to running it. Why do they need four running backs, when they love to air the football out as much as they do?
Still I love their weapons combined with Reid and Mornhinweg’s game plans. Again I’m not as confident in the red zone because of a lack dominating offensive lineman. They’re going to utilize speed and quickness down there in that area. They’re rely on the speed of Vick, Jackson, Maclin, McCoy with the inside receivers, Celek, Harbor and Jason Avant finding openings inside.
They don’t have an established and dominant touchdown making play with Peters out of the lineup and thanks to the injury-plagued preseason with Vick, they haven’t had much time to work on those red zone plays against live action. Still I feel they’ll find a way. This offense is going to very productive and a lot of fun to watch.
It’s too bad Reid doesn’t bring in a coach who will just major in game time decisions, so they can improve in that area. Today on Friday, they work on short yardage, goalline, and the two-minute drill. Reid needs to reevaluate his Friday practices because these are the areas which he hasn’t mastered.
Scouting the other team is very important, but sometimes self-scouting is even more important.
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