The Nick Foles-Quarterback Draw Was Like Taking Candy From A BabyBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, General News, News Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and his staff seemed to be ahead of the Greg Schiano and the Buccaneers at every turn. Kelly even admitted yesterday that he has done a better job lately of planning and designing the team’s red zone offense.
We saw that clearly on the first drive of the game. The Birds had a first down on the Tampa Bay four-yard line.
Nick Foles came to the line of scrimmage and saw the alignment the Bucs were in, with two stacked linebackers, Lavonte David and Mason Foster. They were the only two defenders who could make a play on a quarterback draw, but the Eagles had done their homework and knew that both of the linebackers were in man-to-man coverage. One was on the tight end and the other was on the running back.
There’s no way David and Foster could play man-to-man coverage and also defend the quarterback draw. This was an unsound defense on the four -yard line. You have to play run first if you’re that close to the goal line.
If their coverage responsibilities went outside, then they would be caught in a bind. That’s exactly what Chip Kelly made them deal with. He had the tight end, Brent Celek go downfield and the running back, LeSean McCoy release on a wide pass route.
David and Foster were caught in no man’s land. Should they take off in coverage or make sure Foles wasn’t running a quarterback draw?
The other linebacker in the game, Adrian Clayburn, was lined up outside in a position to rush the passer at the snap of the ball. He was outside, so there’s no way he could make a play on the quarterback draw.
Tampa Bay had defensive tackle Gary Gibson lined up in the gap between Jason Kelce and Evan Mathis. Gerald McCoy was lined up in the gap between Todd Herremans and Lane Johnson. The two blocks on the defensive tackles would be the key blocks on the play. If they were successful with these two blocks, getting in the end zone was going to be a cake walk.
At the snap of the ball, Kelce took care of Gibson and Mathis went downfield to make sure the linebacker Foster couldn’t make the play, if he recognized it. Herremans did a great job on McCoy. He anchored inside of him and refused to let him cross his face to get to Foles.
Johnson came off on Clayburn to make sure he couldn’t make the play. Jason Peters came off and handled former Eagles defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim very easily.
When McCoy ran a wide route, David followed him, thereby taking himself out of the play.
Foles caught the snap and almost immediately started running toward the line of scrimmage. He headed for the hole so quickly that he didn’t give Foster a chance to follow Celek downfield, so the linebacker was able to dive at Foles as he fell into the end zone. Mathis, who was responsible for Foster, dove at the linebacker to make sure he didn’t make the tackle before Foles got into the end zone.
Still the play was an easy one because there was no way the linebackers were going to be able to do their pass coverage and still defend the quarterback draw. You have to play run defense first if you’re that close to the goalline.
Everything was set up for a quarterback draw. In fact, it wasn’t really a quarterback draw, it was a quarterback quick-draw. Foles knew the alignment and the numbers were in his favor of getting into the end zone easily.
Kelly kept to his word that he wasn’t going to make his game plan any different for Foles than it would be for Vick. The quarterback draw caught the Bucs totally unprepared.
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