The New York Giants faced their challenges within the division in the past, whether it was trying to defend the speedy QB Michael Vick when playing the Philadelphia Eagles in past seasons, or defending against QB Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins this season. For defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, it probably resulted in many sleepless nights.
He should prepare for those sleepless nights within the division to continue. The Eagles hired Chip Kelly, formerly of the University of Oregon, to be their new head coach, replacing Andy Reid. Anyone who has watched Oregon play these past couple of seasons knows that this is an interesting hire for the Eagles.
Kelly is known for a high-tempo offense, snapping the ball very early in the play clock on almost every play. It worked for him at Oregon, as they averaged close to 50 points a game and had countless defenses tired by the second quarter. While that method has worked in college, people are skeptical it can actually work in the NFL.
The New England Patriots run an uptempo offense and it has worked for them. They don’t do it all the time, but they look to catch their opponents out of position every once in a while, resulting in easy big plays and touchdowns. If Kelly continues with that philosophy, the Eagles’ offense will look exactly like the Patriots, probably even more uptempo.
This will mean sleepless nights for Fewell when facing the Eagles. The key to countering an uptempo offense is reliable depth. The Giants will need to rest guys every couple of plays just so they can have the energy to continue. Fewell will need to devise schemes and game-plans in order to rotate guys in and out, and in a swift manner.
Making substitutions against a no-huddle offense is difficult. The defense can be caught with 12 on the field, resulting in easy yardage. Fewell and the Giants need to be ready for Kelly. Whether the league likes it or not, Kelly will bring this approach to the Eagles’ offense.