Will Running Read-Option Invigorate Philadelphia Eagles?

By williambontrager
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Although it is still sweltering, the mere notion that football training is going on thrills the heart. For the diehard Philadelphia Eagles fans we are hanging on to every fiber and thread of news that is circulating around Lincoln Financial Stadium. A fresh look with new eyes is hopefully what the organization needs following Andy Reid’s 14-year tenure. There is expectation that new head coach, Chip Kelly, with his high energy, can be that winning change.

After some questions, Kelly admitted that his offense will be more of a hybrid of the kind he ran when he coached in Oregon and a style that is more effective in the NFL. It cannot be a total spread offense that proved fruitful in the Pac-12 conference. What is the difference? The game is played faster, and defenders have an ample amount of time to prepare, unlike a college routine. In the NFL, players spend their full days reading defense, so little astonishes them at game time. Kelly has to adapt to this or suffer.

What we can expect from Kelly this season is the emphasis on the read- option offense. Having Felix Jones and Bryce Brown (if he doesn’t fumble) is going to provide support for LeSean McCoy. It is about the quarterback, or the ball carrier, making a quick decision about the unblocked defender. This requires the offense to stay on the field and run quick, short yardage plays and runs. McCoy has the swift cutback ability to run these types of plays, and now he has some back up.

The read-option was made popular by the three up-and-coming quarterbacks of 2012: Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. They threatened defenses last year which was highlighted in the playoffs. The read- option quarterback has to be accurate, get the ball out in a rapid manner, and also be able to tuck it and run. It is questionable if Michael Vick will stay healthy enough to satisfy these requirements, but maybe this year he will surprise fans. Whoever gets the starting quarterback job, look for the read- option to be run in training camp. Football is almost here, get ready.

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