Over the last few seasons, one of the favorite subjects of announcers calling Philadelphia Eagles games was the speed potential of the offense. They would mention DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick. Bryce Brown added his name to the mix last season with some impressive running. It was impossible to watch an Eagles’ primetime game without hearing how much speed they had on the field. Former head coach Andy Reid valued it on both sides of the ball. Speed works until players lose a step or opposing coordinators start dropping safeties 20 yards from the line of scrimmage, daring you to throw. As we saw last season, Reid had no answer.
Yesterday, a tweet came out from the NFL Network about the Eagles’ speed potential next season:
Let’s digest that for a second; that’s one play every 17 seconds, over 80 plays per game. These were college numbers. I’m partly hoping this was a piece of gamesmanship from Dennis Dixon. The thought of putting up 90 plays per game at 15-second intervals seems physically impossible.
Or is it?
The Eagles have the bodies to make it a possibility. While Jackson isn’t the deep threat he once was, he is still dangerous on the short patterns and backfield runs that Eagles ne head coach Chip Kelly favors. Wide receiver Damaris Johnson will be in his second season, looking to use his speed to solidify a roster spot in the return and receiving game. Jason Peters, at full strength, is athletic enough to anchor the line that will finally be back as a group of first-string players. McCoy and Brown should be primed to thrive in this run-first offense. Kelly will need to work his magic, but if he can pull it off and actually run an offense faster than college, the Eagles will be a tough team to beat.
After Kelly’s hiring, the media debated how much of his system he will bring to the pro level. If Dixon’s quote is true, we should expect the spread option 2.0 and the possibility of a new offensive revolution across the league.