As we all know, the Philadelphia Eagles have many dynamic play makers on the offensive side of the ball despite Jeremy Maclin‘s injury. Obviously Chip Kelly realizes that and he should be able to design plays to get those guys in the open field.
Players like DeSean Jackson, Damaris Johnson, LeSean McCoy, Felix Jones, and Bryce Brown all have proven they have the ability to take it to the house on any given play. Even tight ends James Casey and Zach Ertz have the athletic ability to make defenders miss and change the pace of the game. Kelly will be designing plays to get these guys the ball, which will increase the chances of scoring. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he watched a lot of film from the Andy Reid era since at one point in time the Eagles were the best screen team in the NFL. During that time frame the Eagles didn’t have nearly the athleticism on the offensive line, and Brian Westbrook, who is one of the greatest Eagles of all-time, wasn’t as shifty as McCoy is today.
The offensive line will play a major factor in the screen game as well since they are arguably the most athletic offensive line in the league. All five of them will be able to get into the open field quickly and throw a block for McCoy, Jones, Brown or a wide receiver to spring them free. Most of the time, a screen play will be designed for a tackle and a guard to run in the open field for the block, depending on which side the play is designed to go. So either way the Eagles will most likely have Jason Peters and Evan Mathis out in front for the screen blocks or Lane Johnson and Todd Herremans. Those are very athletic offensive linemen who can demolish any defender standing in their way which is something Kelly needs to take advantage of.
By looking at a few games of Oregon‘s offense last season, Kelly loved to run the bubble screen, especially against Stanford in 2010. This is where Kelly’s football IQ came into play. Stanford was trying to defend the read-option so they brought a safety in the box. Kelly noticed that and decided to call a play-action bubble screen to the wide receiver, which was gaining about 7-12 yards a play. Kelly would do this over and over until Stanford took the safety out of the box to defend the screen. And then what did Kelly do? He went back to the running game and dominated the Stanford defense. And who was the coach of Stanford that year? Jim Harbaugh.
Kelly knows how to checkmate a team because of his intelligence, and the screen game plays a major factor in it. If Kelly can design creative screen plays to keep the defense on their heels then his playbook just got even bigger.
Sonny Bryan is a Philadelphia Eagles writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SonnyBryan50