• January 21, 2022

An Overflow Of Pure Eagles Football Information

All the readers of GCobb.com would have loved it last night.¬† I don’t know if I would have been able to get you guys out of the Nova Care Complex before the sun came up.

I was there last night with other members of the local sports media and was able to hear team general manager Howie Roseman explain their year-long plan for the draft; offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg broke down one of the top pass plays in the west coast offense; defensive coordinator Sean McDermott explained the Eagles defensive philosophy and special teams coach Bobby April took us through their daily schedule.

Much of this information was news to my colleagues and although it wasn’t new information for me it was very fascinating and reminded of why I still love the game.

I was impressed that somebody other than myself had been eyeing the disappointing performances of the Eagles defense in all these championship game losses.  Roseman and McDermott pointed out that they went to the Super Bowl with two defensive ends, Jevon Kearse and Derrick Burgess, playing well.

Both of them acknowledged that you must be able to put pressure on the quarterback without blitzing to win championships in this league.

Roseman talked about why he had made it a priority to get pass rushers in the draft.  He pointed out how the Giants, Steelers and Colts all had outstanding pass rushers.

He didn’t say this but I think the Colts would have won the Super Bowl last year if Dwight Freeney had been healthy.

I sighed when Roseman was talking and he took it to mean that I didn’t like first round draft pick Brandon Graham.¬† That wasn’t the case but it shows that Roseman has heard some of the local experts going criticizing his draft.

I think Graham has the talent, work ethic and determination that will help him become a good football player at the NFL level.¬† We’ll all have to wait and see if he becomes a great one.

Roseman made a good point concerning getting the pass rusher in the first round the safety in the second.  He said they felt Graham and Allen would be better than Earl Thomas and a pass rusher in the second round because they expected a run on defensive ends at about the 13th pick in the first round.

They got Daniel Te’o Nesheim in the third round with knowledge of Victor Abiamiri’s microfracture surgery on his knee and Nesheim’s ability to rush the passer from the tackle position.

Roseman explained that they had to take Ricky Sapp because he was ranked so high on their board.

It’s a quite a seat to sit in to be the guy running the draft and the draft board here in Philadelphia.¬† He was drinking a lot of water during the session and I imagine he’ s going to drinking a lot more water as his picks try to prove that he was right.

McDermott talked about the way the passing game has taken over the league.¬† He explained the importance of tweeners like Graham, Te’o Nesheim and Sapp to a defense that wants to give a multitude of looks.

He explained that they are a team that wants to get ahead of its opponent and force them to throw the ball, which will be playing into their hands.

The Eagles defensive coordinator talked about the pressure of blitzing teams and calling the right blitz at the right time.  He told us about spending all night at the Nova Care Complex making sure that he had a feel for how the opposing offense was going to attack them.

Discipline, assignments, pressure on the quarterback, base defense, nickel defense and dime defense were some of the things he covered.

McDermott described what it was like in trying to replace Brian Dawkins, then middle linebacker Stewart Bradley when the season started.  He even told us where Dawkins sat in the meeting room.

New special teams coach Bobby April talked about the pressure of convincing a head coach to go with an onsides kick while knowing that if it doesn’t work, you will likely be fired.

He told us the story of how he got former Pittsbrugh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher to run an onsides kick against the Dallas Cowboys  in the Super Bowl.  Thankfully for him that it worked and helped get the Steelers get back into a game that they eventually lost.

Marty broke down one of the staple pass plays in the west coast offense.  This play was a 22 or 23 Z-In, which was one of the plays patented by the great Jerry Rice of 49ers fame.

Z or the flanker, who is now DeSean Jackson for the Eagles, runs a get open route which he and the quarterback have to read on the run.  If they read man-to-man then the flanker will makes sure he gets the corner on his outside hip and then he runs a trail or inside crossing route.

If they read a zone, then he’s going to run a curl route, which means he curls up in the open area away from the linebacker and comes back to the football.

If he doesn’t get open immediately then the quarterback is throwing the ball to the near side running back or the tight end for shorter gains.

Marty explained the importance of the wide receivers being able to get off jams and how it’s a lost art in college football because defensive coaches in college are afraid to play press or bump and run techniques.

He also talked about the routes of the tight end and the near side running back which would become part of the quarterback’s receiver progression during the route.

He also emphasized the importance of timing in the play, which tied to the footwork and vision of the quarterback with each pass route.

The detail of the play was fascinating and full of information.

Mornhinweg began and finished the session by letting us know that during training camp, he will put in at least 25 to 30 of these plays each night after the players have had two full practices and must jump in the bed get six or seven hours of sleep then get up and ready to execute these plays flawlessly the next morning.


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  • GCobb.com rocks!

    I think I speak for football fans throughout the region when I say, “THIS IS WHAT WE WANT TO READ!”

    As a naive young man, I thought I’d someday play in the NFL. However, college football showed me that I was only a slightly above-average player.

    I had a teammate at Kutztown State College, Bruce Harper, who eventually played for the Jets. Bruce was a RB who stood 5′ 8″ but he could dunk a basketball from a standing position. He built up his calves from constantly jumping rope.

    Mark Clayton, formerly of “The Marks Brothers,” who played for Miami, jumped over a ping-pong table (lengthwise) in the basement of a friend’s home. Also, he used to jump over moving cars for fun when he was a kid. My wife grew up on his street in Indianapolis. I saw him jump the table and many of his friends told me about him “playing in traffic.”

    Oscar Roan, a TE with the Cleveland Browns in 1976, told me a story about RB Greg Pruitt, who was hit so hard while running a sweep that he bit his tongue in half. After the play, Pruitt folded his tongue into his mouth, returned to the huddle, then ran for a TD 2 plays later. Prior to that play, a rookie was on the sideline screaming for the coach to put him in the game. After that play, no one heard a peep from the rookie.

    My point is, we, the fans, know very little about what it’s really like to be a pro. We have little idea of the athletic ability required, the amount of pain they endure, nor do we understand how mentally challenging it can be.


  • Where are all the posters? We’re talking football here. This is not he said, she said. This is football!

  • At the end of the season last year I turned to my brother and said, ” Matt, I want them to blow it all up and start from scratch”. Well, thats pretty much happened. I wanted Reid to have one more go with a newer team. The Eagles had become WAY too predictable. And of course, their defense sucked. they’ve done the best they could with where they were positioned in the draft and what was available in F.A…All defense in the draft..Just a matter of time to see it all work. Go Birds!!

  • Did anybody bother asking where our other corner is? Pressure, pressure, pressure, bla bla bla,,, these cheap bastards should have paid sheldon his due… this organization blew it with getting rid of him. i understood the dawkins move but they didn’t have a replacement for him and the same damn thing is happening all over again with sheldon, when will these guys learn?

  • More like it, Garry. Thanks.

  • G:

    Great stuff, G! I’m wondering why college coaches don’t use the press coverage. With all of the spread offenses out there (I don’t watch a whole lot of college football, but it’s what I keep reading,) why wouldn’t they? For me it’s the first choice for defenses. Can you imagine peeling off Eric Allen and then doing a crossing route against Wes Hopkins and Andre Waters? I mean, START PRAYING! To me that’s the template in pass coverage, but I’d like to read your thoughts. I realize the talent wouldn’t be the same as my example, but challenge your players for crying out loud!

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