• June 10, 2023

Could LeSean McCoy And The “O” Line Produce A Consistent Running Game?

The advancement of LeSean McCoy is something which we should keep our eyes on because he has shown the ability to consistently gain yardage on the ground, if he gets some help from his offensive line.  That offensive line did a great job on the 29-yard touchdown run by McCoy versus the Niners.

Left guard Todd Herremans who was called for holding on a McCoy touchdown run early in the first quarter, played like a Pro Bowler on the second McCoy touchdown run.

He started the play out on a double-team block with center Mike McGlynn.   That blew one of the Niners off the ball and that double-team block opened a big hole for McCoy, who quickly hit it.

The big guard came off the double team with his balance and picked up middle linebacker Patrick Willis.  This isn’t easy to do because the backer could attack him before he’s ready.

Herremans was able to unload on Willis.  He got such a good piece of Willis that his hit knocked the linebacker back and turned him around.  That collision also forced the Niner linebacker to take his eye off of McCoy.

The former Pitt Panther did a great job of using the block to avoid Willis.  When Willis looked to his right for McCoy, the running back cut back to his left.  McCoy was past the Pro Bowl middle linebacker and by the safeties by the time the San Francisco secondary knew what had hit them.

All the 49ers safeties could do was watch McCoy go into the end zone.

Getting movement at the point of attack, then getting to the second level is the key to running the ball in the NFL.  This was great offensive line play by Herremans.  This is the type of offensive line play which we used to get from Shawn Andrews before he hurt his back.

The Eagles were able to rely on Andrews and Brian Westbrook on sweeps and screens to pick up first downs and touchdowns in the past.

If they can get consistent offensive line play like that it will make them an outstanding running team.  Of course a consistent running attack will take pressure off the passing game and make the offensive line’s job easier when it comes to pass blocking.

If this football team can pick up yardage on the ground consistently it will put defenses in a bind.  Would they dare move a safety into the box to stop the run and risk turn DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin loose on their secondary with only one safety deep?

Herremans also did a great job when he recovered a McCoy fumble in the fourth quarter, that could have cost them the game.

Back to the offensive line, starting right guard Max Jean-Gilles doesn’t have the athletic ability to make plays like that on the second level against linebackers.


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October 12, 2010 12:00 pm

Ive always felt this line was ALOT better at run blocking than pass blocking. If we can EVER get STEADY starters that have time to gel and the line keeps getting better i really do think Mccoy gets his first probowl nod. Who ever would have though wed be talking PHILLY GROUND GAME but it really seems like you have to pick your poision with this team. Do you want vick and mccoy to have a field day on the ground or jackson and maclin to kill you deep ….GO BIRDS

October 12, 2010 12:30 pm

I am sure they can but the question is will Andy keep calling running plays?

October 12, 2010 1:01 pm

Can Reggie Wells get it done? I didn’t pay too much attention to him during the limited time he did see the field. I’m guessing for some reason the coaches feel he’s still learning the offense or something. Cause otherwise, why would you not use him? I’m smart on some football stuff, but I’ve never totally understood why other offensive linemen that have proven themselves elsewhere can’t come in here and contribute relatively quickly. Why can’t the coaches slightly adjust the playbook or the required technique to get Wells on the field if he’ll help the team win.

If Peters is going to be out for any extended time, could they move Herremans out to LT and play Wells at left guard? Or at least give Austin Howard a shot. King Dunlap may be a big body and have good athletic pedigree but I really don’t want to see him trying to block Demarcus Ware or anyone from the Giants d-line. Dwight Freeney is coming up in a few weeks also.

October 12, 2010 1:04 pm

I though most of McCoy’s success was from backers keeping an eye on Vick before attacking the line of scrimmage. McCoy looked great again with the defense not worried about Kolb taking it himself. He is great in the open field. I’m impressed when Kolb throws the screens with a little juice to McCoy, it gives him an extra second to turn it up field and away from the persuit.

Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
October 12, 2010 1:14 pm

The interior of the line (Herremans/McGlynn/MJG) played a very strong game and their best performance
of the season.My concern is that the 49ers D/Line is not as strong as the ones there will face with
Titans,Bears,Giants,Cowboys,Vikings, coming up, so it will be interested to watch this Eagle O/L
improve as the play more together .

October 12, 2010 2:32 pm

There is no reason Max Jean Gilles shouldn’t be barreling people over.

Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
October 12, 2010 3:47 pm

My pick of the week,
With LT J Peters out with injured/sore Knee, OT Austin Howards takes reps with the #1’s and
starts Sudnay’s game versus the Falcons.. This will start a streak of 128 Consecutive Starts over the next 8 Seasons at LT for A Howard who becomes the #1 Starter while LT J Peters will not see the
field again as an Eagle….

October 12, 2010 4:10 pm

I would love to see Austin howard but I though he was injured with a back problem. He’s got a nasty streak in him that is reminescent of Tra and Big Jon. He’ll need to refine his game a bit but I think he can become a stud.

Right now McCoy is the blowin up in the run game. Will AR continue to run the ball? Who knows, history says no but that was because we had McNabb. Even with Vick we’ve seen more pass than run, but with Kolb it might be a more run oriented O then we’re used to which can be a good thing.

October 12, 2010 4:50 pm

Vermeil used to say that run blocking required as much, or more, practice as pass blocking. He said it was difficult to get the timing down.

Of course, that was a different era, but I would imagine that to some degree, that remains true.

Obviously, at this point and much to his chagrin, Andy MUST run the ball.

Run – Don’t I feel dumb about MJG. I picked him to be the surprise of training camp. Shows how much I know.

Jphalines – Good point about Kolb getting the ball to him quickly. I’m sure that’s helpful. Of course, we must consider that Kolb doesn’t get the ball to anyone else with any consistency. So . . .

October 12, 2010 4:51 pm

McCoy is already playing like a top 10 RB in the NFL. If he can improve his blocking he may be another Westbrook. Howard was great in camp and preseason: “Philadelphia Eagles OT Austin Howard (back) practiced Friday, Oct. 8, and is probable for Week 5, according to the Philadelphia Daily News’ Les Bowen.”

October 12, 2010 4:53 pm

One can only hope, wish and pray that, regardless of who’s at quarterback, that Reid willl run the ball.

BTW: What’s your opinion, runthe ball09?

October 12, 2010 5:03 pm

It was sooooooooo refreshing to see the defense off-balance and guessing which play would come next. The linemen didn’t know whether to:

1 – Charge upfield (for a downfield pass),
2 – Hang at the line of scrimmage (for a screen play); or
3 – Play the gap (to stop the run).

I actually forgot what it is like. The Niners were hesitant because they had to identify the play before making a move. That split second gave the offense an advantage.

Until the last few years, I had never heard defensive linemen brag that they knew which plays were coming. But on a consistent basis, after many Eagles games, that’s exactly what happened.

Reid was much too predictable, which made it difficult (nearly impossible) for his offense to execute.

October 12, 2010 5:16 pm

come on guys where talking about andy reid here!! We might as well enjoy the 49ers win (with the balance) because andy will go right back to (run and gun) once again and get his QB’s killed!!! Balance wins games!! I thought the year when we had Garcia in the playoffs we will finally get over the passing hump but NOOOOO andy got right back to his old ways!!! Im not convinced because that was one game with balance….. We will see the rest of these weeks to come!!

October 12, 2010 7:15 pm

As I said with some humor in a previous post i think that things are changing the nature of the game and is literally forcing the hand of the coaches; moves and adjustments are being made to philosophy and personnel, i think its the same kind of fortune that created Miles Austin, Tom Brady, and Clay Matthews. Had to use big names to get your attention, but you get my point right, not suggesting such greatness…..hmmmm.

I think that Andy is going to mix up, I think that the players will buy into this new formation and no fight over receptions or carries, I think in the midst of week 6, the eagles will become a team. They rallied around vick, around kolb, around their D coach,against it all they hept their heads and stayed postive no fighting no finger pointing, yes fellas I would like to hope that a change is coming for the good.

Side note, I loved seeing all them dang eagles jerseys in the stand during the game, once again I am proud to be a part of this great Eagle Nation fraternity. Also did anyone else take note of the Booing SanFran fans, wow we have nothing on those guys, and I am hoping not to have a reason to challenge them.

Anyway Its Falcon time, if you have any good Karma don’t waste it on that hot female at work, getting out of a speeding ticket, or getting lucky with the wife, :), its time for us fans to effect fortune KARMA-NIZE my friends. 🙂 As Always LONG LIVE THE EAGLES

October 12, 2010 9:36 pm

No surprise to anyone that an OLine can run block well long before they can pass block well or that the OLine likes to run block i.e. “attack” more than pass block i.e. “I love being on my heals and being pushed around” and it’s no surprise to Andy either. He pulls out a few balanced games every season or near balanced every season when the offense isn’t producing well then goes back to the same old, same old. The only surpirse to me is that he pulled it our much sooner this season than most. Unfortunatley, that also means that he’ll put it away sooner too.

Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
October 12, 2010 9:53 pm

The Falcons can be run against also if the Eagles stay committed to it..
Their Front 4 are actually smaller and lighter than the EAgles if you can believe that, but are very active and athletic. RDE J Abraham is still on e of the leauges Pass rushers when he’s on his game.
The Eagles need to run right him and wear him out and the DT P Jerry is starting to finally blossom after being a 1st Rd pick pick 3 years ago.
The LB again are not real big but can all run, they haave D Robinson at one CB who is a very good Cover guy and a younf player on the other side (B Grimes who is from Philadelphia)
A big reason for their Defense’s Success this season is the play on their young Safeties in
T DeCoud and W Moore are both in their 3rd Years and can cover and be physical but are succeptible to biting on play-action and being burned deep..If the Eagles can run early on this Defense, the deep routes and middle of the field should open up for them..

Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
October 12, 2010 10:05 pm

News from around the Leauge
Vikings best Cover CB C Griffin is oput for the season in injured knee
JEts CB D Revis continues to have a swelling in his left-hamstring and may be unable to play Sun
Saints signed availalbe RB Julius Jomes who was released last weeek by the Seahawks after the Seahawks acquired M Lynch in a trade with the Bills
Partiots t RT N Kaczur was officially placed on season-ending IR, they filled their roster spot by acquiring WR D Branch from the Seattle Seahawks for a 4th Rd pick that they had recieved
from the Vikings in the R Moss deal
Chargers LT M McNeil signed a 5 year Contract to remain with the Chargers after a long holdout and suspension

October 13, 2010 5:05 am


If you saw any of Green Bay’s 16-13 loss at Washington, you saw an offense that would make Graham Harrell and Colt Brennan jump in the air like Rocky and Apollo did in the ocean. The Packers spread the field and threw … and threw … and threw.

By game’s end, they had called 53 pass plays and only 14 runs. While Rodgers threw for almost 300 yards, calling a pass on 53 out of 67 plays has its downside:

a) The offense is slightly one-dimensional. The dudes out in front of Abercrombie have more layers than that.

b) No time is burned off the clock when protecting a lead (Green Bay led by at least a touchdown for a good portion of the second half).

c)The quarterback is susceptible to getting killed.

Let’s start with the last point. Rodgers is tough, but passing or attempting to pass on nearly every down has its risks. That risk was realized on Sunday when Rodgers suffered a concussion late in the game on a helmet-to-helmet hit.

Quarterbacks don’t suffer helmet-to-helmet blows, much less injuries, when they hand off the ball. Brett Favre might get tennis elbow from one of those ridiculous throwing fakes on running plays, but that’s about it.

The other thing injured from constantly passing was Green Bay’s chance of winning, which brings us to the first two points. Due to the one-dimensional attack, the Packers only scored 13 points against a defense they should’ve riddled for twice that many. Personnel-wise, Jim Haslett’s defensive unit doesn’t match up against McCarthy’s offense. Even without running back Ryan Grant, Green Bay had favorable matchups running the ball; Washington was constantly spread out trying to defend the pass, and Albert Haynesworth, the team’s best defensive lineman (in theory), wasn’t playing.

And still, the Packers had a comfortable 13-3 lead when they took over the ball with 6:42 left in the third quarter. Time to run some clock. So what did McCarthy order up on the next two series with a two-score advantage? Seven passes, three runs. One of those passes came on a third-and-1.

Let’s review: 10-point second-half lead, third-and-1, on the road … and they pass the ball! They had to stay on the ground in that situation. Why? Even if they don’t get the first down, more clock gets chewed in the process of running the ball.

It wasn’t just during the second half that McCarthy abandoned the run. The Packers ran Brandon Jackson out of a three-receiver set on their third offensive play of the game. Jackson, starting in place of the injured Grant, navigated his way through the front line maelstrom, made a brilliant cut, and wasn’t caught until he was 71 yards down the field. Jackson’s scamper led to Green Bay’s only touchdown.

So how many times did Jackson get to run the ball the rest of the half after getting 71 yards on his first carry? Two — two! In fact, the drive after his big run the Packers ran six plays: Pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, punt.

Fox analyst Troy Aikman said during the broadcast that McCarthy had mentioned in a pregame production meeting that “we want to maintain some type of balance,” and he didn’t want to go through another season where his quarterback got hit all the time (Green Bay allowed the most sacks in the NFL in 2009 with 51). That’s what makes McCarthy’s play-calling in this particular game all the more puzzling, because maintaining any type of balance is precisely what the Packers didn’t do.

October 13, 2010 5:10 am



October 13, 2010 5:23 am

Good views Drummer

October 13, 2010 7:10 am

excellent post Drummer and I couldn’t agree more. I think Mcarthy still has a way to go before achieving the lack of balance that AR has had for years but it looks like he’s giving it a go. I can’t stand AR’s general lack of running!

October 13, 2010 10:10 am

Drummer, do you think the fact that (credit the Eagles) the Packers lost their starting running back, and didn’t really have much depth behind him, factors into his play calling? Just curious.

Also, weren’t they among the superbowl favorites with this offense, having had tremendous success last year being very pass heavy?

October 13, 2010 11:22 am


I doubt it. If Brandon Jackson’s first carry goes for 71 yards, how do you justify giving him the ball only twice more during the game?

This situation reminds me of the time when Buckhalter was averaging 6 yards a carry (for several games), but Reid refused to give him the ball more than 3-4 times a game. Then, during each post-game interview, he’d say I should have given him the ball more. I have to do a better job with that.

October 13, 2010 11:56 am

drummer, what game are you talking about? Against Washington, he had 10 carries, and 5 receptions, not 3 carries….

Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
October 13, 2010 1:28 pm

This is why you need at least 2 SOlid proven RB’s in todays game
Jets – Green,Tomlinson
Bears – Forte, Taylor
Panthers – WIlliams,Stewart
Giants – Bradshaw,Jacobs,
Cowboys- Barber,Jones,Choice
Titans – Johnson, J Ringe
Dolphins – Brown, Williams
Texans – Foster, Slaton
Chiefs – Jones, Charles
Colts – Addai, D Brown
Raiders – M Bush, D McFadden
Bills – F Jackson, CJ Spiller
Seahawks – M Lynch, Forsett
Falcons – Turner, SNelling, Norwood

As you can see, most teams other than the Eagles have 2 and sometimes 3 good wuality RB’s…