Defenses are going to play two-safeties deep the rest of the season in order to stop Michael Vick from throwing bombs to DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. The defense hasn’t stopped the Eagles but it has slowed them down, so teams will utilize it the rest of the way.
They will be in either a double zone coverage or what’s call a two-man coverage.
On both of those coverages there are two safeties deep. One coverage is a zone with five players in the short zones and two-safeties deep. On the other coverage, the cornerbacks and linebackers are in man-to-man coverage with the safeties deep to help on any long passes.
These are the defenses which have frustrated Jackson.
The vulnerability in these coverages are the tight ends and running backs down the middle. You send the wide receivers deep to simply occupy the safeties and the tight end primarily should be able to kill the defense down the middle.
I know Eagles tight end Brent Celek made a big play late in the Houston game, but the Birds are going to need big games out of him the rest of the way. Vick must look for him and get the ball to him because he’s the best weapon versus two deep.
This will also require the tackles to handle opposing defensive ends by themselves, so that Celek doesn’t have to help them block. If Celek is forced to stay in, it will create problems for the Birds.
The tight end needs to have big numbers the rest of the way for the Birds offense to continue to explode.
When the Birds go to three wide receivers, the middle wide out is playing the tight end or slot position and he can destroy the coverage by getting deep down the middle. The Eagles put Jackson in the slot versus the Falcons and he caught a touchdown pass down the middle.
The other weakness in the two deep safeties coverages concern stopping the run. The safeties can’t help stop the run if they’re lined up ten to fifteen yards deep. The Birds must punish these defenses with the run. They’ve got two outstanding ball carriers in LeSean McCoy and Jerome Harrison, so they have to make defenses pay for putting their safeties so deep.
I Jackson and Maclin won’t be thrilled about throws to Celek and running plays, but if the Birds hurt teams with passes to the tight end and the running game, it will force defenses to bring the safeties up there to help and before you know it,