• January 25, 2022

Eagles Linebackers Must Expect Screens And Draws On Each Play

The Eagles’ defense must do a better job of playing screens and draws.  Anytime a team faces a defense which does a good job of rushing the passer, they make sure to have an abundance of screens and draws in the game plan.

They’ve got to be expecting screens and draws on each and every play.  Each week when they study and analyze each formation that the opposing offense runs, they’ve got to be thinking about which screens and draws they will run out of these formations.

If I were a linebacker in this defense, I would play and expect a screen or draw on every down.  Offenses won’t be sure about how much time they’re going to have to throw the ball down the field, so they’ll all try to use the ferociousness of the Eagles’ pass rush against them.  The Eagles defense is going to face plenty of screens and draws in each game, it’s a certainty.

Every time the Eagles linebackers are standing near the line of scrimmage waiting for the opposing offense to come out of their huddle, DeMeco Ryans should turn to Mychal Kendricks and Brian Rolle and tell them to be ready for the screens and draws.

The linebackers must attack draws when they recognize them, then get off their blocks and make tackles.  They must be expecting them on each drop in coverage.  You don’t really start flying to your place in the zone coverage until the quarterback passes the back.  Once you forget about screens and draws, that’s when you’re going to get hurt by them.  If you’re expecting them on each play, then you won’t be surprised when they’re run.

DeMeco Ryans and the other linebackers must come up at the correct angles knowing where they help is.  In each situation in zone, somebody is supposed to force the play by attacking it head-on, while the other linebackers are supposed to keep it contained.

You must be able to use your hands as a linebacker in these situations because you can’t afford to get locked up on a blocker.  In many situations you use your speed and quickness to avoid the offensive linemen and other blockers in the open field, rather than getting engaged with them.  If you expect them, that will neutralize much of the effectiveness of screens and draws.

For the rest of the season, the Eagles linebackers must utilize a clamp technique when they’re playing man-to-man on running backs and tight ends.  That means they must be helmet-to-helmet with the guy they’re covering if that player sets up to pass block.

If a linebacker stands a short distance away from the running back or tight end in man-to-man coverage, they will be vulnerable to an offensive lineman slipping in between them and the guy they’re covering.  Once the offensive lineman gets in between the linebacker and his coverage, a screen is immediately set up.

A linebacker can’t afford to let this happen, so the clamp technique must be employed.



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  • Imput and Quick Reaction is needed by the Strong Safety also G-Man on Screens/Bubble Routes who usually will have a clearer path to the ball reciver to be able to make the stop on receiver. i expect Teams like the Steelers,Ravens,Cowboys,Giants,Redskins,Saints,to run these type of plays early and often until the Eagles D shows that it can stop them..

  • G,

    Thank you for a more detailed article about the intricacies of the game that casual fans never know about. I’m glad to see you relating your experience to today’s game and sharing it with us. I’ve been critical of your articles and the recent ones have been much, much better. Good job.

    Now about Mychal Kendricks, that rookie is a Beast!

  • Good point Eric, I did mean to mention that this was a great article from the G-Man and the kind of stuff that us Football/Eagle junkies would love to see more of..

  • I think that the Pats ran about 50 screen plays on Monday night. One way to look at it is that the Birds D-line was forcing them to gameplan differently because of the pressure that they can present.

    This will have to be a defensive strategy that includes more than just the LBs as Pman stated. Nnamdi made a great play on a screen too.

    I think that teams will learn to run screens away from Kendricks very quickly. Dude is a football seeking missile.

  • We’ve always struggled against the screen for many years, even during the late great Jim Johnson years. They do have the speed to prevent that from happening. But what happens is there aggressiveness is used against them. Alot of over pursuit by the Dlinemen, Lbs and secondary. There taught in practice to be fast and wreck havok, there is nothing wrong with that, but they must play controlled.. I do like both Kendricks and Ryans, im curious to see whether they keep rolle in there who hasnt played very well during this preseason. Briefly back to Kendricks, I like that the birds are looking to blitz him from the edge and Lb spots, the man is very fast and can get there in a hurry. I want to see more of that, it adds another dimension to this defense..

  • Until they can prove that they can stop the screens, draws & the TE’s, it will continue to kill us, & be our achilles heal! It would help if we played the Wide-9 less, played Kendricks at the WILL, had a bigger, natural SAM, the safeties knew how to tackle, & Castillo had an inclining of WTF, he was doing! But what are you going to do.

  • Kendricks impresses again tonight. He’s by far my favorite Eagle right now. I like the way he attacks the ball carrier or whoever has the ball. Hes getting better each game. Hes the type that improves as each game goes by. Alot of heart this guy has, and it comes so natural for him. Smart kid too. Im really really impressed by what I see from him. Reminds me of a young Lance Briggs, and a little bit of James Harrison.

  • To all the Kendrick fans who said this kid would be a good player, my hat is off to all you guys. This kid is by far the best linebacker on this team right now. Demeco looks shot to me but we will see. Also Nhamdi looks like crap what do you guys think. He just looks very average.

  • Thnx Pdiddy, I remember talking up Kendricks with GMcliff and some others back in Jauary/Feb when many of the Postsers were talking up Burfict
    I would prefer him at the WILL Spot and believe he will be the MLB for the Eagles for the next 8-10 Seasons beginning 2013 after relacin the 1-Year band-aid of D Ryans.. Eagles Stil need a big, physical true SAM backer forthe Future and let Kendricks be the QB in the middle of the Defense

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