A couple of weeks ago, I texted my buddy and former Eagles teammate, Randall Cunningham when I saw him on one of the pregame shows leading up to the NFL playoffs. They interviewed him and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as youngster talked about studying tapes of Randall, Michael Vick, Vince Young, and Steve Young during his high school and college years.
When I saw Kaepernick running the read option against the Green Bay Packers and the Altanta Falcons, I couldn’t help but think about Randall because he had the same ability, but was clearly 25 years ahead of the time. They let Randall scramble and keep the ball on some bootlegs, but they didn’t have set plays to utilize his speed and athleticism.
Buddy Ryan used to tell him to just make something happen and that worked during the regular season, but in the playoffs with the outstanding teams and defenses like the Washington Redskins, New York Giants, Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers standing in the path to the Super Bowl, Cunningham and the Eagles offense couldn’t be counted on to consistently put points on the board.
This is one of the reasons I’m looking forward to seeing what Eagles new head coach Chip Kelly employs offensively to move the football against NFL defenses. Kelly has revolutionized the college and NFL game, by finding a way to utilize the speed of the quarterback.
That pistol formation, which the San Francisco 49ers used against both the Packers and the Falcons was borrowed by Jim Harbaugh and Niners offensive coordinator Greg Roman from Kelly, after Oregon had pummeled the Stanford, when the Niners coaches were there in the Pac-12. They kept those tapes and pulled them out when they drafted Kaepernick.
Of course Kelly had picked up the Pistol formation and read option offense from Nevada head coach Chris Ault, who has coached Kaepernick during his college career. Ault is the inventor of the pistol formation.
I couldn’t help but laugh, when Cunningham called me back after I had texted him. He let me know that Kelly had been recruiting his son, who is a All-American high school quarterback in Las Vegas to Oregon. Randall has been texting me during his son’s high school career and giving me his stats and athletic ability. Randall Cunningham II is 6’5″, he high jumps 7’2″ and can run a 4’5″ in the forty yard dash as a high school junior. Don’t rule out the chance that we will see the second edition of Randall Cunningham here in Philadelphia.