Film Session Extra: Dave’s Additional Thoughts

To add to AndDave’s great analysis of the Week 1 win over the Rams, here are some additional points from my viewing of the game:

1) I despise the “bunch” formation that the Eagles seem to really enjoy using.

Take a look at the picture from the opening play of the 2nd quarter.  This is one of many examples of the Eagles going to their “bunch” formation.  The idea is to create chaos with the defense not knowing who to cover.  The only thing it accomplishes on a regular basis is confusion for the Eagles.  I’ve hated this formation ever since it was devised as it usually results in a no-gain or negative play.

The reason spread offenses work is that they spread out the defense. The Eagles enjoy using reverse psychology.

Which brings me to my next point:

2) LeSean McCoy is my new favorite Eagle.

On this play, the “bunch” formation looks headed for another failure.  Except LeSean McCoy has proven that his Twitter handle of Cutondime25 accurately describes his ability to turn failures into positive plays.

From the bunch formation, the Eagles decide to give it to McCoy. He has absolutely nowhere to run...

... then McCoy uses his amazing vision to cut back and make a positive play out of nothing.

McCoy closed on the line of scrimmage quickly, then carried a couple tacklers for a gain of 3 yards.  By all rights, he should have lost 3 yards.  Shady is electrifying to watch.

3) An interesting idea on defense:  putting Asante Samuel on the opposing TE.

New defensive coordinator Juan Castillo is trying to put his own stamp on this talent-laden defense.  One matchup idea the Eagles tried on several occasions in St. Louis was putting CB Asante Samuel on the Rams’ TEs.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.  I would be in favor of using this matchup in the upcoming divisional games, especially teams like Washington and Dallas that have outstanding receiving TEs.  The only downside to this idea is that Samuel still has tackling issues, so any catch could turn into a big play.  I just prefer having an experienced cover corner on a big-time receiver rather than one of the Eagles’ young LBs.

Some random notes:  Brian Billick got confused often in the broadcast booth in this one, but no mistake was more glaring than when he pined for the Eagles’ most recent running back star: Michael Westbrook…. Too many penalties and missed assignments -the Eagles got away with it against a mediocre Rams team, but they won’t be so lucky against upper echelon teams…. Brent Celek was pretty much a non-factor – that will have to change as the season progresses.

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