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One Thing The Eagles Could Learn From the Broncos Handling of Tim Tebow

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Sometimes I wonder if Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid has ever met the players on his team.

The Eagles, under Andy Reid, have this nasty habit of picking schemes with little to zero regard for the players on the team. Good things happen when you take the opposite approach. That is, look at the personnel you have, and play to their strengths. For a while, the Eagles’ habit of forcing square pegs into round holes has been met with some success. No SuperBowl wins but an appearance and a bunch of NFC chips. This year, things completely fell apart and it’s time to reevaluate that “strategy.”

The first square peg this season was Juan Castillo going from O line coach to Defensive coordinator. To add to that they make Michael Vick pass too much, forced Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to play in the slot, took Nnamdi Asomugha off man coverage and off the other team’s best receiver for stretches of games, and implemented a wide 9 formation that is heavily dependent on competent Linebackers all the while keeping a set of LBs that would be iffy even if this were college football we’re talking about.

What the Broncos have done with Tim Tebow should serve as an example of what personnel-based planning can do. The Broncos have completely adjusted their entire scheme to fit his lack of skill er I mean strengths.

The game plan for the Broncos is unique. The read option, the triple option (no different than what we watch on Friday nights in high school ball), swap boot, jet sweep, etc. This isn’t what we expect to see on Sundays, but I doubt it will change. The Denver QB is not going to succeed at this point in his career in a traditional pro style system that asks him to take five and seven-step drops, go through his progressions and move the sticks. This is what you get with the Broncos when Tebow is under center. Adapt the play calling to fit your personnel.

If not for Tebow being such a sacred cow, I think most of us could admit that scaling down an NFL offense to this degree is a gross admission of the fact that you have a quarterback that isn’t ready for primetime. Most organizations might even be to embarrassed to run a bone offense in the NFL. I mean triple options? REALLY THOUGH?

But here’s the thing, adapting the play calling to fit your personnel is what folks should be doing. Vick has a better record when the Eagles run the ball more. So why don’t the Eagles pursue a 2 running back system? Vick has traditionally favored his TE. TEs are a struggling QBs best friend, why don’t the Eagles integrate both Brent Celek and Clay Harbor into the base offense more? Vick is 6’0, no one sees a need for him to have at least one receiver who is taller  than him?

I could go on and on, but the fact is that the Eagles are TERRIBLE not cause they don’t have talent (in fact, they’re LOADED with talent at specific positions) but because the schemes and play calling do not fit the players’ strengths. A long time ago former Bush administration Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made a really flippant comment that was so inappropriate for his subject matter but perfectly fitting for this post: You go to war with the army you have—not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.

I’m saying though.


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