Eagles Tuesday: The Screen Game, Jason Kelce’s Hustle, and Rasul Douglas as a Safety?

Doug Pederson, the day after.

The head ball coach offered a couple of injury updates at his Tuesday afternoon press conference.

On Jason Peters:

“He got rolled up. He’s going to be okay. He’s going to be day-to-day, but yeah, he should be fine. Should be fine.”

On Tim Jernigan, who left the game with back spasms:

“Jernigan is doing okay. He’s doing fine. He’s still going to be in the mix. Would expect him to be available this week and we’ll see tomorrow when we get back on the field.”

Doug didn’t really divulge what he wanted to do with Darren Sproles moving forward, but said that he’ll “keep probably increasing more of his production as we go.” Sproles ran the ball four times for 22 yards and touchdown last night in addition to returning punts for the Eagles.

A few quotes and some video clips after the jump:

Q. What was the key to getting the screen game going yesterday? (Dave Zangaro)

PEDERSON: I think just calling it, and calling more of it, quite frankly. I felt like the screens the last couple weeks have been big hitters for us. We had some opportunities again last night to have some big — we had some big gains on them, but we could have had even a couple more later in the game.

We just keep working. Again, part of that is coming off the run, coming off the play-action pass and utilizing some of the same formations. But yeah, it’s a big part of what we’re doing right now, and it’s been working.

I think that’s the key there, the idea that they can call these screens off of runs and play-action looks because those two elements of their came have improved in recent weeks. That’s what they did on the big Corey Clement 23-yarder that I showed you this morning in the takeaways column. 

Here’s another example of a screen they ran off a play-action look from under center:

I like these designs because the play-action element holds the linebackers long enough to allow the linemen to get down the field and into position, where they can sort of wall them off.

On the strong side then, you have two receivers dragging a pair of cornerbacks out of play with crossing patterns to the opposite side:

It’s just well-designed and well-executed stuff, and it’s predicated on opponents needing to respect the running game.

More Doug:

Q. What have you learned from your young defensive backs these last couple weeks and the way they have handled what happened in New Orleans and gotten better? (Reuben Frank) 

PEDERSON: I think you’re seeing a little more confidence in these guys. I think I saw it in [CB] Rasul [Douglas] last night, some of the plays he made, not necessarily in the passing game, but in the run game, being able to come up and make some big plays. That play on that double pass, that reverse, was tremendous by him. That’s the thing that — that’s what confidence can bring.

It’s just giving those guys an opportunity and being in a position, and just, again, just trusting the scheme, understanding the defense, being in a position, and not doing any more than that. You don’t have to go looking for plays. Plays are going to come your way when you do make them and that’s what you’re starting to see with these young guys.

Rasul looks more life a safety, doesn’t he? He looks pretty poor in coverage some times, but he made some really big tackles last night.

He did play a little bit of safety in college. I don’t know if that was at his Juco school before transferring to WVU, but he told Kempski straight up that he played safety:

West Virginia ran a funky 3-3-5 defense with weird zone schemes, so I don’t have any doubt that Rasul could kind of slide into any number of defensive backfield positions in the NFL. I think he’s a tad too slow to do much in man-to-man coverage, but I could see him maybe being a good long-term replacement for Malcolm Jenkins or even a free safety convert with enough time to made the adjustment.

This is the great tackle that Doug mentioned in the quote:

Doug was also asked about Jason Kelce and brought up something I didn’t notice last night.

Kelce hauled ass down the field to help tackle Josh Norman on Carson Wentz’s goal line interception.

Check it out:

Can’t teach that.

Here’s what Doug said about the “duo” 4th down running play that the Eagles failed to execute, the one where Josh Adams was stuffed by the defender coming off the edge:

“The last one is just a failure to communicate up front and we just missed a block on the perimeter. Not saying it would have got us in the end zone, but it would have given us a better opportunity down there. I look back at it and maybe could have put Carson on the move. You could speculate the whole thing.

But it was part of our game plan to have that play in. We just failed to execute on that last play, but something we’ll fix and given another opportunity, we’ll be better next time.”

“It was part of our game plan,” is interesting. I wonder if they saw something on film regarding the Washington linebackers, because that play call and the numerous screens and under center sets they rolled out would seem to suggest that.

That’s about it. Team had the day off after the win, so it’s a short week before heading down to Dallas.

The post Eagles Tuesday: The Screen Game, Jason Kelce’s Hustle, and Rasul Douglas as a Safety? appeared first on Crossing Broad.

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