The Eagles are off to a hot start in 2016 and while much of the hype is understandably surrounding Carson Wentz, it’s important to remember the man on the sidelines who is making all of this possible, Doug Pederson.
The former Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator accepted his first HC role in the city where the Head Coach he coordinated for last year, made his legacy. From the physical Training Camp format to a west-coast Offense, it was clear that Pederson had studied his mentor, Andy Reid and was looking to replicate his success..but as time has passed, streams of Pederson’s identity are being injected throughout this team.
Preseason was interesting to watch and see how many new things were being tried and tested. Three tight end sets, pistol formations and more motion’s than you could count, Pederson seemed intent on keeping opposing Defenses on edge. That motive was reinforced further when the team released Reuben Randle and Chris Givens, in favor of mismatch monster Dorial Green-Beckham and undrafted rookie Bryce Treggs.
Like his rookie quarterback, Pederson spent the opening moments of the opening game finding his feet. But as momentum was established and the Eagles set off a time bomb for success, the confidence began to flow. The shots down the field snuck their way into the gameplan more frequently and the complexity of Doug’s Offense began to reveal itself.
In week two, the Eagles Offense showed even more layers. With only two active TE’s due to the injury of Zach Ertz, the team decided to utilize both Matt Tobin and Stefen Wisniewski for some extra TE bulk on the line when needed. Partnered with a contrasting rushing attack to what we saw in week one, the Eagles wanted to keep things open against the Bears..something they did well.
An Up-tempo look to start the game showed confidence and a creative flair, as Wentz went 6/6 on the opening drive, without the help of a running back. If the Eagles can catch teams off-guard with a no-huddle Offense while sustaining the success and balancing it with their game-management, then it will make the unit even harder to plan for..a testament to Pederson’s flair.
It’s clear when watching the tape, that the idea is to give Carson Wentz as many options as possible. Dorial Green-Beckham played just 32% of snaps in week one and saw an increase of 14% in week two. Having a 6’5 receiver on your side definitely helps, especially when inside the redzone..but after joining the team so late during the offseason, getting him up to speed has been a process.
“We just continue to keep working with him. We’ve increased his workload the last week and we want to continue to do that and move him around the more comfortable he gets with our system.”
Then, there’s Bryce Treggs, who is in a similar position to DGB when it comes to learning the Offense. The undrafted speedster who was released by the Niners during their roster cuts before being claimed by Philadelphia. The Eagles have such a variety of weapons and skill sets on their Offense that it makes them a nightmare to gameplan for, because there’s so much they can do. It’s something that was previously seen under Andy Reid, but that’s being built upon by Doug Pederson.
To Chip Kelly, time of possession didn’t matter. To Doug Pederson, it’s crucial. The Eagles lead the league in this category through two weeks..and it’s no coincidence that they’re 2-0 and have a turnover ratio of +34. But what is interesting, is how the Eagles experimented with the no-huddle Offense and were still able to move the chains efficiently due to the surprising nature and execution from his players.
Pederson’s ability to manage the game was something that really stood out during his second half play-calling as the Chiefs Offensive coordinator..and it’s an attribute that is becoming a clear strength in 2016.
As a former quarterback, there are things that Pederson sees and associates with that other coaches can’t. When you incorporate the likes of Frank Reich and John DeFilippo into the mix, Pederson is having a lot of different views and ideas fed to him from a coaching tree with very deep roots. As a result, Carson Wentz and the entire Eagles Offense only seem to improve as time goes on.
This Eagles team may be built on Andy Reid’s blueprint..but it’s being colored in by Doug Pederson to create something so intricate and detailed, it’s almost difficult to remember how it looked before. The complexity will continue to surprise all as the season draws on and the creativity of Doug Pederson grows with experience.
It’s been a long time since somebody has compared Doug Pederson’s Offense and way of doing things to Andy Reid..and that’s because Pederson has found his feet..and found his identity.
Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-pSA TODAY Sports
Liam is a 24-year old sports journalist from the UK and founder of the Philly Sports Network. In just five years he turned a hobby into one of the fastest-growing Philadelphia sports sites in the world, amassing 7,000,000 views and writing over 3,000 articles. Drawing attention from the likes of CSN, NJ.Com and Bleacher Report in the process, Liam is set on changing the way Philadelphia sports teams are reported on forever.
You can contact him here: Phillysportsnetwork@gmail.com