Are Eagles one step ahead of the NFL’s next offensive evolution?

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Bubbles. In the world of professional sports, that’s all it really comes down to. Not the kind that West Ham fans blow every Saturday, but instead pockets of opportunity. In the NBA, the three-point bubble that was inflated by the Warriors has now fundamentally changed the game. Kids no longer want to dunk and posterize, they want to be like Steph Curry.

The same can be said for the NFL. Chip Kelly was one of the first pioneers of the ‘up-tempo’ offense at the professional level and it didn’t take long for the rest of the league to catch up. Dual-threat quarterbacks became favorable, screen passes integral, dual-threat running backs indispensable. On defense, base formations are rapidly becoming nickel and dime looks with one less linebacker on the field in order to account for speed-based, versatile offenses. But how do you stay ahead of the curve? What’s next?

Eagles assistant coaches met with the media on Monday and there’s one very interesting tidbit to come out of the conversations.

Taylor, the Eagles QB coach, may well be onto something. There’s one team that springs to mind immediately, and that’s New Orelans, who use 28-year old Taysom Hill as a player who can simply do it all.

Hill was snatched off waivers two seasons ago and has been used just about everywhere, becoming a key part of the Saints offense. Hill rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns in 2018, largely on Wildcat-type plays, fake punts, sweeps, QB-sneaks, and the odd option dash.

He only attempted seven passes, completing 3, but he also caught 3 more and played a pivotal role on special teams. Tampa Bay Bucs GM, Jason Licht, had this to say about an emerging new prototype.

“If you can find a backup quarterback who can play on a lot of your special teams units and come in and play a role on offense, you’re utilizing 46 guys on your roster on game day,” he said, via Auman. “It’s something that’s talked about a lot. It’s finding a guy that’s the tough part.”

The Saints aren’t the only team to do it. Lamar Jackson was used in a very similar vein before eventually taking over the starting role in Baltimore, and they drafted Trace McSorely, who could pick up where ‘backup Jackson’ left off. Meanwhile Tampa Bay took a flyer on UDFA QB Nick Fitzgerald and the Chargers snatched Easton Stick away from the Eagles in the heart of the fifth-round.

But it’s the Eagles, who may already be one step ahead of the curve. We can look at this through a few different lenses.

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