Why Jeff Demps Fits So Perfectly in the Philadelphia Eagles Offense
The Philadelphia Eagles must strongly consider Jeff Demps in order to enhance their Super Bowl chances for this season.
And according to Reuben Frank of CSN Philadelphia:
A team official said the Eagles were intrigued with Demps and wouldn’t rule out pursuing the 22-year-old speedster but also said it was a long shot that anything would come of it.
The 2012 Summer Olympics silver medalist provides an eclectic repertoire for the football field, and adding him would only make the Eagles a tougher NFC contender.
Considering other offensive fire-powers of the NFC such as Green Bay, Detroit, Dallas and New Orleans, Philadelphia has to cover all bases. The team also finished strong in 2011 and one-upped itself with an impressive draft.
Heading into the fall, a guy like Demps would simply extend the Eagles' playbook to another level.
Impact on the Running Game
Demps can widen the defense horizontally whether he's taking carries from the backfield or on jet sweeps in motion from the slot.
There's rarely ever a time to utilize Demps on the interior, mainly because it restricts his ability to beat defenders one-on-one with speed. After all, that's Demps' most attractive attribute as he is a track star.
Having played four years at Florida, though, Demps averaged 6.7 yards per carry and scored 23 rushing touchdowns. In shotgun, the Eagles can use him next to Michael Vick and make a quick toss to the outside or via direct snap.
No 4-3 outside linebacker will beat Demps to the edge and his athleticism will bode well against 3-4 exterior defenders as well. Philadelphia just has to put him in one-cut positions as much as possible.
Demps isn't going to juke out three guys at once to move the chains. Ask the receivers to stock block defensive backs enough to create minimal space and he'll do the rest. Once past the line of scrimmage, the only chance for the defense will be if Demps trips himself
No one will catch him otherwise. Period.
Adding a Dimension to the Passing Attack
The variety of ways Demps can be utilized in the passing game is almost incomprehensible.
Obviously screens and check-downs are expected, but a quick flair while swinging to the outside is only the beginning. On this type of route, though, Demps can catch the rock in stride and then do his best impression of Usain Bolt by accelerating past everyone in sight.
Yards after the catch will be the most important here, because getting him the ball sooner is better. Still, Demps also presents a typical receiving threat from the slot.
He'll easily burn past any linebacker in man coverage and Demps' top gear will quickly split a Cover 2 zone over the deep middle. On intermediate routes, he'll be most effective on shallow drags, quick slants and crosses.
To simplify what Demps provides, it's always a matter of tossing him the ball in stride.
If facing man coverage, however, send him on a streak pattern and just challenge the defender. The Eagles have too many other offensive weapons that can make plays, so the odds of Demps getting double covered are quite slim.
Never Discount the Emphasis of Special Teams
Where does Demps fit Philadelphia the best?
Although the Eagles have DeSean Jackson and rookie cornerback Brandon Boykin to produce as return specialists, Demps can also contribute.
He was primarily a kick returner in totaling 604 yards and averaging 28.8 per attempt at Florida.
The field-position battle is arguably the most important aspect needed to win, so the Eagles only gain another advantage here. And despite not serving as a punt returner after his freshman season (2007), Demps' natural talent would transition easily.
Still, that would be a tougher area as Jackson is one of the best in football. Nonetheless, Demps possesses the ability as an alternative.
On kickoffs, however, Demps would immediately become an exciting player. Combine all the elements of his top speed, acceleration, ball-carrier vision and experience, and he would slice through the smallest crevice in the kickoff team.
Not to mention catching then tackling Demps alone is a chore, especially after he gets moving.
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