Let it be known, I have no problem with NFL team's mimicking other team's style of play as long as it's productive.
For instance, Bill Walsh founded the West Coast Offense that so many teams continue to use almost thirty years later. Tony Dungy's "Cover 2" defense began to spread throughout the league when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl (even though Dungy was gone by then). Rex Ryan has even resurrected his father's "46" defense with much success.
Such is the case of the NFL because it's the ultimate family-tree business. A head coach grooms his assistants into head coach material. When these coaches depart to run their own teams, they tend to take their mentors philosophy and tweak it into a form of their own, which they then use to groom their own assistant coaches and so on.
However, the key to success for these coaches is to find the right players to execute their plans to perfection.
While Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid has implemented the West Coast offense in Philly, they've never fully had the pieces in place to execute it the way it's needed.
They had Brian Westbrook to look like this decade’s Roger Craig, but it's the other skill positions that were missing the past few years: A fullback who can catch, a balanced tight end, and wide receivers, who weren't necessary as fast as they were quick. All of the skill positions ran crisp routes such as slants, outs and flats. Also, the offensive line wasn't just productive but also balanced in run and pass blocking.
Although the Eagles signed Leonard Weaver to address their void at the fullback position, I still don't see this as a West Coast team. Their draft selections would've been different if that was the road they chose. Their tight end pick would have possibly been Brandon Pettigrew, and their newest wideout would've been either one of the Giants' draft picks (Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden) or Anquan Boldin.
The Eagles addressed their lack of weapons and holes on their offensive line. The way this team is set up, they seem more equipped to run a spread/vertical offense similar to the Indianapolis Colts (particularly the 2006 Super Bowl Champ version).
Donovan McNabb is no Peyton Manning, but who is?? After years of petitioning for weapons, No. five’s 10th anniversary gift is an arsenal to work with. He has the potential to break records with this group if he stays healthy.
The Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy combo remind me of Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes. Westbrook is the shorter, older Rhodes, and McCoy is the taller, fresher rookie like Addai.
Look at the prospective top three receivers. With his size (6'1", 200 lbs), rookie Jeremy Maclin is the exact same size as Reggie Wayne and with similar skills as well.
While he's definitely shorter, DeSean Jackson’s body type and style of play remind me of Marvin Harrison. He just has to improve his route running. Kevin Curtis could man the slot and be Ricky Proehl (who also did the same thing for the 1999 champion St. Louis Rams).
Like I said, Pettigrew would've been the West Coast type tight end. Instead the Eagles waited to select Cornelius Ingram. Whether he starts or the birds stick with Brent Celek, either one could be a threat in the middle of the field like Dallas Clark. The Eagles want their tight ends to be able to block, but getting down the field is more important.
While McNabb is no P. Manning, Jamaal Jackson DEFINITELY won't be mistaken for Jeff Saturday. Having said that, he should improve with a healthy Shawn Andrews line up to his right. Add Andrews' brother, Stacy, Jason Peters, and a constantly improving Todd Herremans and this line can have the impact similar to Tarik Glenn, Ryan Lilja, Saturday, Jake Scott and Ryan Diem of the Colts.
After comparing the possible 2009 Eagles with the 2006 Colts, one can only hope they finish the season in similar fashion.
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