Five New Playcalling Trends for the 2009 Philadelphia Eagles

Bryn Swartz@eaglescentralSenior Writer IIIMay 30, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - MAY 1: Running back Brian Westbrook #36 (R) stands on the sideline with second round draft pick running back LeSean McCoy #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles during minicamp at the NovaCare Complex on May 1, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

With all of the changes to the Philadelphia Eagles' roster, the coaching staff will need to adjust their playcalling in order to take advantage of the talent they will have on the field. Here are five new playcalling trends the coaches should look to use this season:

1. More Deep Passes

When Kevin Curtis is the third fastest wide receiver on your team, you know you have a special group of playmakers.

Jackson, Curtis, and Maclin all possess dangerous speed and are longball threats on virtually any given play. Baskett has deceptive speed on deep passes, and Brown and Avant have been known to catch a deep ball every now and then.

With a quarterback possessing one of the strongest arms in the National Football League, as well as a powerful offensive line capable of withstanding any defensive line in the league, the Eagles will have plenty of options on the deep pass.

2. Short Yardage Runs

For the first time in the Andy Reid era, the Eagles have a Pro Bowl-caliber fullback.

Leonard Weaver is more than capable of creating holes for third and fourth down situations. In 2008, the Eagles lost two games because of their inability to convert short yardage plays. Perhaps the problem resulted from using a converted defensive tackle as a fullback.

Weaver is experienced and powerful, and should help the Eagles jump from one of the worst short-yardage teams to one of the best.

3. Four Wide Receiver Formations

This is the formation that the "Greatest Show On Turf" thrived on. The St. Louis Rams thrived on four wide-receiver formations and watched as quarterback Kurt Warner won the league's Most Valuable Player award in 1999 and 2001.

A four wide-receiver formation with Jackson, Curtis, Maclin, and Baskett is perfect. None of the four wide receivers is dangerous enough to require double coverage. However, all of the four is more than capable of breaking free from their defender on a fly pattern. Using this formation will also help the Eagles to stretch the field.

4. More Screen Passes

The Eagles need to keep using the screen pass.

It has been the signature play of Brian Westbrook's career. In the 2008 postseason, Westbrook took a McNabb screen pass 71 yards for a touchdown, sealing the Eagles' playoff victory against the Vikings. With the selection of the speedy LeSean McCoy in the 2009 draft, the Eagles have no reason to shy away from screen passes.

McCoy has game changing speed, perhaps even more than Westbrook. If the Eagles get the ball in the hands of either of these two in the open field, the results could be devastating.

5. Wide receiver end-around

Why not?

Jackson is fast. He's incredibly fast. So are Curtis and Maclin.

If the Eagles use the end-around every other game, defenses will be fooled.

Look at the stats last season. Jackson rushed 17 times for 96 yards and a touchdown. You can't argue with the results. 5.6 yards per carry is phenomenal. Even if a few end-arounds result in a big loss behind scrimmage, think about the big play potential.

With the speed of the Eagles' receiving corps, this is a play that has the potential to be a 70 or 80 yard touchdown run.

It's a risky play, sure, but the reward is worth much more than the risk.


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