Don't Judge The Eagles' Offense Until The O-Line Is Involved

Skill-position players generate headlines, the offensive line paves the way for wins.
Eagles RT Lane Johnson
Eagles RT Lane Johnson / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

PHILADELPHIA - The expected explosive offense of the Philadelphia Eagles was idling in pajamas this spring.

There is a lot of context to that sentiment, starting with the lip service of meshing Nick Sirianni’s approach over the past three seasons with Kellen Moore’s beliefs of more pre-snap motion and play-action.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts pegged the number at 95 percent when describing just how much of what Moore is bringing to Philadelphia is at least somewhat different so growing pains should be expected.

More so, despite the presence of splashy skill-position stars like A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, and Saquon Barkley, the offense's engine remains the Eagles’ powerful offensive line. 

“Nothing matters if you can’t block people,” one long-time NFL coach told SI.com’s Eagles Today years ago.

Spring football essentially erases the front five in any meaningful fashion, eliminating that play-action element and enabling the defenders, who are essentially practicing coverage only, to be as aggressive as possible.

That environment also plays into the athleticism of the young defensive backs GM Howie Roseman has assembled like rookies Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean, as well as the emerging Kelee Ringo and the speedy Isaiah Rodgers.

Even reclamation linebacker Devin White is built for spring football with his 4.43 speed on a 240-pound frame that can easily run with players like Barkley and Kenny Gainwell on wheel routes.

Once Lane Johnson, Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, and Co. are pushing people around, the play-action and RPO conflicts may create false steps for a player like White, who struggled with discipline issues in Tampa.

It also opens up double moves for savvy receivers like Brown, Smith and Goedert.

The pre-snap motion will test the eyes and discipline of any defense with more traffic to navigate for the defenders and Moore’s willingness to use bunch formations should make things even easier for Brown and Smith to release off the line of scrimmage.

The Eagles' offense is built for 11-on-11 and the defense is a work in progress, better suited for 7-on-7 work at this stage.

The market correction is coming this summer so don’t judge the Eagles’ offense until Jeff Stoutland’s students are unleashed in a meaningful way.

MORE NFL: Eagles Second-Chance Ranch Has Former Early First-Round Picks Looking To Stick Around


Published
John McMullen

JOHN MCMULLEN

John McMullen is a veteran reporter who has covered the NFL for over two decades. The current NFL insider for JAKIB Media, John is the former NFL Editor for The Sports Network where his syndicated column was featured in over 200 outlets including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Miami Herald. He was also the national NFL columnist for Today's Pigskin as well as FanRag Sports. McMullen has covered the Eagles on a daily basis since 2016, first for ESPN South Jersey and now for Eagles Today on SI.com's FanNation. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on YouTube.com. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey and part of 6ABC.com's live postgame show after every Eagles game. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen