“Lot Of Resources In Pass Catchers”
Q&A: Birds Offense – Run First, Pass First?
The Philadelphia Eagles entered the 2022 offseason looking to upgrade their passing game to pair with their elite running game.
With the acquisition of Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown to team with Devonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, and Miles Sanders, the Eagles’ offense is not lacking in weapons.
On the latest episode of “Q&A” on Inside The Birds, former Eagles Jason Avant and Quintin Mikell break down how the offensive scheme and philosophy might look and if quarterback Jalen Hurts is ready to take a step forward.
Quintin Mikell: “It definitely adds credibility to this offense. They now have a bonafide No.1 You got your two stalwarts outside, you got a running game that’s good to go, you got tight ends, you got everything in place. A.J. Brown was that missing piece, that dog that will just go out there and fight for the ball, get off of press, go and catch that tough ball. It’s definitely a great move by this front office.”
Jason Avant: “I’m expecting him to be more of an ‘X’ style receiver in this offense…The ‘X’ receiver has to be very versatile when it comes to hand-to-hand combat. Having a big body like he is, the ability to be quick and to make people stumble when he hits you in routes is huge.”
Mikell: “I expect DeVonta to continue his rise. Having one year under his belt, I thought he was very productive last year. Hopefully he can bulk up a little bit and get a little bit stronger. I’d like to see him get close to, if not into, the double figure category in touchdowns. It all depends on where he’s going to be playing.”
Avant: “I love DeVonta Smith as a player…I’m expecting him to have more impact on the game than just as a high-volume target guy, just because he’s going to have some looser coverage because of A.J. Brown.”
Mikell: “Catching and concentration. He’s got to work on that. And he’s not going to get many chances, to be honest with you. You got two stars at receiver, you got Dallas [Goedert], so he’s got to take advantage of every opportunity he gets. He cannot have any more drops.”
Avant: “Quez had some notable drops. I don’t necessarily see Quez in the slot this year. I think it would be bad coaching to have him in the slot, because I think that he can affect the game better from outside, even if he’s not getting the ball. You can use that 4.3 [speed] down the field the entire game that makes a team stay honest.”
Avant: “I think you have to get your money’s worth out of Miles Sanders. If this is his last year with the team, your job is to get the most valuable out of it. [Kenneth] Gainwell is the better pass catcher and he has a place in this offense, as well as Boston Scott. But I think that you have to put the tires on when it comes to Miles Sanders, because he is a home-run hitter.”
Avant: “I think that you still can throw the ball, but I don’t think that we should be trying to spread it out with our quarterback unless he comes out and turns into Russell Wilson this year. This run game is too good to abandon. You can add to this with the play action game, which is A.J. Brown’s forte.”
Mikell: “Playing Devil’s advocate, you got A.J. Brown, Devonta Smith, Dallas. That’s a lot of resources put into pass catchers. I wonder if at some point, even if you’re winning, someone is going to say, ‘Listen, we got a lot of resources, let’s open this passing game up.’”
Avant: “We know that this regime, ownership [on] down, is in favor of passing the football. That’s their preferable way of winning football games. That’s why it took so long [last year] to just do what was needed to be done in the beginning, which was to run the ball. They were second in the league in rushing after two games and then they went away from it completely because of the way they want to win, and then they had to get back to it in order to salvage the season.”
Avant: “It’s one of those situations where you have to build the offense around him. At this stage, you have to do what the Eagles have done: go out and get people to help him, build an offensive line around him…They’re going to train him to be on time and get the ball out quicker. If anybody can make up the gap, it’s Jalen Hurts. There is a gap and it’s not as small as people think it is. Everything is on Jalen Hurts this year. I’m hoping that he can grow and develop because everything is on his shoulders. Last year, he didn’t understand the tempo of the play.”
– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com
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