Bird’s Eye View
Eagles OC To Call Preseason Plays From Sideline
Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson made a big move this offseason with his promotion from quarterbacks coach, but he won’t be going too far on game day.
In his pre-practice press conference at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday, Johnson said he would call plays from the sideline – like his Eagles predecessor Shane Steichen did – against the Ravens on Saturday night in the preseason opener in Baltimore.
Citing better communication strategies, Johnson said he preferred – at least for the moment – to stay on the sideline, although he’s called games from the booth in past places.
“I don’t know if one way is necessarily better than the other,” Johnson said.
This will be Johnson’s first year as an NFL play-caller, with Steichen – last year’s play caller – now head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
The Eagles’ offensive construct is the brainchild of more than just the offensive coordinator, as head coach Nick Sirianni, passing game coordinator/associate head coach Kevin Patullo, and run game coordinator/offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland are also heavily involved in the process.
Johnson, who joined the Eagles in 2021 as part of Sirianni’s first coaching staff, has called plays in college as an offensive coordinator, most recently for the Florida Gators, where he was offensive coordinator in 2020.
Johnson referred to play calling as “part art, part science.”
Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean (ankle) was once again out of practice Tuesday, one reason the Eagles moved to sign veteran linebackers Zach Cunningham and Myles Jack while also releasing Davion Taylor.
Also, the Eagles activated wide receiver/return specialist Devon Allen from NFI (calf), making him eligible to practice Tuesday for the first time. They also announced the signing of wide receiver Johnny King and the releases of offensive tackles Chim Okorafor and Trevor Reid.
Veteran cornerback James Bradberry was also back at practice.
As for the newcomers, here’s how they’ll look on your roster:
Some new Eagles jersey numbers:
Myles Jack: 47
Zach Cunningham: 52
Johnny King: 43
Josh Andrews: 74
— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) August 8, 2023
What About Me?
Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay interrupted Johnson’s press conference to declare his readiness to double as the team’s third wide receiver, a job that would ordinarily be for Quez Watkins, who’s having a very good camp.
Johnson said other defensive players, including Fletcher Cox, have lobbied at times for offensive snaps.
This isn’t the first time an Eagles player has asked to play both sides:
— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffPMosher) August 8, 2023
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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