September 17, 2021   3 MIN READ

Inside The Birds: Are You Ready For Some Scheme?

ITB: Eagles Vs. Niners Pre


An early season matchup between the Eagles and 49ers ahead offers plenty of storylines to go over as each team looks to move to 2-0. On the latest Inside The Birds, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan preview matchups and give their game predictions for the game.

Exposing 49ers CBs

Adam Caplan: “This is super-beatable. These corners and the way that the Eagles receivers got open by scheme, by the way, this last week was so heavily schemed. Their receiver group got open by scheme, and it was a very good job of design last week.”

Geoff Mosher: “This will be a really nice test for Jalen Hurts because I think you hit it right on the head. How do you beat a Cover 3? I can give you one formation that’s specifically designed to beat it: it’s four verticals. You know you’re going to have those seams [open]. We always say tight end, but we know that this coaching staff likes to mix and match, you could have two wide receivers in the slot and maybe even your tight ends outside and try to work Devonta Smith up the seams just to get a faster matchup. All Jalen Hurts has to do in that situation with one safety deep is look that safety to one end of the field and then throw it to the other end.”

Shanahan Scheme

Mosher: “If I’m Jon Gannon now, I have to wonder, am I making the right move if I’m putting T.J. Edwards on the field thinking I’m stopping the run? Or am I inviting them to check out and throw a pass? Same thing with – am I taking Eric Wilson off the field again to put Shaun Bradley on, because now you’re really telling Shanahan you want them to pass the ball on you.”

Caplan: “Look, play action, deception, it’s the mental gymnastics that challenges linebackers and safeties.”

Beware, Trey Lance

Mosher: “I’d be shocked if [Trey Lance] didn’t play more [this week].  I would be stunned if he didn’t play at least 5-to-7 snaps against the Eagles and run with the ball, especially after the tape that the Eagles just put on Atlanta with their run defense. You add a third guy who can run, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he ran a few quarterback option plays.”

Caplan: “Yeah, Trey Lance played four snaps on offense and he did score […] Gannon and his coaches did a really good job of asking these guys, ‘Just carry out your assignment’ and they did such a good job. But now you got, as Geoff just outlined, Shanahan [doing] so many things, and the mental gymnastics are so huge. I’m so curious about how he’s going to deploy all the personnel on defense. This is gonna be fun.”

Fred Warner

Mosher: “As I sit here today, I’m conflicted. I know it’s just one game but I was really impressed with Jalen Hurts, what he did in Atlanta, and just generally impressed with the offensive scheme. I do think the Eagles are going to be able to score points [but] I worry about Fred Warner, man. For some reason I just worry about his ability to kind of wreck what they may want to do. He’s just a really good linebacker.”

– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff writer for

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