October 29, 2021   5 MIN READ

“No Reason To Play Safeties In Canada”

ITB Eagles vs. Lions Pre


The Eagles badly need a win Sunday against the winless Detroit Lions to avoid the season falling off the rails.

On the latest Inside The Birds podcast, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan discussed Sunday’s matchup and gave their game predictions.

Anthony Harris

ITB photo: Anthony Harris and Eagles safeties have played deep under Jon Gannon

Andre Dillard

Adam Caplan: “The Eagles definitely have some interest [from other teams] in Andre Dillard. That’s not been a question. The question is will they move him? I’m going to just repeat what I said in August, I do not see them trading Andre Dillard unless they get a third. Here’s why: Let’s say they don’t trade him by Tuesday’s deadline at 4 p.m. and you get to March … it’s hard to get left tackles in the free-agent market and Dillard is a really good pass protector. I think we know that. Is he supreme? No. Is he elite? No. But he’s a good pass protector. Run blocking, they don’t do it so it’s hard to talk about this, we haven’t really evaluated it much but I just think he’s a gifted kid. He’s got too much talent, I would be very surprised if they moved him for a 5. They’re not going to do a five but 4? If they wind up making a trade for a four, I would strongly disagree with it.”

Offensive Line

Caplan: “Let’s see how the Eagles offensive line holds up. They had some issues certainly against the Raiders. There were some really good snaps and there were some snaps they’d like to have back. I’m telling you this is gonna be a competitive game, it really should. If the Eagles offense could get off to a good start, as we just outlined what the metrics look like … there’s no reason, and I can’t believe I’m saying this because I’m not a run-game guy, but there’s no reason not to run the football. I know they haven’t been a team that’s had a lead for very much. Just because [Miles] Sanders is there doesn’t mean that we expect Jordan Howard to be signed tomorrow or added. I know people want to know well what the rotation is gonna look like, Boston Scott to me … I expect him to probably have more first- and second-down work in terms of carries but I think [Kenneth] Gainwell, it’s gonna be the guy that gets the most touches.”

Defensive Scheme

Geoff Mosher: “You would have to say for this game that there is no reason … to play your safeties in Canada. There’s zero reason. The Lions, you just said it, their leading outside wide receiver [Khalif Raymond] would be a fifth wide receiver on most teams. Zero speed.

Caplan: “They have no speed. [Jared] Goff has the lowest deep pass attempts in the league. They just don’t throw it deep.”

Mosher: “[The Lions] offensive line is OK, it’s not very good. Obviously, Taylor Decker is not playing so that hurts them. Even when you’re in a Cover 1, which we said that Gannon did more last week, it’s still the one safety is still too deep. Bring these guys up toward scrimmage. Don’t worry about getting beat over the top and the explosive plays. There are none for the Lions to make over the top.”

Lions Weapons

Mosher: “There’s [T.J.] Hockenson and there’s [D’Andre] Swift. Those are the two guys you’ve got to worry about. You should’ve known it last week with [Josh] Jacobs and [Foster] Moreau, learn a lesson, move on. Time to turn the book, time to turn the chapter. Everybody’s been on high alert. I think the fans got to the coaches this week and they know that they need to start changing things up. I would be shocked — absolutely, positively stunned — [if] Jonathan Gannon played the same exact scheme against the Lions that he’s been doing for the last few weeks. I’d be shocked if the safeties are 50 yards down the field. I’d be shocked if they’re sitting in a soft zone 90 percent of the time, 80 percent. I’d be shocked.

Caplan: “I agree. There’s no reason to do that. Why would you do that with Hockenson there who is a really good athletic tight end? He does everything well, he’s one of the best all-around tight ends in football already. You know who their pass targets are going to be. We mentioned, obviously Swift, Hockenson and a little bit of [Kalif ]Raymond, who is quick. The matchups are so clear here … move the damn safeties up. They’ve done it at times in recent weeks but they need to do it full time in this game. Go be aggressive.”

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

Listen to the latest “Inside The Birds” podcast from Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan here:

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