‘Afraid of Pressure’
Q&A: What's Not Working With Eagles Offense and Defense?
The struggling Philadelphia Eagles, losers of five of their last six games, enter the playoffs with many issues to address.
On the latest episode of “Q&A” on “Inside The Birds,” former Eagle standouts Jason Avant and Quintin Mikell dove into the schematic issues facing the team and previewed the wild card matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Quintin Mikell: “When you design an offensive scheme and plays, there always has to be an outlet, someone for the quarterback to look to when things go bad. Too often in critical pressure situations, plays where you know pressure is coming, you have receivers running 10-20 yard routes down the field and poor Jalen (Hurts) is a sitting duck. It has been the entire season. I think it’s more of a scheme issue.”
Jason Avant: “I have defended Brian Johnson for the most part, but in this particular game he didn’t give Jalen Hurts a fighting chance to be successful. The route development was way too long. There should have been checks, hot reads, playcalling that anticipated the blitz.”
Avant: “Right now, Hurts is afraid of pressure. He anticipates pressure by automatically moving out of the pocket. There are times in this game where Hurts could have stepped up into the pocket and not outside of the pocket. Once he feels the pressure is going to get through, his eyes immediately come down. You are supposed to feel the pressure instead of looking at the pressure.”
Mikell: “They are trying to mesh two different types of schemes and two different types of looks and it is just not working…when you are changing styles in the middle of the season, you go through spring camps, training camps and get ready for the season, it’s an upward curve and you want to be peaking at the right time. A defensive coordinator will design and build on their scheme until around November. When you have that change and cut it off, you go back down.”
Avant: “It would be insane to fire Nick Sirianni one year after the Super Bowl and it creates a bad precedent for potential hires for coaches if you are so quick to fire a guy that has a winning record since he has come here and then has a down year of going to the playoffs.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mikell: “The Eagles have to come out running the ball, you have two receivers banged up and a lot of injuries so they have to come out scoring. And then attack on defense and pray that Baker Mayfield doesn’t get hot.”
Avant: “Don’t give up cheap touchdowns because of bad leverage, blown assignments. Mayfield has played a lot better and they have some weapons out there…Don’t turn the ball over. Antoine Winfield Jr. is playing out of his mind like the best safety in football, they have linebackers who can run with Lavonte David and Devin White and you know what they can do up front.”
– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.