EAGLE EYE IN THE SKY
The two receivers on the outside run mandatory
vertical routes with outside releases. Why must they
be vertical and outside? Because the Eagles want
those corners to have their eyes to the sideline,
not in the middle of the field. Both Eagles wideouts
take their route initially toward the sideline. In
Indianapolis’ zone scheme, they have to respect the
deepest routes attacking their sides of the field. That
mission is accomplished.
Next, the Eagles must handle the safety in the
middle of the field, and that’s where the tight end
comes in. The Eagles need Josh Perkins to stress the
single-high safety with an over route across the field.
He has to get off the line quickly and get downfield in
a hurry. Perkins does that, occupying both the safety
and the underneath defender on the offense’s right
side. By drawing the focus of two defenders, Perkins
has perfectly executed the “Take Two-Thru” part of
this concept, removing them from the play.
Now we have Smallwood’s route from the
backfield. He releases outside to the left and runs
right down the seam. With the cornerback’s eyes
outside and the safety’s eyes on the crosser, look at
the void created down the field.
Smallwood gets into space cleanly, the field is
wide open, and Wentz drops in a beautiful pass
down the field for an explosive play and a first down.
These are the kinds of plays we can expect Wentz
to make whenever he’s in the lineup, and brilliant
play designs like these will always be present in the
Eagles’ offense with Doug Pederson at the helm.
Fran Duffy is the producer of the Emmy-nominated
Eagles Game Plan show which can be seen every
gameday during the season on NBC10 in Philadelphia.
He is also the host of two Eagles-related podcasts,
Eagle Eye in the Sky and Journey to the Draft.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES GAMEDAY MAGAZINE 7