Brian Baldinger Loves the Eagles’ Trench Work in Latest Breakdown Series

I’m a big Brian Baldinger guy. Love Baldy’s breakdowns and love his enthusiasm for football.

This week on Twitter, his Eagles/Niners video clips focused on the trenches, with shout outs to the d-line and Jordan Mailata, who was starting his first professional football game, ever. Seriously. He didn’t play in college or high school, (because he was a rugby player) so Sunday night was his first start in a meaningful football game.

Baldy clip #1:

Awesome clip.

You’ve got guys winning their 1v1 battles. Other dudes who are double teamed are eating up space and pushing towards the quarterback anyway. And not once did you hear Fletcher Cox’s name called, which could be the biggest takeaway from that snippet. He walked off the field early, and was battling an injury, so other guys stepped up to get the job done without him. Excellent defensive line game.

Baldy clip #2:

You see a lot of wham and trap blocking schemes from the Eagles.

A “wham” block is basically when a guy lined up on the outside blocks down on an interior lineman. That’s what Zach Ertz does in the clip. The “trap” is when Jason Kelce and Matt Pryor leave the defensive tackle unblocked, and Nate Herbig slides to engage instead.

What happens is you’ve got three guys blocking to the right side of the formation, and then Kelce and Pryor sneak out to engage the linebackers at the second level instead, leaving you something that looks like this:

Big hole for Miles Sanders to run through.

And keep in mind, as Baldy mentions, they were opening up holes without Lane Johnson, Jason Peters, Andre Dillard, Brandon Brooks, and Isaac Seumalo on the field. They had a bunch of backups in there.

Baldy clip #3:

Best Genard Avery game since joining the Eagles.

This is what Jim Schwartz said on Tuesday, when asked if they could use Avery as a situational pass rusher:

“That was sort of the breakout game we’ve been waiting for from him. He’s always been a skilled pass rusher. It’s just fitting him in with all the other stuff. I think he’s really done a good job of refining his technique and limiting his – sticking with what works best for him.

I think he had too big of a pass rush repertoire earlier in his career, and Coach Burke [run game coordinator/defensive line coach Matt Burke] and Coach Wash [director of player personnel/senior defensive assistant Jeremiah Washburn] have done a really good job of just sort of honing in on what works for him and he’s starting to embrace that. He’s certainly made a difference in this game. He was fresh when he came off the bench, which is a big thing for our guys that are coming off the bench, and he gave us that changeup and made some big plays for us in the game.

His pressure led to the first interception, which I think was a huge play in that game, sort of maybe flies below the radar when the game is all said and done. They were driving. They were in the red zone. We got that pressure, got that interception, and I think that that was a key turning point in that game.”

Baldy clip #4:

It’s a cool sports story, isn’t it? Dude plays rugby for a living, converts to American football, and works his way up to a start in a meaningful NFL game. Then he actually goes out and plays well. Great stuff from the big Aussie, who, by the way, is only 23 years old.

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