Posts for josh huff

Chip Kelly Flipped the Script and Used the Pass to Set up the Run on Sunday

Mark Saltveit - October 13, 2015

Run-to-pass is a very basic strategy, but it works, which is why teams keep using it. Despite his reputation for offensive trickery, Chip Kelly likes smashmouth, run-first football — if his team can pull it off. But his offensive line this year can’t (so far).

So against the Saints, Kelly’s game plan went the less common “pass-to-run” route. DeMarco Murray finally had a decent game, but he didn’t get his first good run until the the second drive after the Eagles had already completed six passes for 55 yards. (Three other throws were broken up but only by excellent coverage.)

Here are the Eagles’ first 12 plays– nine passes, three runs:

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[Chip called two runs for Murray on the first drive, but they gained only three yards combined because Matt Tobin missed a block each time– failing to pick up Dannell Ellerbe on a run blitz the first play, and unable to sustain his block on Cameron Jordan on the second.]

The Saints have a big secondary — CB Brandon Browner is 6’4″, 221 — so Chip went to his bigger, more physical receivers (Celek, Ertz, Riley Cooper, Josh Huff, and Murray himself) for those first six receptions. The second drive opened with the two TEs left, Celek split wide and Ertz in the slot, both running short “in” routes. (Ertz gained six.)

On the next play, Celek and Huff ran a mesh (or “rub”) pattern crossing each other three yards down field (on second-and-four). Bradford threw a bullet to Celek, who was covered tightly, for a first down. It was a great throw, the kind Nick Foles never makes, and one of the reasons the Eagles traded for Bradford.

But Josh Huff was wide open going the other way. Given his explosiveness after the catch, that could have been a very big gain if Bradford had thrown to him instead.

What could have been....

What could have been….

So back to that first good run by the Murray– the nine-yard gain on the second drive: Huff was the only receiver on the left, and the defense followed the other receivers to the right side after giving up all that yardage early on. Just before the snap, Huff motioned in tight to the line and blocked his defender, who had followed him. Murray bounced outside left and gained nine yards.

The Eagles ended up with 186 yards rushing, and Murray averaged 4.2 yards a carry for total of 83. It was easily his best game as an Eagle. But it was all set up by passing on nine of the first 12 plays.

Eagles – Saints: 7 Blessings

Mark Saltveit - October 11, 2015

Even with their two best DBs — safety Jairus Byrd and cornerback Keenan Lewis — back from injury, New Orleans’ defense was the miracle cure for Philadelphia’s offensive woes today. Here are just seven of the many blessings that this game bestowed upon the Birds.

1. The Pass Rush

It helped that the Saints starting left tackle (Terron Armstead) and left guard (Jahri Evans) were out with injuries. But the Eagles took full advantage, with three sacks, four QB hits and 5 tackles for loss just in the first half. (They finished with five, seven and seven for the game.)

Fletcher Cox abused Andrus Peat, Armstead’s replacement at left tackle. He finished with three sacks — and forced fumbles on two of them. Cox recovered one of them himself. Rookie Jordan Hicks, of course, got the other one. He has three fumble recoveries in just his first four games, which has to be an NFL record.

Against a great QB like Drew Brees, this penetration and disruption was crucial for taking control of the game.

2. Caleb Sturgis was a great kicker (mostly).

The goat of last week’s game wasn’t exactly the GOAT this week, but that one guy who picked him sarcastically in fantasy had a very happy surprise. Sturgis drilled four field goals and was the team’s leading scorer.

Sure, he didn’t get a touchback until his fourth kickoff, and Chip Kelly went for it on fourth and seven twice at the beginning of the game just to avoid the pain of watching Sturgis try a FG. But at the end of the first half his 39-yarder was perfect, dead center and with plenty of distance to spare. In the second half, an emboldened Chip Kelly called Sturgis’ number again three more times and he delivered. One was as long as 41 yards!

Of course Sturgis missed an extra point in the second half just to be true to his self. On the flip side, he gets credit for the return of Big Balls Chip. Many don’t realize it, but Kelly’s aggressiveness at Oregon had a lot to do with having bad kickers there too.

3. Excellent pass defense

Yes, New Orleans had some big pass plays. Drew Brees is a lock for the Hall of Fame, and even with Jimmy Graham gone he has some great weapons, notably Brandin Cooks (who Chip Kelly tried to trade up for in the 2014 draft).

But the Birds’ secondary had a great game as a group, including Byron Maxwell (who has taken plenty of Continue Reading

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Eagles – Packers: 7 Surprises

Mark Saltveit - August 30, 2015

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The Eagles delivered a dominating beat down of Green Bay at Lambeau Field, where the Packers are nearly invincible. Sure it’s the preseason and it doesn’t mean anything, but it doesn’t mean nothing either. With two minutes left in the first quarter, the Eagles had scored 25 unanswered points and were on a pace to win 125-0. The Green Bay announcers were stunned. Just before half, one said:

“I can’t remember any team coming in here [to Lambeau Field] and scoring 40 points in the first half. And the starters are still in on defense.”

The tempo offense may give the Eagles an outsized advantage in the preseason when most teams don’t game plan, but the football world is waking up to the fact that Chip Kelly has a real plan behind all of his crazy personnel moves. And that plan just might work, better than anyone imagined.

After the jump, 7 surprises from today’s game.
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Josh Huff’s Kick Return Won Some Guy a New Truck

Jim Adair - November 24, 2014

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

When Josh Huff took back a kickoff 107 yards to start the game yesterday, Eagles fans everywhere where thrilled. And Kyle Roche from Burlington, NJ would be even more thrilled about 30 seconds later.

Roche had entered the Quality Plus Ford stores Opening Kick Off contest, but was not aware he was chosen as the potential winner. “I sat down with my brothers and my family and everybody and he ran the kick back and it was an awesome moment,” Roche said according to WIP. “I didn’t even know I won the truck at first.” The contest print says:

“The entrant’s whose entry is randomly selected will be the Official Finalist for that game date. Official finalist’s name will be announced on-air during the professional Philadelphia football team radio broadcast prior to either the opening kickoff or the second half kickoff, whichever the Philadelphia football team will be receiving. Any selected Official Finalist who does not meet the eligibility requirements will be disqualified. An alternate finalist will then be randomly selected and notified per the procedures outlined above, time permitting. Odds of being selection an Official Finalist are dependent upon the total number of entries received for a given game date.

Grand Prize is one (1) 2014 Ford F-150 with a maximum retail value not to exceed $26,000.”

Roche said he had no idea he was the randomly selected finalist until his phone started getting tons of congratulatory calls and texts, and said he’d give Huff a “ride in that truck any day.” That’s a nice thought, but just bragging about how you got the truck is pretty great too. “Won this truck because of a Josh Huff kick return” is some “Price is Right” level stuff.

Josh Huff Probably Shouldn’t Feed the Trolls on Twitter

Kyle Scott - October 27, 2014

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A day after calling for the ball and then fumbling it in the red zone (don’t do that!), Josh Huff responded to a couple of knuckleheads giving him the business on Twitter. You can read a sampling of the exchange after the jump. I’m of the opinion that both sides are in the wrong here. If you’re a grown man harassing a rookie football player on Twitter, you need to reevaluate life. If you’re an NFL player, you need to not say you don’t care about the fans.

One loss and this town starts eating itself. Chaos, I tell you.

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