Sprint draw has proven successful for Eagles
Even though the Philadelphia Eagles tend to get away from running the ball from time to time, they do have one of the better ground games in the league when it's clicking with running back LeSean McCoy.
And ever since veteran offensive line coach Howard Mudd came over from Indianapolis two years ago, the Eagles' favorite, and most successful run play, has been the sprint draw. It helped McCoy rush for 1,309 yards and 17 touchdowns during his breakout season a year ago.
It has become the Eagles' signature run play over the past two years.
The play is designed to take advantage of pass-rushing ends or outside linebackers, create options for McCoy and be able to call play-action passes off the same look.
The Eagles set up in an 11 personnel, with tight end Brent Celek lined up to the left with DeSean Jackson split out wide, Jason Avant in the slot to the right and Jeremy Maclin out wide.
The key to the play is for the offensive line to sell pass protection.
Tackles Demetress Bell and Todd Herremans pass set and allow either the defensive end or outside linebacker to come upfield, letting the defenders' aggressiveness take them out of the play.
Right guard Danny Watkins blocks down on the nose tackle, allowing center Dallas Reynolds to pull and right tackle Herremans to block the first person he sees — typically a flowing inside linebacker.
At the snap, McCoy takes a couple false steps forward to hold the inside linebackers while quarterback Michael Vick spins to the left and sprints to McCoy 5 yards deep in the backfield.
The play allows a tailback to get the ball deep in the backfield to use his vision and cut based off the line's blocks.
The play typically is called during obvious pass situations.
The sprint draw takes advantage of a strong, athletic offensive line that can control the line of scrimmage.
The Eagles ran the play four times in the season opener against the Browns but haven't gone back to it much since.
A lot of that has to do with the Eagles' line being banged up.
Center Jason Kelce tore his ACL in Week 2 against the Ravens, and perennial Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters tore his Achilles during the summer.
The Eagles have run the play only once since Kelce's injury — a no gain on a third-and-20 against Arizona two weeks ago.
McCoy assured that the play hasn't been removed from the playbook because of injuries to the offensive line and could be used Sunday to help slow the Steelers' pass rush.
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Spence’s future uncertain after reinjuring knee
- Lopsided loss to Eagles shows Steelers have issues aplenty
- Keisel always hoped to return to Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Keisel dresses, but doesn’t play
- Starkey: Stupid Steelers
- Commitment by Steelers’ Gilbert pays off
- Distracted Steelers show nothing in loss to Eagles
- It’s only exhibition, but these Steelers could solidify roster spots vs. Eagles
- Steelers running backs Bell, Blount will face drug charges
- Rossi: Blount brings back Steelers’ swagger
- Steelers are hoping to mirror Eagles’ full-bore, no-huddle offense