By Jeff Cutler: New Philadelphia Eagles coach is bringing in a new up tempo style game plan to the Eagles offense that they’ll be implementing this year. The offense is kind of hurry offense that’s frequently used in the last two minutes of a game or before the half with a quarterback throwing a lot of short, quick throws to receivers and running backs rather than throws down field. Not using huddles makes it even tougher to defend for defenses, especially when it’s a long drive and the defenses aren’t used to playing in this manner.
Kelly used this approach while serving as the head coach for the Oregon Ducks. The team’s offense thrived with this blur type of playing with no huddles and just play after play. Surprisingly, it worked, as the college defenses gassed out against the Kelly’s Oregon team and his team was able to score a lot of points in a lot of games in his three seasons as the coach.
Kelly’s success with the fast pace offense could be limited by two of his quarterbacks Michael Vick and Nick Foles, neither of which are the type that would seem to have the talent to succeed with an up tempo style of playing. To play with that kind of offense, you have to be accurate on short throws and fairly mobile. Vick simply doesn’t have the accuracy to make that kind of offense work.
In his 11 seasons in the NFL, Vick has only connected on 60 percent of his throws on one occasion and that’s not going to be good enough for him to do well in this kind of offense that absolutely requires that the quarterback have the ability to connect on his passes with a high degree of accuracy.
Additionally, when Vick misses with his passes, he frequently misses badly with the pass being intercepted. Kelly isn’t going to be able to win many games with Vick with him messing up the hurry up offense by throwing interceptions and incompletions, and fumbling the ball.
The best bet for the Eagles is to go with their 4th round draft choice Matt Barkley if they want to have a quarterback that can play with that kind of offense. Barkley was a high percentage thrower in his four seasons at USC, and he almost completed 70 percent of his throws in 2011. He’s perfect for this kind of playing style and I think he would do well.
To be sure, there are better quarterbacks in the NFL that would likely do even better than Barkley with this kind of game style, such as Matt Scott or Tyler Bray, but Barkley is the guy the Eagles chose in the draft and they need to insert him as their starter this season if they want to have any chance of success with this kind of offense.