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How to utilize Jackson in a variety of alignments...

" />Skip to main contentclockmenumore-arrownoyesBleeding Green Nation homepageHorizontal - WhiteBleeding Green Nationa Philadelphia Eagles communityFollow Bleeding Green Nation online:Follow Bleeding Green Nation on TwitterFollow Bleeding Green Nation on FacebookLog in or sign upLog InSign UpSite searchSearchSearchBleeding Green Nation main menuFanpostsFanshotsEaglesOddsAboutMastheadCommunity GuidelinesStubHubMoreAll 321 blogs on Horizontal - WhiteFanposts Fanshots Eagles StoriesScheduleRosterStatsYahoo Eagles NewsYahoo Eagles Team PageYahoo Eagles ReportYahoo Eagles Depth ChartYahoo Eagles TransactionsYahoo Eagles PhotosOdds About Masthead Community Guidelines StubHub ✕The Eagles should get “nasty” with DeSean JacksonNew Darren Sproles Jerseys 2019 ,15commentsHow to utilize Jackson in a variety of alignments...EDTYou’d be right to be excited about the new deep ball connection between Carson Wentz and DeSean Jackson. Since Mike Wallace went down with an ankle injury in Week 2 of 2018, the base has been clamoring for a true deep threat. Some thought the answer would come in the 2019 NFL Draft. It turned out, it came via trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Howie Roseman, the Checker of Boxes, checked yet another box. Color me shocked.Considering his past with the Philadelphia Eagles, there’s less heavy lifting to do familiarizing you, gentle reader, with the value Jackson brings. His ability to “take the top off” a defense is well known and from what we’re seeing at minicamp, he’s still got his trademark burners. The question then becomes, how can the Eagles deploy Jackson to achieve the best results?Before digging into the specifics on Jackson, we need to have a talk about wide receiver splits. When you think about a non-slot receiver, you might picture a player lined up 2-3 yards outside of the numbers. The term for that alignment is a “plus split”.Image via Bleacher Report, Matt BowenThere are advantages and disadvantages to this alignment. It’s easier to get a receiver isolated on a cornerback when he’s far away from the action, but it also demands certain releases depending on the route. For example - when working from a plus split - an outside release limits the potential routes. Typically it’s reduced to a go and a comeback. That’s not a lot of variety. Any other routes in the tree require a hard inside release at the line.From a “numbers split”, where the receiver lines up on or at the top of the numbers painted on the field, a receiver has more freedom and space. The rules for releases are less stringent and there’s a bigger area in which to work out-breaking routes.Image via Bleacher Report, Matt BowenThen there’s the “nasty split”. I made the case for the Eagles to use more of these after the Golden Tate trade. With both Tate and Nelson Agholor on the roster, it made sense to provide two slot receivers with splits that played to their strengths of their skill sets and essentially replicated slot alignments. Basically Black Malcolm Jenkins Jerseys , a “nasty split” brings a receiver inside the numbers and close to the core of the formation, giving them access to a wider variety of routes with multi-directional optionality.Image via Bleacher Report, Matt BowenAn additional benefit of a nasty split, as Matt Bowen noted in his article for Bleacher Report, is that “the defense always has to be alert to the reverse or “ghost action” (fake reverse).”From 2017-2018, Jackson aligned as an outside receiver on 81% of his routes. But as I’ve noted above, not all outside alignments are created equally. Breaking down where Jackson’s explosive plays (20+ yards) were created in that same time frame, the stats present a much different picture.Plus Split: 6 receptions for 191 yardsNumbers Split: 5 receptions for 175 yardsNasty Split: 8 receptions for 261 yardsSlot Alignment: 4 receptions for 129 yardsSo if Jackson ran 81% of his routes as an “outside receiver”, it’s notable that only 26% of his explosive plays came from a plus split. Compare that with a traditional “X” like Alshon Jeffery, who compared to Jackson has over double of his big plays come from out wide (58%). As a side bar, this adds to the case that Jackson should receive more work in the slot.But we want the Eagles to be a heavy 12 personnel team, and we want them to utilize Zach Ertz in the slot in those sets, so let’s focus on the outside reps for Jackson. How can the Eagles keep him on the outside and still allow him to work from reduced splits?The reasons in favor of running more condensed sets are numerous. They often dictate coverage deployments, forcing teams into more zone match or banjo coverages. Unlike Nick Foles, who thrives against man coverage, Carson Wentz has had more success against zone. So already you’re helping your quarterback by demanding a coverage type that lends itself to his strengths.Playing zone against condensed sets is preferred due to the high likelihood of pick/rub routes and it also makes life easier for linebackers who can read step at the snap and then work to their responsibility. Teams can take advantage of that read step with play-action concepts, but that’s a novel for another day.Playing pure man against these sets are suicide, but if you add “banjo” or switch coverages that react to the releases of the receivers Malcolm Jenkins Jerseys 2019 , it can be done. Still, that adds stress on a defense due to the communication and cooperation involved. If a switch goes wrong post-snap, it can lead to disastrous results. The New Orleans Saints are particularly advanced at attacking banjo coverages, as demonstrated by one of my favorite red zone concepts from 2018.What these sets also do is they often provide off coverage. Jackson is no slouch at beating press, but given the choice I’d rather have him attacking a player giving him a healthy cushion rather than not. Granted, Jackson is likely to receive a cushion anyway as he consistently receives the most room from defenders per Next Gen Stats. That type of distance at the snap can create opportunities for curls from plus splits and a bevy of routes from reduced splits.For example, this “blaze out”, which threatens a post before breaking off to the outside, would not be possible from a plus split.Along with all the other benefits, there’s also the possibility that bringing Jackson in will get him matched up with a safety. Not only will that safety have to read the action in front of him, but he’ll then have to turn and run with one of the fastest players in the league. Any misstep or hesitation from said safety leads to an easy six, as demonstrated in the video below.The concept of condensed sets isn’t new to the NFL, you can thank Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams for that. Dominique Foxworth pointed this out in the lead up to the Super Bowl.There are downsides for the Eagles when it comes to compacting the offense. It modifies the run game and also brings more defenders in and around the box, which could negatively effect or limit their RPO menu. I’m also not arguing that the Eagles become the Rams by relying on those sets to such a high degree. I’m simply saying that for the Eagles to fully exploit Jackson’s skill set and dynamic playmaking ability, they should consider getting a little nasty with him. LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles already knew Nick Foles could do it.After all, it was only last December when the veteran quarterback replaced an injured Carson Wentz and upset the Los Angeles Rams at the Coliseum. Less than two months after that breakthrough game, he was an improbable Super Bowl MVP.One season later in the same arena, Foles went back into Wentz’s spot under center after three months without game action.Foles promptly recaptured the magic Black Zach Ertz Jerseys , passing for 270 yards and confidently leading the Eagles to a 30-23 win over the Rams on Sunday night with plenty of help from his defense and his playmakers.Foles’ encore might not end in the Super Bowl again. It might not even include the playoffs. But after guiding Philadelphia to another win with a grace and poise belying his inactivity, the Eagles are thrilled to have him back in the game.“It’s been really emotional,” said Foles, who went 24 of 31 with one interception. “You hate for your teammate to get hurt. I feel really bad for Carson. … What you’ve done in the past, what I’ve done in the past, it doesn’t matter when you step on that field. It’s a new day. So I was dealing with the emotions, but prepping as hard as I could, and then realizing I’m not alone. I have great teammates out there. All I have to do is spread the ball around, lean on them, stay in the moment, and we were able to do that tonight. Today was a huge win for us.”Wendell Smallwood rushed for two touchdowns and rookie Josh Adams ran for another score as the Eagles (7-7) kept their playoff hopes quite viable with a gritty victory over the Rams (11-3), who lost consecutive regular-season games for the first time in coach Sean McVay’s tenure.Foles hadn’t played since Week 2, but Wentz is out with a back injury that could sideline him for the rest of the season. Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson declined to say whether Foles would start next week against Houston, but Foles’ teammates know what they’ve got after he slipped right back into his old role in a simplified offensive game plan.“That’s a guy with true character,” Smallwood said of Foles. “We’re just comfortable with him back there. We don’t feel like anything has fallen off. We know he’s going to step up there and do the job. We rode that guy and we stuck with him (last year), and he went out and played for us tonight.”The Eagles still trail NFC East leader Dallas (8-6) and sit even with Washington (7-7), so they will need help to get back into the postseason, most likely from Carolina and Minnesota stumbling down the stretch. But they’ll get an enormous boost from becoming the first team to beat the Rams twice under McVay.“It’s very satisfying Zach Ertz Jerseys 2019 ,” Pederson said. “Our backs have been against the wall for the last few weeks. Hopefully this gives us momentum for the rest of the season. Our goals are still in front of us.”The Eagles scored 17 consecutive points in the third quarter and then survived the Rams’ late rally. After Philadelphia’s Jake Elliott missed a field goal with 1:08 left, Jared Goff got the Rams to the Philadelphia 18 with 4 seconds to play — but he couldn’t connect with Josh Reynolds on a pass to the goal line as time expired.Goff passed for 339 yards with two interceptions in the Rams’ first loss at the Coliseum in seven games this season.Todd Gurley rushed for two touchdowns — giving him an NFL-best 21 TDs this season — while catching 10 passes for 76 yards. But the superstar running back also accepted the blame for failing to get out of bounds on a catch inside the final 20 seconds, depriving the Rams of likely two additional shots at the end zone.“We have to be able to figure this out and fast,” McVay said. “We are doing things that are uncharacteristic of us. Guys are making decisions and mistakes we typically haven’t seen.”The Rams already have won the NFC West title, and they still control their destiny for a first-round playoff bye with Chicago (10-4) right behind them. But Los Angeles also has produced three straight pedestrian performances since that epic 54-51 Monday night win over Kansas City last month and an ensuing bye week.“It’s good to go through some adversity at some point,” said Goff, who hasn’t thrown a TD pass since the first half at Detroit. “Going through it now, and in the position we are in with the playoffs, we (still) have to be urgent about getting these things fixed. These things are very fixable.”BIG TARGETSFoles repeatedly connected with Alshon Jeffery, who had eight catches for 160 yards in the third-biggest game of his career. Zach Ertz had three receptions to become the fourth tight end in NFL history with 100 catches in a season.INJURIESEagles: DT Fletcher Cox went to the locker room on a cart during the first half with a hip injury, but returned to the field before halftime.Rams: Gurley missed several snaps in the second half with a knee injury, but returned.UP NEXTEagles: Host the Houston Texans on Sunday, Dec. 23. Houston can wrap up the AFC South with a victory.Rams: Visit the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, Dec. 23. LA shut out the Cardinals at the Coliseum in September.
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