Like any other year, Andy Reid will enter the season on the proverbial “hot seat.” And like any other year, he’ll get extra scrutiny for what happens on offense.
In 2010, it was a quarterback carousel between Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick. Last season, it was the blown fourth-quarter leads.
So whatever story lines write themselves in 2012, it will definitely help Reid if these five players make a positive impact.
Not all offensive linemen fit Howard Mudd’s attack-style scheme, let alone can they stand in middle of it all.
Although Jason Kelce carried the label of being a sixth-round pick, he finished the 2011 season as the team’s most valuable rookie and proved to be more reliable than his first-round line-mate Danny Watkins.
As the young center enters his second season, not only will he be expected to anchor the offensive line of the most mobile quarterback in the league, but is also going to be burdened with the responsibility of making line-calls as well. This means Kelce will be calling out the necessary pre-snap adjustments at the line of scrimmage, which should allow Michael Vick to focus on reading the defense instead of guessing what it’s going to do.
This explosive big-play wideout is a bit difficult to evaluate. Sometimes he’ll wow you with lightning speed, but then frustrate you with a dropped pass or unnecessary penalty.
Regardless of whether or not you get the good in DeSean Jackson, it’s undeniable how he influences each game. Since there’s no home-run threat quite like him in the NFL, defenses have been known to drop their safeties 20 yards in coverage just to keep “Jaccpot” in front of them.
This opens up the middle of the field for Brent Celek and keeps an extra defender away from the box for LeSean McCoy. It also ensures Jeremy Maclin of single coverage on the other side of the field.
So even if D-Jax seems to be having an unproductive game, don’t forget that very few can influence it the way does.
Although he was learning a new blocking scheme and adjusting to a move from left guard to right tackle, Todd Herremans gave up only one blindside sack in 2011. His ability to play multiple positions along the offensive line makes him invaluable to the Philadelphia Eagles and Howard Mudd’s scheme.
The Eagles were fortunate in 2011, where they dodged serious injury to the offensive line. Obviously, the loss of All Pro left tackle Jason Peters proves how quickly things can change.
Without their best lineman, Herremans will be expected to provide veteran leadership for a unit that’s spending only their second season together. However, if Herremans is lost for an extended period of time, expect the entire offense to sputter.
If the Philadelphia Eagles think they can replace LeSean McCoy’s 1,624 yards from scrimmage and 20 total touchdowns with another running back on their current roster, they’re sadly mistaken.
There’s not anyone who can run, catch and pass protect quite like “Shady” can.
McCoy’s innate ability to locate unoccupied space amidst a heap of defenders is what sets him apart as the most dangerous ball-carrier in the NFL. The 23-year-old is a dynamo in the open-field and is a threat to score every time he reaches the second level of the defense.
In an effort to limit his pounding, Andy Reid will be looking to limit the number of touches his fourth-year running back will receive.
Whether or not this works remains to be seen, but if it fails, you can expect a change in the offensive game plan.
Michael Vick remains as the premier dual-threat quarterback in the league and is the unquestioned captain of the huddle.
If it weren’t for the No.1 all-time leader in rushing yards for a quarterback, the Philadelphia Eagles offense would lose a lot of its’ luster.
Assuming that the Eagles cut Trent Edwards before Week 1, the two signal-callers behind Vick on the depth chart will be third-year pro Mike Kafka and rookie Nick Foles, who combined, have a total of no NFL starting experience. If Philadelphia is looking to rebound from their disappointing 2011 season, they will need Vick to remain healthy.
Although the 11-year pro has finished a set of 16 games once only in his career, he is more than aware of the necessary adjustments he needs to make for an extended playoff run.