ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski has some concerns about Eagles HC Chip Kelly's offense and QB Nick Foles heading into 2014. For one, the quarterback and the scheme will not sneak up on anyone this year.
"I will guarantee you this: every pass that he threw last year was studied and watched by 30 personnel guys with the three teams in this division.They studied Nick Foles to every possible nuance: Where is his foot when he is coming out from under center? Does his heel come up a split second before the snap? Does he flick his hand to get into position before the ball is snapped? They will study every nuance of his game on coaches tape, on television to hear his voice inflection, to see where he turns. Is the ball snapped when his head is looking downfield rather than left to right? All these things, they will have broken his game down. Nick has to make that adjustment. Now that teams have adjusted to him, does he adjust to what they do?
"It's the same thing with the system: the familiarity with the system for the Eagles is great but now all the teams are studying that system. What does Chip do? Does he take this offense to the next level?
Jaws believes Kelly only utilized about half of his playbook last year, and can use more now that the players and assistants are better versed in the scheme.
With DeSean Jackson off the roster, the former Eagles signal-caller believes that the style of attack will be altered.
"It was a vertical passing game. It was an explosive offense, big plays down the field...I think what [Kelly's] going to do instead of the vertical passing game, which was so effective last year, I think he tweaks it a little bit. I think it's going to be more of a horizontal game, sideline to sideline. Spread it that 160 feet on sideline to the other. Work in between the linebackers, maybe a safety will roll down, there's space in there. The offense might not be as explosive but it can be more efficient with that style of offense."
Both concerns (opponents studying the system and the loss of D-Jax) are valid, but Kelly seems ahead of the game scheme-wise, and the offense will compensate for the loss of Jackson by leaning on other playmakers. Darren Sproles, Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff are new arrivals, and the emergence of Zach Ertz should not be overlooked. We believe that Foles has top 5 potential in 2014.