Film breakdown: Pat Shurmur brought the Eagles’ route concepts with him to Cleveland, and he’ll probably bring them right back to Philly

I was watching some Browns film today, and noticed a familiar play that the Eagles had incredible success with a few years ago. The basic concept is to put pressure on the safety in a 2-deep defense, preferably zone. Here’s the basic route design:

photo (4)

The offense lines up with twin receivers to one side, and a 2-TE set to the other. The outside TE will run a 10-15 yard stop route, with the hope that the safety on his side will bite up and try to take that away. Meanwhile the slot receiver on the other side will run a deep post, which will get him over the top of that safety and into the clear if the safety is too aggressive in trying to jump the TE’s route.

The Browns ran it in the 1st Quarter against the Giants last year. As you can see, they are in the same formation that I drew up above. The TE will run a 15 yard stop, with the slot receiver running a deep post. This will put pressure on safety Stevie Brown (circled in blue):

Browns 1

As the Browns’ routes progress, you can see that Stevie Brown is locked in on the TE as he backpedals:

Browns 2

When the TE makes his cut on the stop route, Brown tries to jump the route. Unfortunately, that leaves poor Chase Blackburn to try to handle covering Josh Gordon down the seam:

Browns 3

By the time Brown realizes he has been had, he’s 20 yards away from the play, which is in his zone:

Browns 4

Chase Blackburn has no chance keeping up with Josh Gordon. The throw is on the money, and Gordon walks in for the easy TD:

Browns 5

It’s the exact same concept the Eagles ran a ton of back in 2009. Here’s that look against the Saints in Week 2 of 2009. Here the Eagles will try to put pressure on safety Roman Harper (not pictured):

Eagles 1

As the Eagles’ routes progress, Harper (circled in blue) is watching TE Alex Smith:

Eagles 2

Smith makes his cut, and Harper drives on the route. Meanwhile, DeSean Jackson is running his post in behind Harper:

Eagles 3

Harper is much quicker to realize he has been had by the Eagles’ offense than Brown was in the first example, but it doesn’t matter. That one little false step in biting on the TE’s route has already cost him:

Eagles 4

Harper tries to recover, but DeSean gets WIIIIIIDE open, and runs in for the score:

Eagles 5

And a bunch of Eagles that are no longer on the team celebrate:

Eagles 6

Eagles fans are excited to see what Chip Kelly’s offense will look like this season. He will innovate (or at least try to) at the NFL level, but Shurmur’s experience with running Andy Reid’s offense will go a long way toward balancing out the fresh ideas with some looks that are tried and true.

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13 Comments

  1. Jeff says:

    The defense isn’t drawn up correctly. The teams play either nickel to this look (4-2) or stack the front 7 in a 4-3 (maybe an over concept if that’s more acceptable). This has it drawn up base 4-3, with a “corner” walked all the over to the other side of the play.

    Only reason i bring it up is that the play looks much different when you have a flat defender outside of the wing (or someone to contain the run haha) and as a coach it bugs the hell out of me seeing it draw up like this. Still same concept but, again, I’m just a trouble maker.

    1. Jeff says:

      haha incorrectly

      1. Jeff says:

        wow there needs to be a delete comment, or foot in mouth option.

    2. Yeah, I didn’t put much time into drawing the X’s and O’s. Literally drew it up and snapped a pic of it in less than a minute. They’re only there to show the route combo, and for aesthetic purposes. :)

  2. Tracer Bullet says:

    Is that Cooper running a cross behind Jackson? Seems like, even if the safety reads the slant, the cross should be open for an easy 15 yard gain.

    1. mjoedgaard says:

      I dont know who it is, but you are right and if the safety does not bite on the TE, he is wide open.

  3. [...] Jimmy Bama put together a post on Pat Shurmur and the passing game. [...]

  4. corn on the Kolb says:

    I remember posting something on BGN similar to the thought that Shurmur was a brilliant hire and a perfect compliment. I imagined he was the guy who would be drawing up the route concepts behind Kellys running attack and up tempo style.

    1. mjoedgaard says:

      Agree, thats the thing, there is the biggest mystery for me. What kinda of passing does he like, but with the Shurmur hire, I think we will see mostly WCO hi-lo concepts.

      1. deg0ey says:

        Couple those hi-lo concepts with Nick Foles’s awesomeness at selling the play action which will be set up by Chip Kelly’s running attack and we could really have something there. Let’s just hope Shurmur and Lazor can sort his footwork out enough that he can actually hit the big plays that will open up over the top.

  5. mjoedgaard says:

    I really never understood why we got away from that play.

    1. Goetz says:

      Because the play only works with a 2-deep look with the safeties not as deep as the marianas trench giving the skinny post a chance to get behind them.

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