A play is blown dead at the Eagles training camp and the usual bustle of bodies rushing to their coach on the sideline is no more. Instead the offense stays on the field and look over at their coach who is performing all manner of movements from flapping like an eagle to saying what seems to be 'I want an ice cream' in sign language.
This is but a small indication of what is happening on the field as Chip is instigating an overhaul for his WR corp, no longer are they simply running pre-determined routes. Instead they are now being asked to think for themselves and react to what they see on the defense as they run their routes, changing said route accordingly so they can make themselves open to the QB. The Eagles will be running Option Routes in 2013.
So here-in lies an issue, in the past a QB here would simply pass to a 'spot' that he knew his Receiver was running too and have enough faith in his colleague to think that he would make it before an opposing defender did. Whilst the option routes give the offense a distinct advantage over the defense if the WR's and QB aren't reading of the same hymn sheet then it will simply revert to chaos and those dasterdley turnovers.
The thing you have to remember with an option route is that if a WR reads something on a defense then the QB needs to mirror that read. The Receiver will run to one of his other routes or another option and hope that the QB has assessed the defence well enough to pass into the area that he is heading too.
How does this affect team selection, a great deal in essence whilst Vick doesn't look like he's done a great deal of option routes in his career at the same time he should be able to read defense's better than the other QB's on our roster (no doubt another reason he stayed in Philly). Foles did play some read option in college and perhaps has the greatest knowledge of it with Matt lacking any real experience of it at USC. On the flip side I don't think our Receivers have done much of option routes, Jackson himself revealed that he only ever ran routes as was written in the playbook.
Whilst I am excited to see how this translates on the field I am also a little apprehensive. If all cylinders fire ok and the QB and WR are in perfect sync no defense will be able to stop us through the air, but these are presumptuous passes don't forget. The WR is going to presume that the QB will know where he's going no matter what route he takes, the QB is going to presume the WR will run the route he's passing too. If the WR reads a DB pressing outside and the QB thinks said DB is backing-off and leaning inside then it's only ever going to end in an incompletion or worse still INT's. Then again if it works, wow we're going to see some big YAC TD's.