The Eagles offense finally got off to a quick start in Week 13 against Washington and Mike Groh spoke to the media on Wednesday about the reason for their recent success — to which he credits a lot to the offensive line — and what they are on the look out for against Dallas on Sunday.
Here’s what the offensive coordinator had to say:
On recent offensive success
Groh opened by talking about the overall offense, and he noted that there’s a level of comfort they have right now and have gotten into a groove. He credits that to the offensive line and having success with the run game, which has opened up some others things for the offense.
He was also asked about their third down efficiency the past few weeks, and Groh noted that like other questions, this one doesn’t just have one answer. He went on to say that the guys have done a good job getting themselves open and protecting Carson Wentz, whose been throwing the ball accurately, so it’s a combination of things.
Groh continued to say that they were able to stay on the field against Washington, and were able to sustain drives and had a lot more production on Monday night as a result.
The OC was also asked about the success of Carson Wentz on the run, and Groh noted that some of those plays were by design, but others were just Carson being Carson.
Groh then pointed out that timing is critical when making the screen plays work, and pointed out Corey Clement as someone who did a great job with the screens and after the catch against Washington. He went on to say that the Eagles are getting good mileage out of screens currently, and that head coach Doug Pederson has a good sense of timing to call those plays as well.
On the offensive line
Groh was asked about Jason Kelce, who the OC called a “special center, unique from an athletic standpoint”. He went on to say that being able to get on the perimeter is a lot of fun for the lineman, and that the accolades he received after that play and after the game were deserved.
He pointed out that the Eagles make it known how much they appreciate him, and that he’s a special guy and special leader, as well as a great communicator.
Groh couldn’t point out one reason for the offensive line playing better these past two weeks, but said they are a group who have played together for a long time and are finally getting into a groove.
In the run game particularly, Groh said that the line has been doing a good job in creating lanes, and if the lane isn’t there, he said the running backs have been doing their job and finding a lane of their own. The OC also pointed out Nelson Agholor did a good job at the point of attack on Monday to create some of those opportunities as well.
He continued to say that overall as a group they understand the run game plan and are blocking it efficiently.
On Golden Tate getting involved
Groh was asked about the unscripted play by Carson Wentz who motioned to Golden Tate to extend up the sideline, and said that isn’t something you can practice and that it was just two talented players making something work.
He went on to say that every day that Tate is in the building, he and everyone gets a little more comfortable, and that’s only natural. Groh went on to say that Tate has done a really good job since getting to Philadelphia, and that the receiver is a really good football player and makes the team better.
On Dallas’ defense
He was asked about the Cowboys new defensive coaching staff and scheme, and likened it to single-high defenses like Seattle and Atlanta. Groh said that you definitely some of those similar elements when you play teams whose coaches come from that Pete Carroll tree — adding the Chargers and 49ers to that list too.
Building on his earlier answer about the success they’ve had with screen passes, Groh said that the team does have a lot of respect for the Cowboy’s linebacker group, and that they’ll need to come up with some creative way to keep certain plays alive and in the gameplan.
Groh was asked what stands out to him about what Dallas does defensively, and he noted the front four put a lot of pressure on the quarterback, they’ve got really good pass rushers, and this unit flies around and run to the ball. He went on to say that they are a really good tackling unit and are doing well in coverage, and are doing a lot of man coverage.
The OC said the Cowboys defense is playing really confident right now, and have good players and a lot of team speed.
Groh was also asked about Amari Cooper specifically, as the two go way back, and the OC said that Cooper has unique speed and quickness in acceleration for the position.