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Eagles ranked third in RPO usage in 2018

The QB Scho Show #26!

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Philadelphia Eagles Minicamp Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Did Julius Caesar have the first ever burner account? The Battle of Alesia, because why not? Where’s the love for RPOs? How much lipstick does Matt Nagy need for his pig? Is Hawaii’s Cole McDonald not just QB1, but the only QB? Those are just some of the questions explored in The QB Scho Show #26 with Mark Schofield!

To dial in on the topic most related to the Philadelphia Eagles, let’s focus on the RPO (or “run-pass option”, you’re welcome, signed Cris Collinsworth). I asked Schofield where the love went just a year removed of being the belle of the ball:

“What happened to the love for the run-pass option? In 2017 and into the offseason, it was all the rage. Color commentators mansplained what the letters “RPO” meant hundreds of times a game. Film dives studied its philosophy and origins. Parents named their children “Conflict Defender”..

Google “Philadelphia Eagles RPO” and I guarantee most of the results are a year old or more. It’s not as if the concepts suddenly stopped working. This isn’t a story akin to the wildcat or to a lesser extend the read-option. Perhaps the new car smell has dissipated, but teams are still using it often and effectively.

Count the Eagles as one of those teams still utilizing the RPO. Pro Football Focus has the Eagles usage frequency ranking eight, second, and third from 2016-2018. Furthermore, they’ve noted that Andy Reid has had a big influence on the matter. Saying quote:

‘Reid is one of the league’s biggest RPO advocates, and he has sold his former offensive assistants on the play as well. Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson served on Reid’s staff in Kansas City from 2013 to 2015, and when he left the Chiefs for Philly in 2016, he took Reid’s beloved play with him…

Succeeding Pederson in Kansas City as Offensive Coordinator was Matt Nagy, but after serving two seasons has Reid’s right-hand man, Nagy left to become the head coach of the Chicago Bears. Now with one season of head coaching experience under his belt, it’s quite obvious Nagy has taken some of Reid’s philosophy with him to the Windy City, as Chicago’s RPO usage skyrocketed from 2.7% in 2017 (26th) to 19.2% in 2018 (second).’ End quote.

That’s three playoff coaches heavily leaning on the concepts.”

Another interesting nugget that shows up in PFF’s data is that the Bears, Eagles, and Chiefs all faced a low number of RPOs on defense. Their defenses are tasked with trying to crack the code, so it makes sense that they’d better at defending it too, as Anthony Treash points out:

“Kansas City faced the lowest rate of RPOs in the NFL (4.6%), Philadelphia faced them at the second-lowest rate (5.2%) and Chicago faced them at the seventh-lowest rate (6.7%). Additionally, both Chicago and Philadelphia ranked in the top three among all NFL defenses in RPO defense. Chicago allowed just 2.7 yards per RPO (second) and Philadelphia wasn’t too far behind at 2.8 yards per RPO (third). In other words, the NFL knows better than to try and outscheme the RPO masterminds.”

You can hear more on RPOs and the other topics mentioned at the top by listening to The QB Scho Show #26! Listen on the media player below or click here if the player doesn’t load. New to podcasts? Check out our guide on how to listen to BGN! FLY EAGLES FLY!

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