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Mike Groh talks Eagles’ run game improvement and offensive line/tight end contributions

Plus, the OC discusses preparations for the Jets.

The Eagles are back to work on Monday and are looking ahead to prepare for their Week 5 contest against the Jets. Offensive coordinator Mike Groh spoke to the media and talked a bit about the communication among the offense and how that helped the run game last week against the Packers. He also talked about Miles Sanders’ improvements and how big of a contributor Dallas Goedert is to the run game.

Here’s what the OC had to say:

On the offense’s cohesiveness

After the game, Brandon Brooks mentioned that the offensive line and running backs had been communicating more throughout the week to get on the same page. Groh was asked what he saw in that regard leading up to Thursday night’s game.

The OC mentioned that having a walk-thru practice on a short week instead allowed players to talk through a lot of plays and how they would do things. They also get a lot more reps in a walk-thru setting because they don’t have to deal with the wear and tear on the guys.

“I thought the communication was excellent across the board throughout the entire week. And, we knew going into it that the pressure package they presented, the different fronts that these guys presented to us, was going to be a real challenge and the guys took on the challenge head on.”

He went on to credit the positional coaches for getting players prepared, particularly for these pressures and protecting the quarterback.

On Miles Sanders big runs

“We obviously have a lot of confidence in Miles. It was great to see him have a productive game like he did. He got us a spark there on the kick-off return, changed the field position, really flipped the field for us, gave us a short field. We were able to turn that into a touchdown.

He did a really good job of, and I think he learned coming out of the Atlanta game, can’t break everything outside, and the last two weeks I think you’ve seen him adjust to that and life in the NFL and the speed of the game, stick his foot in the ground and get his shoulders going toward the goal line.

He’s made some great runs, he’s made some runs where he’s had to make make someone miss in the hole and gotten extra yards. And then, when the holes there and it’s blocked efficiently, you see his burst through the hole. So, I think he continues to get better week-to-week.”

On the running back room

Groh said that you have to give both Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders a lot of credit for improving their receiving game. He said they both knew that part of their game was an area they could improve, and they’ve worked really hard to do that.

The OC said they know that they’re weapons in the passing game and will be utilized out in space or if they get a matchup that they like. Plus, Groh mentioned that it’s important for opposing defenses to know that all five guys out there can pose a threat as a receiver, and not just be limited to the run game.

Later on, he was asked about handling the running back rotation and whether it takes awhile to find that rhythm. Groh said that they’ve had success with the rotation and Duce Staley does a great job managing that, and the players understand that it’s a committee approach.

He emphasized that Sanders and Howard did a great job on Thursday, and Darren Sproles is ready whenever his number is called and has been productive when they’ve put him in the game. They feel confident in all three of those guys and they’ll continue to manage that rotation.

On Dallas Goedert

“We’e talked about how strong Dallas is at the point of attack. He did a great job again both blocking at the point attack and carrying out his blocks down the field, really finishing. He’s tenacious and strong. He’s got strong hands and when he can gets his hands on you, he plays with balance and a base, and can really move people.”

On offensive scheme

Groh was asked about the use of RPO during the Packers game and how it was used more than the other games this season. The OC said that they have used some RPO in each of the first three games, but using it more against Green Bay was opponent-specific.

He went on to explain that it is a bit more game-planning specific and also the rhythm that they get into on offense. They called it a couple of times because it popped good the first time and so they wanted to get right back into it.

Regarding Carson Wentz not putting up a ton of passing yards, Groh said that the quarterback has done a great job all season of leading the team. He explained that Wentz did a great job on Thursday, on the road in a tough environment, and was efficient on third down and in the redzone.

Aside from Wentz, Groh explained that their success on third down is also a credit to players being where they’re supposed to be which helps from a dependability standpoint and allows Wentz to find guys. He said there is still room for improvement, but limiting 3rd and long and being more efficient on 1st and 2nd downs is a winning formula.

On facing the Jets

“Gregg Williams, number one, does a great job. He kind of comes at you, a little bit like Green Bay — comes at you with some guys from different angles and the way that they play their coverages is a little bit unique. I’ve got experience practicing against Gregg, and we know that it’ll be a heck of a challenge for us.”

They have an extra couple days to prepare, but the Jets are coming off a bye week, so there isn’t much of a leg up in that regard. Groh went on to say that the Jets have a lot of talent up front, and obviously Jamal Adams stands out in the secondary.

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