Eagles’ offensive coordinator Shane Steichen spoke to reporters on Thursday and took a lot of responsibility for the struggles against the Saints last Sunday, and for the pick 6. He talked about not getting into a rhythm and how that also affected the lack of run game. Steichen also gave his thoughts on what it takes to be a successful play-caller in the league, and how much emphasis the Eagles put on the QB sneak.
Here’s what the OC had to say:
On the offensive performance against the Saints
“I just didn’t think I did a good enough job putting our guys in position with the calls. We got in some second-and-pass situations, got some sacks, and then you get in some third-and-long situations that we weren’t able to overcome there in the first half.”
Steichen also took responsibility for the pick 6 late in the game, saying that he probably should have called for a double move or something, but since he didn’t, Marshon Lattimore was able to jump the route and make the play.
The OC also admitted that they could have run the ball more. He said that he didn’t get into a rhythm calling the game early, and without many first downs, it was choppy.
“On the sidelines thinking about those things, like, hey, we have to get something going here. Something easy for the quarterback or a run or whatever it is or a quick pass. There are a few things, I tried to get a screen going to Dallas [Goedert]. They covered it. Then it was second and ten, and it was a sack, and then it was third and long.
It was just one of those days that we have got to move on from.”
As for Miles Sanders getting his fewest snaps of the season, Steichen pointed to not having many offensive snaps overall, and with the RB rotations, that’s just how it worked out. But, he emphasized that Sanders is their guy.
On play-calling duties
Steichen was asked what makes someone a good play-caller in the NFL, and the OC pointed to a feel, a rhythm of the game, and knowing an opponents tendencies. He mentioned being aggressive and attacking at all times, especially when you get the defense guessing.
He also talked about what part of play-calling he didn’t really appreciate until he was the one calling plays.
“I think it’s not always going to be perfect. I mean, what happened last week. In 2020 I might have had a game similar, but not as similar as this one. This one was probably the worst one for me personally that I’ve been a part of.
But bouncing back from those games that aren’t always going to be perfect, especially when you are struggling trying to find something to get it going and then getting out of that rut.
Then really just looking at yourself. Looking at yourself in the mirror and going back and saying what could I have done better as a play caller in those situations? Then go forward from there and make the corrections.”
On the QB sneak
Steichen explained that they have a third-down day every week and that’s when they go through the QB sneaks, and a lot are done in the walk-through periods. He noted that they set them up and do different formations, and that there’s a lot of detail that goes into them.
“Then once you get into a rhythm like we have been doing it, guys have a really good feel for it. The offensive line has a really good feel for it. Jalen [Hurts] has a good feel for it. The guys that are behind pushing know where to go, their stances, all those different things. Then protecting the edges on the outside are huge.”
The OC admitted that they spend a ton more time and attention on it in Philly compared to the other teams he’s coached for, pointing out that five is probably more than he’s been a part of in the last 10 years — and the Eagles are up to 30 this season.
“But, yeah, it’s been a successful play for us. Our guys are really good at operating the play.”
- Steichen said that the pre-snap penalties against the Saints were communication errors, and he took the blame for those. He noted, however, that they’ve had those issues in the past and cleaned them up, but they need to prevent them from creeping back up.
- The OC felt like Jack Driscoll did a good job in place of Lane Johnson, noting that he was firm in there at times and solid in the run game. They feel comfortable with him there and leaving Jordan Mailata on the left side.
- Steichen mentioned that Jalen Hurts looked good in the walk-through on Wednesday, and if he’s ready to play on Sunday, he will. He also noted that if Hurts does play, they’ll have a plan to protect his shoulder.