August 29 Philadelphia Inquirer
“In a league of copycats, the Eagles are bound to see blitz-heavy defensive schemes after the Chiefs confounded Kevin Kolb.
Kansas City sent wave after wave at the first-year starting quarterback, and whether it was his, the offensive line’s or the running back’s inability to pick up the blitz, Kolb got caught in the undertow.
In three quarters, he was sacked four times, three by a blitzing linebacker.
“They brought a few extra things there – and a couple of them were me, and a couple of them were, you know, we could have gotten [them],” Kolb said Friday night after the Eagles’ shoddy 20-17 preseason victory over the Chiefs. “But there were some that I missed and, like always, it starts with [the quarterback].”
On two of the sacks, an unmarked linebacker got to Kolb from his throwing side as he was looking left to pass. A third-quarter sack occurred when fullback Leonard Weaver failed to block DeMorrio Williams.
Eagles coach Andy Reid put some of the blame on the running backs, but Weaver’s miss was that group’s only major mistake. Mike Bell, who never really has been asked to stay in and block before, picked up a blitz in the second quarter.
It’s an area of concern now that Brian Westbrook, one of the game’s best blocking tailbacks, is no longer an Eagle, and his replacement, LeSean McCoy, is still learning.
One of the Chiefs’ last blitzes forced Kolb to step up in the pocket, where he threw an ill-advised pass that was intercepted. Reid thought the experience was a good opportunity for his offense to work against a 3-4 defense.
The Eagles will face a similar scheme Thursday against the New York Jets in the preseason finale and a week later against Green Bay in the regular-season opener.
Reid had preached patience since early in camp when the offense was getting dominated by the defense. The excuse then was one you often hear during training camp: The defense is always ahead of the offense.
But after six quarters of play in three preseason games in which the starters netted just one touchdown and six field goals, there is ample reason for concern.
“We got time to get it right,” receiver Jason Avant said. “That’s the beautiful thing. These games don’t count toward the regular season.”
True, but the problems have recurred:
The Eagles have just one touchdown from inside the red zone – an 18-yard scurry from McCoy after he took a hand-off from Michael Vick in the Chiefs game. There have been dropped passes, penalties, questionable play-calling, and Kolb’s ineffectiveness inside the 20.”
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