The Eagles’ 2nd TE and 4th WR

 Posted by at 1:16 pm
Jul 172010

July 17

On the offensive side of the ball, the Eagles (barring injuries) are set at their starting skill positions.

When camp opens in 10 days, the competition at running back, wide receiver and tight end will be about depth and roster spots.

For awhile, I’ve been warning you to not get too carried away about the competition for the fourth wide receiver position (likely between Hank Baskett and Riley Cooper) – mostly because the Eagles don’t put four receivers on the field at the same time over the course of a game.

Well, I stand somewhat corrected.

The 2010 Football Outsiders Almanac found that the Eagles went with four receivers on 13 percent of their snaps in 2009. Is that a huge number? No. But it’s higher than I expected, and ranked third in the league.

As I mentioned during OTAs, I think that number will likely go down in 2010. Again, assuming everyone stays healthy, the Eagles will have to get creative in finding ways to get guys like Cornelius Ingram and Mike Bell on the field. That could mean lining running backs and tight ends outside or in the slot, instead of a fourth wide receiver.

Speaking of tight ends, the Eagles went with 2-TE formations on 20 percent of their snaps in 2010. That number ranked third-to-last in the NFL. Remember Alex Smith? He was the second tight end in those situations. This year, it’ll be Ingram or rookie Clay Harbor joining Brent Celek.

A few more numbers to pass along:

* The Eagles ranked 11th in the league in running play action on 20 percent of their snaps. I thought that number would be higher. Have the Eagles ever called a pass play where they didn’t run play action?

* The Eagles had 22 passes tipped at the line of scrimmage on offense, the highest number in the league. They also tipped the most balls (20) at the line of scrimmage on defense. In case you’re wondering, Kevin Kolb is listed at 6-3; Donovan McNabb 6-2. Although there’s more to it than just height obviously.

As Twitter follower @thinktwice pointed out, the Eagles were tied for 10th in the league in pass attempts. The defense faced 580 attempts. Only three teams saw more.

* The Eagles ranked third in the league in number of running back screens.

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