Here are three takeaways from offensive coordinator Mike Groh’s chat with reporters on Tuesday afternoon.
Starting too slow
Here’s a look at the Eagles’ scoring by quarter this season:
One of those things is not like the other. The Eagles’ slow starts this year have absolutely killed them. Sure, they were on a crazy run of winning coin flips and deferring early in the season, but they haven’t made the most of their first-quarter opportunities and it’s just killed the entire team — offense and defense.
“Well, we've put a lot of energy and thought into it,” Groh said. “We know it's an area that we need to improve on. We've been able to do a lot better throughout the course of the game, and it's something that if it was one thing, it would be an easy fix. But it's a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. Kind of everybody has taken a share of that. We're pointing those things out that need to be corrected. Trust me when I say this, we're spending a lot of time trying to get it fixed.”
After nine games, there’s not a lot of confidence that they’ll be able to figure this out. Doug Pederson accepted responsibility for the first 15 scripted plays not working. The first play from scrimmage on Sunday asked Zach Ertz to block Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence 1-on-1.
Groh was asked if maybe the Eagles shouldn’t have a TE blocking “one of the best edge rushers” in the league.
“Something to consider, for sure,” Groh quipped.
Yeah. It is.
A Golden opportunity
The Eagles traded away a third-round pick for eight games of Golden Tate and then played him 18 snaps (29 percent) in his debut. Pederson said it was because the offense went with tempo and Tate’s plays were out of the huddle. That’s an explanation, but not a good one. It’s crazy Tate didn’t play more.
“We brought him here to play him a lot,” said Groh, who added that they’ll continue to build on Tate’s package of plays.
Groh wouldn’t say who will lose time because of Tate, but said it’ll probably depend on the play. The two most obvious candidates are Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor.
Either way, Howie Roseman traded for a guy who was supposed to help this year and then the coaching staff didn’t play him. Really, this is inexcusable.
Are YOU the problem?
The Eagles are scoring more 6.5 points fewer per game this season, so we’re all trying to figure out why. One reason floated more than a few time is the loss of offensive coordinator Frank Reich.
I asked Groh on Tuesday if the transition from Reich to him has gone as smoothly as expected and if it has negatively affected the offense.
“Well, sitting here with the record that we have, we're not pleased with where we stand, and we have aspirations to compete for the playoffs. I think that we're still in the playoff hunt, and we can do that. We've talked about some of the things that need to improve to give ourselves the best chance to do that.”
OK, so he clearly wanted no part of this question and I can’t say I blame him. It’s really hard to know how much swapping Reich for Groh has affected the offense. It’s really hard to gauge the value of an OC, especially when that role isn’t as a play- caller. But I think it’s a fair question. And I wonder how much it has hurt the Eagles this year.
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