On the deciding play in the Super Bowl, defensive end Brandon Graham lined up between the center and the guard, beat the guard, and won the game for his team.
A defensive END lined up on the inside. One of the Eagles’ best outside rushers fooled the Patriots by lining up inside. Fooled them to perfection.
Now compare that to the way Adam Gase and Matt Burke utilize our best pass rusher, Cameron Wake. Half the time, they have him on the bench, which is a huge mistake to begin with. When he does play, he lines up in essentially the same exact spot every single game, every single play. Easy to know where he’ll be, so it’s easy to game plan against him.
When Gase/Burke do use some trickery involving Wake, they “trick” the defense by having Wake drop back into coverage. It never works. We love Cam Wake, but he can’t cover WRs like Gase asks him to do.
The Eagles are champions in part because they do things differently to create advantages. Imagine moving a player around. Imagine giving the QB an option to throw it or hand it off (rather than the Gase offense, which demands the QB start off in the shotgun and then fade back 7 more steps. No options allowed.) Imagine having Jay Ajayi in a Dolphin uniform to hand off to…oh wait, we had that until Gase decided otherwise.
I was criticizing the Eagles defense all night long for not being able to stop anything. NE didn’t punt at all the entire game. Not one forced punt! But when it mattered most, they moved their defense around, and it paid off massively. If only Adam Gase learned that you’re allowed to shift players around. Instead of cementing them to the same spot every single play, where we never fool anyone.