Eagles Coordinator Addresses Miles Sanders: ‘Don’t Really Know’

Shane Steichen

Getty Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen needs to get his playmakers more involved in the Philly offense.

It’s one thing to throw the ball more than you run it. That’s not the main issue hindering the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense. The team has been relying too much on RPOs over designed runs, another way the coaching staff has put the brakes on their Ferrari.

Miles Sanders – their Ferrari, in this case – had nine carries for 56 yards in Week 6, down from 11 rushes in Week 5 and 15 in Week 1. Head coach Nick Sirianni’s argument on not getting his feature back involved early in games has been that the Eagles have been trailing a lot this season. It’s a fair point, but doesn’t explain why Sanders only had one touch in the first half against Tampa Bay. When the Eagles finally started mounting a comeback late, it was on the strength of Sanders’ legs. He needs to eat.

But who is to blame? Sirianni or Jalen Hurts? Quarterback Jalen Hurts has the option to hand it off or throw a quick pass on those RPOs. One easy solution is to run a more traditional offense and call more designed runs for Sanders. They could start by putting Hurts under center instead of in the shotgun on almost every play.

Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen acknowledged the need to get Sanders “going” during his media availability on Tuesday, October 19, adding that sometimes the “naked eye” can’t tell.

“We popped some late in the game where he popped them, and those could have been called runs, they could have been RPOs,” Steichen said. “From the naked eye just looking at it, you don’t really know. Not trying to get too schemey with it, but Miles is a heck of a back and we’ve got to get him going.”

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Getting Quez Watkins, Other Playmakers Going

Sanders isn’t the only weapon the Eagles need to detonate moving forward. Quez Watkins has exploded in limited targets, 3.6 per game – and the speedy receiver needs to be a focal part of the offense. He ranks second on the team in receiving yards (311) and fifth in the entire NFL in yards-per-catch (19.4).

Steichen referred to a third-down conversion from Watkins against Carolina in Week 5. The completion went for 53 yards and put the Eagles in striking distance. They scored a touchdown on that drive and eventually won the game. More Watkins is necessary, per Steichen. Ditto for DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert.

“Quez has got big play ability,” the offensive coordinator said. “Obviously, DeVonta is a big-time player, Dallas is a big-time player, Miles is a big-time player. As much as we can get everyone involved, we want to do that.”

Replacing Zach Ertz at Tight End

Goedert will see increased snaps following Zach Ertz’s departure. He was already the starter there, but the snaps were being shared. Not anymore. Steichen confirmed that Goedert would have a much bigger role while singling out Jack Stoll, Tyree Jackson, Noah Togiai. It’s going to be a collective effort at tight end, with Goedert leading the way.

“I think Dallas will do a heck of a job,” Steichen said. “He’s explosive, he’s got really good hands, he’s strong, he’s powerful, he’s good in the run game. So, really excited about Dallas moving forward.”

Steichen also made sure to thank Ertz for his professionalism and leadership in their brief time together.

“I just want to wish Zach the best,” Steichen said. “Being around him the short time that I was during training camp and these first six weeks, he was an ultimate pro, did everything you wanted, studied the game, loved the game, worked hard and I wish him nothing but the best.”

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