There’s at least one version of the Eagles quarterback sneaker that we’ve never seen in 2022.
And it included Fletcher Cox.
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni hinted to the Combine that a version of the play starring Cox existed. The next day, center Jason Kelce Sirianni could ask why the Eagles never ran it on the New Heights podcast.
“You know why? That’s a good question,” Sirianni said. “Because we did that with (Darius) Slay last year. We had a play. Why do you use a defender? Well, same reason Kansas City doing something where they’re circling around. It’s fun.
“So we had Slay in one last year and he had one where he did a few different things. We had him with us twice. But they go through adjustments and this and that, and sometimes it’s hard to predict when you will. And so I remember it was a hectic moment for us. Like: ‘Kill! Slay! Slay!’ And he came running in. You’re not ready to go in yet. They don’t stand there with the other wideouts that aren’t in it.
That QB sneak with Cox would have been the push variant…with Cox pushing Jalen Hurts. At this year’s combine, there was much talk in the NFL that the league might try to ban the rugby-like game.
But it’s not like every team has been as successful at this game as the Eagles, who had really good offensive line play, a strong quarterback like Hurts, and a team that really had the engineering behind them. It would have been fun to bring Cox into play as a pusher.
“I remember the first time we repeated it,” Kelce said. “He shoved Jalen before he even had the ball. He was so excited to do it.”
Sirianni shot back, “That’s another reason (we didn’t elaborate).”
Kelce then marveled at Cox’s grip strength, saying Cox was one of only two players he’d noticed a big difference in grip strength in the NFL. The other was former Packers Pro Bowler Clay Matthews.
Sirianni said the Cox version of the QB sneak had been on their minds throughout the regular season, but they never played it and then it wasn’t a priority in the playoffs. But Cox would always make sure it was in the game plan that week, according to Sirianni.
“I think I just lied to him at the Super Bowl,” Sirianni joked. “‘Yes, it’s in there. it’s in We are well.’”
The Eagles were great at QB sneakers last season, but they were prouder of the creases they ran off. And now that Cox is back for the 2023 season, don’t rule out this version of the sneak just yet.
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