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Posted September 12, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Keeler: Eagles are fun to watch

tommy-keeler.jpg
Tommy Keeler

There was a lot of hype surrounding the Washington Redskins game with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night.

Like many around here, I went into the game interested in seeing how RGIII would perform (He looked OK, after a rusty start). However, by the time the game was over the new Eagles' offense had my full attention.

The real question I was left to ponder was: can the Chip Kelly hurry-up offense work in the NFL? Certainly it did against the Redskins on Monday night.

It's not like we haven't all seen this before. Every team at every level has a two-minute drill, in which they pick up the pace at the end of a half to try and score quickly.

The New England Patriots have used it at times during games, and Peyton Manning has always been known for his no-huddle style.

What makes what the Eagles are trying to do a little different is that they are hoping to use it throughout an entire games, it's a little faster pace and they have a lot of speed at all the vital positions.

Kelly was very successful with the offense at the University of Oregon. Now he's brought it to the NFL.

I've often wondered why teams don't use the up-tempo offense more in the NFL, since most teams have success with it in the two-minute offense. I've often wondered if it would work, and I guess we're all about to find out soon enough.

The big advantages of the up-tempo offense is keeping the defense on the field without allowing them to substitute and trying to wear them down. Of course, that means whatever team uses it, must also be in great shape.

It also allows you to run more plays on offense. That's the main reason James Madison University switched to it this season.

In college football, the up-tempo offenses are becoming more and more normal. The Dukes have looked really good on offense so far and ran 94 plays against Akron on Saturday. Of course, they lost the game 35-33.

And it seems that most teams that have used it have also given up a lot of points, and opposing teams also run a lot of plays. I think this could be a big problem for the Eagles, and just one of the reasons I'm skeptical about how long this will work in the NFL.

The NFL is very different from college football. There's no doubt that early on the Eagles will have success with it, but you just know that the Bill Belichicks of this world will figure out a way to defend it.

I don't think there's an offense out there that can't be defended. I also think you have to have the right kind of players to make it work. The Eagles have the right pieces with quarterback Michael Vick, running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

I don't think we'll see other teams trying to use this offense. However, the longer the Eagles have success with it, the more teams might be tempted to give it a try.

No matter how long it lasts, it will certainly be fun for fans to watch. After all, we live in a fast-paced world. We want everything and we want it now.

I'm no exception. I like to talk fast and drive fast (and I've got the speeding tickets to prove it). So why not have my football at a fast pace, too?

I actually didn't mind the Eagles' new offense at all. It was entertaining, and isn't that why we like to watch the games in the first place?

There are always fads that come and go in the NFL. Last year we had the year of the running quarterbacks and the read-option offenses. This year it's the no-huddle, up-tempo offense that has our attention.

Whether it's a fad or here to stay, I think most everyone will enjoy watching the Eagles this season.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd


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