Written by anthonyrosania
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Monday, 26 July 2010

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Philadelphia Eagles' head coach Andy Reid has been jumping around like a rhino in a tutu all spring, telling anyone who'll listen that the team feels invigorated by the influx of new faces. 39 of them, in fact, with 13 being draft picks. And on an 80 man roster, that's nearly half.

Which means that this is not a team, in the "We are the Borg" sense. It's 80 guys who wear the same colors, and get their ankles taped up by the same guy.

It doesn't matter if you're the best athlete to ever strap a hard-plastic cup on your balls: To succeed, football players rely on knowing where their teammate will be, and what he is going to do, at least as much as executing on their own assignments.

Example: You're a CB in 4-3 defensive package, defending a 2 TE, 2 WR, singleback "Pro-Set" offense. CBs are man-to-man; MLB is QB-spy, safeties in a deep zone.

It's 3rd and 6 on your 49.

Your assignment is the Y receiver.

D-Coord just asked you to chuck your receiver at the line, to disallow a timing pass.

You look to your right and see your free safety parked between the hash marks, staring a hole into the RB's forehead.

Since you've played with this FS since 2007, you know, historically, that he's going to try to get onto a Wheaties box by cheating up to stuff the run. You give your guy a quick shove at the line, pivot on your left foot, and get your shoulders on the inside, in case you need to rotate over to pick up that safety's soft zone.

Happy ending: Your FS cheats up, gets sucked in on a pump fake and is licking chalk off the grass (under a TE who fired out to block.). The RB decides to take up residence in the 3-hole, waiting to pretend to block an LB*. You've taken that 7 yard completion away by filling your FS's zone, and a quick toss to the QB's fifth option falls incomplete. 4th and 6; time to cheer on your punt return team.

If you just met your safety in the locker room, you'll discover his tendency just as the other team completes a pass over his head.

Don't discount this advantage: this is exactly the play that gave the Temple Owls starting defense the "win" versus the Owls' offensive practice squad one fall day in the late 80s. The practice squad had to run 3 extra laps, as I recall.

(*Without revealing the identity of the practice-squad RB, --who I believe was a fine athlete-- the reason he pretended to block was the starting MLB was an a--hole who cut-blocked people right in their shins whenever possible, and it must have been 400 degrees on the practice field that day, and I was f--king tired.)

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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