There’s at least one version of the Eagles quarterback sneak we never saw in 2022.
And it included Fletcher Cox.
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni hinted at the Combine that a version of the play that included Cox existed. The next day, center Jason Kelce was able to ask Sirianni why the Eagles never ran it on the New Heights podcast.
“You know why? That’s a good question,” Sirianni said. “Because we did this with (Dario) Slay last year. We had a play. Why do you put a defensive guy in? Well, same reason Kansas City does something where they rotate .It’s funny.
“So we had Slay in one last year and he had one where he did some different things. We had him in twice. But they go through adjustments and this and that and sometimes it’s hard to predict when you’re going to do it. And so I remember it was a crazy moment for us. Like, ‘Kill! Kill! Kill!’ And he ran in. They are not ready to enter. They don’t stand there with the other broadsides that aren’t in. So we were really crazy about it.”
This QB sneak with Cox would be the push variety … with Cox pushing Jalen Hurts. There was a lot of talk about the NFL at this year’s combine that the league might try to ban the game of rugby.
But it’s not like every team would have been as successful at the play as the Eagles, who had really good offensive line play, a strong quarterback like Hurts and a team that really mastered the technique behind it. Adding Cox into the play as a pusher would have been fun.
“I still remember when we repeated it the first time,” Kelce said. “He pushed Jalen before he even had the ball. He was so excited to do it.”
Sirianni shot back: “That’s another reason (we didn’t take care of it).”
Kelce then marveled at Cox’s grip strength, saying Cox was one of only two players where he noticed a huge 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 was on their minds during the regular season but they never ran it and then it wasn’t a priority in the playoffs. But Cox would always make sure it was in that week’s game plan, according to Sirianni.
“I think in the Super Bowl, I just lied to him,” Sirianni joked. “‘Yeah, it’s in. It’s in. We’re good.’
The Eagles were great at the QB sneaks last season but they were more proud of the wrinkles they ran away from it. And now that Cox is back for the 2023 season, don’t dismiss this version of the sneak just yet.
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast
Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Needle | Art19 | Watch on YouTube