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Shurmur Pleased With Running Game

Posted Nov 12, 2013

In sharing his final thoughts on the Eagles' 27-13 win over Green Bay Packers, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was effusive in his praise of the offensive line and LeSean McCoy for their efforts on the game's final drive. For an Eagles offense that has trended towards a more vertical attack in recent weeks as the run game has been taken away, it was important to see the unit exercise brute force and reestablish its physical dominance at the line of scrimmage.

"I think we did a good job blocking," Shurmur said. "I think we played very physically up front, I think LeSean (McCoy) did a good job of running downhill. I just think it was a team effort. Typically when you run the ball well, you're getting good blocks. LeSean broke some tackles, he hit it up in there nice and we got good physical play up front."

The Eagles' rushing attack excelled even without its best offensive linemen, left tackle Jason Peters. After Peters left for good with a quad injury, Allen Barbre stepped in seamlessly as the offensive line plowed its way down the field. Barbre, a versatile backup who has proven to be one of the Eagles' most shrewd offseason signings, manhandled whichever Packer lined up across from him and embodied the physical mentality the offense showed.

"I thought Allen (Barbre) did an outstanding job," Shurmur said. "We've known all along that if he had to go in and play – because he's our primary sub at either guard or either tackle – we knew as coaches that if he went in and played that he would play very physically, and he did that. We didn't change the plan, we asked him to go in there and do the things that Jason (Peters) does and he did a nice job."

Shurmur also lauded Nick Foles' performance, not that he is surprised by how the second-year quarterback is playing.

"We knew (Foles) was a fine player and we knew all along that if he got in the game he'd have a chance to be successful and he's done it," Shurmur said. "It's a credit to him, it's a credit to his training, and then he puts it to good use when he plays the game.

Shurmur has been especially happy in the progression Foles has shown with his footwork.

"I think he's done a good job with his footwork," Shurmur said. "And again, that goes back to getting used to their receivers, getting used to the concepts and doing it over and over and over. And I think he's a guy that steadily improves each week, and he was pretty good with his feet, moved around in the pocket pretty well. I remember one throw where he got back to Riley [Cooper] early in the game where he had to move in the pocket, clear himself and make a throw. That's one example of a guy getting back to his fourth read. We had three on the right, and he was fourth with the back being fifth, and he moved his feet and got back there."

In preparing for their second game against the Washington Redskins, Shurmur admitted that the Redskins pose a threat. A veteran group, the Redskins defense also knows what to expect from the Eagles after the two teams met in Week 1.

"I see the same defense we played against the first time," Shurmur said. "They've got (safety Brandon) Meriweather, they've got a very veteran group. They've got over 30 years of experience in the secondary. They're very veteran up front. They play extremely hard, they're very active, and I think that's going to be a challenge for us."

The Redskins will not be the only team to adjust based on what they saw the first time these two teams matched up, however. The Eagles will also have some tricks and new wrinkles of their own ready to go.

"How we run the offense is the same," Shurmur said. "We've obviously incorporated more and more things. Typically after you do something for a few weeks, you kind of move on to other things and you circle back (later). You're always aware of the second time you play an opponent because you've seen each other and then you make adjustments."

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