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Eagles Have Pieces To Be Super On Offense

Marty Mornhinweg will talk offense all day. He knows what his Eagles offense accomplished in 2010 -- ranked second in the NFL in total offense, set a franchise record for a third straight year in points scored, featured Michael Vick as one of the most feared players in the league and was as explosive as any team with the football.

But there are also things to improve, as Mornhinweg acknowledges. The Eagles must, he said, be a more consistent red-zone team, and score touchdowns rather than settle for field goals. That's an obvious area, one the team has been working on, really, since 2004.

Another area is third-and-medium situations -- those in the range of third and 3 and third and 4 -- where the team just did not convert enough last season. Too many drives, clearly, were not sustained.

And there are things in the offense that are obvious: Vick took too many hits, absorbed too many sacks. The Eagles were in the shotgun quite a bit to create "separation" from the pass rush to allow Vick that extra split second of time to set up and throw the football.

I've spent a lot of this offseason trying to figure out how the Eagles will be better, different and how they will tweak things in 2011. The addition of Howard Mudd to coach the offensive line will, naturally, make for a different approach, a more physical style and some nuances in the running game. It is anticipated from this perspective that the line of scrimmage will be a focal point in free agency and/or the draft, and we don't yet know how Mudd evaluates the personnel the Eagles have assembled along the offensive line.

By and large, though, the offense is going to come back with the same faces and firepower as in 2010, and that creates a great deal of excitement for Eagles fans and consternation for opposing defenses. Vick faced a lot of blitzes throughout the season, as well as soft zones that took away the deep ball and made it more difficult for Vick to gash the defense with long sprints.

Much of Vick's offseason homework in the offseason has to do with the mental side of things -- knowing what he is looking at, understanding the checks to make, and anticipating ahead of the defense's adjustments. He has plenty of weapons around him, and the Eagles, with the youth they have accumulated on offense, should grow from the strides they made in 2010.

Certainly, the Eagles are going to add to what they have in place, both from a personnel standpoint and from a philosophy approach. They saw the way defenses defended Vick last season, and, understanding the copycat nature of the league, have an period of time to find the solutions.

Mornhinweg understands the challenges ahead. The Eagles changed quarterbacks from 2009 to 2010 and still became better, something that rarely happens in the NFL. Injuries up front limited continuity, and the Eagles must get that line straightened out with Mudd in charge. But, certainly, the momentum the Eagles have offensively is worth feeling great about. With across-the-board improvement, the offense can be something special ahead, a Super-charged machine as versatile and physical and progressive as any in the league.

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