Dwight Freeney and the San Diego Chargers notched their first win of the season by downing the Philadelphia Eagles 33-30, and Freeney isn’t too shy about ripping on Chip Kelly’s no-huddle offense. One of the best pass rushers in recent memory, Dwight Freeney knows a thing or two about hitting the quarterback and susceptible offensive line schemes, and those are the qualms that Freeney has against the Eagles offense. Freeney doesn’t think that Michael Vick, who is prone to injuries, can hold up in the no-huddle offense. Not only are there inherently more hits in a no-huddle offense since there are more plays, but there are also offensive line concerns that Freeney voices.
NBC’s Pro Football Talk will air their interview with Dwight Freeney this evening, and CSN Philly’s Geoff Mosher has some quotes from the interview regarding Freeney’s scathing assessment of Chip Kelly’s offense. The quotes are well-worth reading and the criticisms are legitimate, but I wonder if Freeney is exaggerating things.
“The problem is with that offense, to be honest with you, is the quarterback position and the pounding the quarterback takes with that, and it’s not college anymore.”
“And it’s going to be very interesting to see if a team can actually have a starting quarterback or backup quarterback last through the whole entire year with this type of athlete — not a college athlete — you’re talking about a guy who may be 300 pounds, running a 4.8-whatever it is, hitting your quarterback every time he carries out a fake, whether he has the ball or not. Will the quarterback to be able to last the whole year? That’s the question.”
Freeney later slammed Kelly’s blocking schemes, and it sounds like he thinks Vick and the Eagles offense is in for a world of hurt down the road. I view the Eagles offense as one with some flaws, but that’s the trade-off when you go no-huddle. The personnel seem to fit the scheme, so there should be more positives than negatives overall in this trade-off. Freeney’s concerns are legitimate, because the Eagles have struggled in pass protection through two weeks (small sample size, though). Heck, Freeney himself had a big day against the Eagles with, per the Pro Football Focus, five hurries on the quarterback, but the Chargers pass rush as a whole was merely average in their win over the Eagles.
Do you buy Freeney’s critiques? I think there should be concerns about the blocking and how many hits Vick can take, but I really think Freeney is overreacting and being far too critical of the Philadelphia Eagles offense here.