Eagles roster notes: An option utilizing Zach Pascal’s talent more efficiently

Zach Pascal #3, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Zach Pascal #3, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

What if Zach Pascal might be playing out of position, albeit slightly? What if he’s actually an H-Back? With everything that he brings to a game physically, might a slight adjustment in his utilization lead to him becoming an even more dangerous weapon in the Philadelphia Eagles‘ offensive attack? It may be worthy of discussion seeing as how he’s too physical for most cornerbacks to cover and too fleet of foot for linebackers to cover.

Let’s dig into Pascal’s game for a second. Are the Eagles ignoring the best way to utilize his skill set? Might they have the NFL’s premier ‘move tight ends’ on their hands? Think about it!

As most of you football aficionados are aware, the term H-Back and move tight end can be used interchangeably. They have two primary responsibilities: to act as a power back in the running game and to run passing routes from the backfield to create different matchups in the passing game with different spacing and different angles.

Zach Pascal is often aligned behind the line of scrimmage and attacks the edge of the defense either in pre-snap motion or at the snap of the ball. With his impressive physique (he’s six-foot-two and 215 pounds), he could be a huge matchup issue for opposing defenses given his versatility.

Here are a few other ideas on how the Eagles can use Zach Pascal (and a glance at Andre Dillard’s skillset).

Zach Pascal only has six receptions on seven targets for the season. None of those receptions were thrown more than ten yards downfield. He has yet to exceed more than three catches or 20 yards receiving. He hasn’t been targeted at all since Week 4 versus the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In terms of Zach’s role (and the expectations of a supreme H-Back), he’s excelled. He racked up 28 yards after contact. He averages 4.7 yards per reception, and he’s reached the first-down marker on four of those six receptions.

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The 6-0 NFC East-leading Birds have given us nothing to stress about (except for those second-half lulls), so as you might expect, minds are wandering and will continue to do so until Philly begins preparing for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8.

In this era of positionless football, innovative offenses are aligning athletes in the backfield to create favorable matchups with less athletic linebackers and safeties, as opposed to more athletic cornerbacks. Pascal runs solid routes. He’s physical and an elite blocker. Might he be the next great H-back? That may be a theory the Eagles can explore.