There's been some debate about whether or not the decision was Nick Sirianni’s choice or a combination of choices made by Howie Roseman and Jeffery Lurie. Kellen Moore's hiring as the Philadelphia Eagles’ new offensive coordinator is a good change though. That’s something that we can be excited about as we endure the throes of an eight-month offseason.
Looking at Moore and doing so as an Eagles fan, it’s easy to say he has a sordid past. He spent eight years with the Dallas Cowboys, three as a player, one as a quarterbacks coach, and four as the offensive coordinator. Treat him like you would treat a partner who has a bunch of psychotic exes. Are those exes (read: Cowboys fans) going to find you in public and tell you you’re making a mistake (read: that he sucks)? Yeah, they probably will. Do what you do with those exes though.
Ignore them. Kellen is ours now. The past is the past, and it's time to look toward the future. Here are two distinct changes that Eagles fans should expect from Kellen Moore’s offense next season.
Eagles fans should expect more motion thanks to Kellen Moore’s offense.
The biggest difference that you’ll see between the former Eagles offense and Moore's scheme is the latter will rely on using more motion. That's to be expected though. In 2023, the Eagles' offense used motion the least of any team in the NFL. The Chargers' offense, on the other hand (one led by Moore), ranked eighth.
Philly's use of motion-based plays WILL increase, and they're going to increase the usage exponentially. Moore uses motion to confuse defenses and create leverage off of pre-snap looks. That's super convenient since that’s exactly what motion should be used for.
While motion rates and Yards After Catch (YAC) don't have a direct correlation, they do work hand in hand. Using motion to get that leverage and make the defense show their hand will result in the Birds’ biggest playmakers getting the ball with more space. That, in turn, results in the ever-coveted YAC.
Conveniently, the two teams playing in the Super Bowl (the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers are the two teams with the most YAC this season. Both also ranked in the top half of the league in motion rate.
Kellen Moore's offense won't force its best players to work as hard and puts them in the best position to be successful.
A huge issue with the Eagles' offense last year was their uncanny ability to make everything look more difficult than it should have been. The receivers on other NFL teams were seemingly schemed open by their staffs. It was commonplace in the best offenses to see receivers catch the ball with room to operate. That also resulted in more YAC. That wasn't happening when you watched the Eagles, was it?
Contested catches in Philly's offense were the norm. So were throws with minimal chances of resulting in completions. The differences we saw made us rightfully envious and aggravated, especially when this offense had stars like A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert.
One of A.J.'s most endearing traits has been his ability to rack up the YAC. In 2022, while operating in a fresh Eagles offense, one that was firing on all cylinders, Brown averaged 6.2 YAC. That number plummeted to 4.5 YAC in a stale offense last season.
Place that thought on your mind, Combine it with his receiving numbers, and we arrive at a ruthlessly disappointing variance. 6.2 YAC on 88 receptions in 2022. That leads us to 1,496 yards receiving. in 2023, while stacking 4.5 YAC on 106 catches, Brown produced a lower receiving yards total (1,456). Imagine had he averaged 6.2 YAC) this season. One of the reasons he didn't was stale play designs.
You won't find any encouragement by looking at DeVonta Smith's numbers. In 2022, he had averaged 5.2 YAC, and in 2023 his numbers dropped to 3.6 YAC. Similar results were seen with Dallas Goedert, Philly's tight end stacked a 7.6 YAC average in 2022. That dropped to a 5.4 YAC average in 2023.
Using motion to get leverage and make the defense show their hand will result in free releases. The hope is linebackers would potentially leave the middle of the field open. That would then potentially give the Birds’ top playmakers the ball with an opportunity to make plays in space, Moore’s offense should be able to contribute to this. Hopefully, we'll see changes for the better.
The bottom line here is that a Kellen Moore-led offense is an upgrade over what we saw from the Eagles’ offense in 2023. You can listen to Nick Sirianni brag about how his scheme topped certain offensive metrics, but that doesn’t matter as it failed when given the eyeball test.
Sirianni's scheme failed. Moore's offense might not have the league's highest ceiling, but it certainly raises the floor from whatever the hell we just spent four months watching.