Deciphering Rich Scangarello's role with the Eagles

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Reuben Frank
·5 min read
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With Rich Scangarello, you keep hearing about "marrying" the run game and the pass game.

It's why he's here.

Scangarello has been something of a mystery man since Doug Pederson hired him in February and gave him the vague title of "senior offensive assistant."

What does that mean? On Tuesday, when Scangarello spoke with the Philly media for the first time, he explained.

But first, it's important to understand how Pederson and Scangarello have different philosophies but trace their origins to the same person.

Scangarello worked under Kyle Shanahan, who coached under one-time Mike Holmgren assistant Jon Gruden, and Pederson coached under Andy Reid, who was Holmgren at the same time.

So Scangarello is a new voice, but he and Pederson speak the same football language.

"It was one of the great parts about coming to Philadelphia and being part of this organization," he said. "A little bit different approach, but ultimately both offenses have their roots originally in West Coast terminology, whether it was Andy Reid or Gruden or any of them. They're all really from the same family. I have worked in my early days, going back to Tom Cable, who came from Steve Mariucci, used the same type of terminology. The principles all hold true today as they did back then: A tight, detailed offense that requires timing in the pass game. In that way they're all very similar."

What about marrying the run game with play action? You're going to hear about that all year.

Essentially, it means designing and executing plays so defenses don't know whether they're runs or passes until the last possible second. By keeping defenses off-balance, the offense gains the advantage.

In theory.

Scangarello speaks in reverential tones about the mystery of the Kyle Shanahan "marrying" system that he's bringing to Philly.

This is very cool stuff.

"Kyle has a great deal of respect in the league for how he's married the run system to the pass system," Scangarello said. "The details of that are very important. It goes back to his days learning from his dad when he was a teenager in Denver, then his experience with the Houston Texans with Gary Kubiak, then him shaping his vision for how all that comes together. To be part of that process, you just learn details and intricacies that very few people know, that come from him ultimately. People see it on film, and they think they know, but they really don't. That's the cool part of being part of it and having that knowledge. It's an exciting part of taking that somewhere into a new building and sharing that with coaches who maybe you can help with that. So it's been exciting to be a part of so far. I think it fits our quarterback. It fits our personnel. But again, this is our offense here in Philadelphia. I don't think it will look much different than it has in the past."

Elijah Holyfield on Tuesday shed some light on specifically what Scangarello has been working on with the running backs.

"More than anything, it's just the play actions, having great fakes and stuff like that, just trying to hone in on the little things, the little details that sometimes you don't think about," he said. "Sometimes you just think about running the ball and getting the ball and what you do with the ball. He's really big on what you're doing without the ball, how you help the other players, how you can get them open and things like that."

Last year, the Eagles had an offensive coordinator. Mike Groh. He was fired.

There's no offensive coordinator this year, but there are three new coaches and one returning coach with a new title.

In addition to Scangarello, Pederson hired Marty Mornhinweg as senior offensive consultant and Andrew Breiner as pass game analyst and promoted one-time Chip Kelly assistant Press Taylor to passing game coordinator in addition to QBs coach.

How will it all work together?

"I couldn't be more excited about our offensive room right now," Nate Sudfeld said. "Rich, he's really brought a great breath of fresh air to our offense … and it's also been awesome having Press kind of in an elevated role. I've always had a lot of confidence and a great relationship with Press and he's been doing awesome. It's great to have Andrew Breiner in there, a new guy, he's been grinding some cut-ups and some tapes for us. Marty Morhinweg being in there has been awesome, he's got some of that older wisdom. He's been great just to talk ball with. Rich has been a great addition and I'm really excited about what he's going to bring and how we'll do in games."

Pederson keeps saying the Eagles' offense won't look much different than it used to.

It might look the same, but if this all works, the end result will be dramatically different.

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Deciphering Rich Scangarello's role with the Eagles originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia