Jim Schwartz explains why Will Parks barely played vs. Giants

Dave Zangaro
·3 min read

Jim Schwartz explains why Will Parks barely played vs. Giants originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles supposedly had big plans for Will Parks when they signed him to a one-year deal this offseason.

So it was a little shocking to see the playtime distribution from Sunday’s loss to the Giants. Parks, 26, played a grand total of six defensive snaps.

Hey, Jim Schwartz, what gives?

“The plan was for him to play a little bit more than what he did in this game,” Schwartz said. “But with the no-huddle stuff and with the amount of 12-personnel that they were running and particularly, again, a lot of it came from not having a lot of second and long or third down situations and Will was in a lot of those packages for second and long and third-down situations.

“But you know, when it's third down and one and they are in 13-personnel, we are not going to be in three safeties. We're going to have our load-up defensive line and linebackers on the field and that's the way this game just played out. It was more a fact of that than not having a plan for him or not having confidence in him. He stepped up and made plays when he's been on the field and just the way it went in this game.”

OK, fair enough. The Giants on Sunday were in 11 personnel (three receivers) for just 27 snaps or 40%. Meanwhile, they were in 12 personnel for 28 plays (42%), in 13 personnel for 6 plays and 21 personnel for 2 snaps.

The Eagles have made it pretty clear that Parks is their third safety behind Rodney McLeod and Jalen Mills and if a team isn’t out there in 11 personnel, he’s not going to see much action.

If that’s the criteria for Parks to see the field, don’t expect him to play a ton against the Browns this Sunday either. The Browns have two excellent running backs and three tight ends who all get playing time. Because of that, they are in 11 personnel just 43% of their offensive snaps, which is the second lowest percentage in the NFL.

It’s been a strange Philly homecoming for Parks so far. Back in the summer, we heard about how big of a signing he was and that he was going to play a ton. But then he hurt his hamstring in training camp and missed the first five games of the season.

Parks returned in time for the Baltimore game but then his name came up in trade discussions before the Nov. 3 deadline. He said he felt a slight sense of relief when that deadline passed but then in the next game he played just six defensive snaps and just five on special teams.

Here’s a look at Parks’ defensive snap counts this season:

vs. BAL: 38

vs. NYG: 17

vs. DAL: 28

at NYG: 6

When the Eagles signed Parks, they said he was like a Swiss Army knife. This was a guy who could play safety, nickel, corner and even take some snaps at linebacker for them. And in limited time this year, Parks has played pretty well.

But on a one-year deal and with the Eagles’ hesitance to use him all that much, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be back in 2021 unless something changes.

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