Eagles: Rich Scangarello may have a bigger impact than you think

When the Eagles brought in former Denver Bronco’s offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello to be one of their offensive consultants, not many fans had a lot to say about him, mostly because not many fans know a whole lot about the guy.

And that’s fair, he’s not the most recognizable name in the NFL coaching circle. Scangarello has bounced around quite a bit over the past decade. He started the 2010s as the Oakland Raiders offensive quality control coach, then he took a detour to the college game, before coming back to the NFL under the same job title with the Atlanta Falcons.

He joined Atlanta in 2015, the same year Kyle Shanahan joined the team as their offensive coordinator. Scangarello then followed Shanahan to San Francisco two years later where he became the Niners’ quarterbacks coach. Fast forward another two years, and Scangarello is preparing to join the Denver Broncos as their offensive coordinator last offseason.

Kyle Shanahan initially blocked Scangarello from taking the interview, but he eventually relented. According to reports out of Denver around the time of the hire, Kyle’s dad, Mike Shanahan, played a big part in getting Scangarello the OC job in Denver.

In his first opportunity to call the shots for an NFL offense, Scangarello wasn’t given much to work with last season. He was handed an aging Joe Flacco, who was clearly not a fit in Scangarello’s play action system. The offensive line also suffered a handful of injuries and the front office traded away one of their best weapons in Emmanuel Sanders at the trade deadline.

Once Scangarello was given a competent quarterback who fit his system in Drew Locke, the Broncos offense finished the season pretty strong. In the final five games, the team averaged 289 yards per game and 21 points per game. That’s not great, but it’s not bad considering what Scangarello was working with.

Denver fans were actually pretty surprised when their team cut ties with Scangarello. Keeping him around for Locke and continuing to build continuity seemed like the right decision to make, but most Broncos fans will tell you, his game day struggles were enough to warrant the firing.

When it came to play design and game day preparation, Scangarello clearly knew what he was doing. But when it came to the flow of the game and play calling, he just never seemed to put it all together.

Fortunately, Scangarello isn’t being brought to Philly to completely implement his offense and call plays. He’s simply coming here to help flesh out the Eagles west coast scheme — ‘Shanahan-ize’ it, if you will.

Doug Pederson is one of the most creative minds in football, but I think we can all agree he’s benefited greatly from working with such a great offensive staff over the years. The most consistently great season we’ve seen out of Doug was 2017 when he had Frank Reich and John DeFilippo on the sideline next to him.

Scangarello could be 2020’s version of Reich. Like Reich, Scangarello prides himself on establishing the running game and using it open up the play action passing game. Reich has always been a run first guy and he played a huge part in the implementation of the RPO game, which is now a staple of Pederson’s west coast system.

If Scangarello can implement some of the Shanahan-esque bootlegs and keep Doug running a balanced attack on offense, the Eagles offense will be very fun to watch next season.

Carson Wentz has always been at his best when he’s outside of the pocket, which plays right into Scangarello’s bread and butter. The Eagles also figure to have a at least three running backs they can go to with Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and Corey Clement, allowing Doug to really hammer the rock if he wants to.

These bootlegs and play action plays will only make it easier for some of the speedy wideouts the Eagles have collected to take the top off opposing defenses as well.

Meshing two of the most effective and prominent offensive schemes in the NFL — the west coast system and the Shanahan play action game — could make for one of the best offenses in all of football next season.

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