Remember the scene from the movie “The Princess Bride” where Dread Pirate Roberts (the handsome man in black) and Vizzini challenge eachother to a battle of wits?
The princess bride – Battle of the wits https://t.co/1BIZwTv0eh
— Karla Denise Nunez (@1pinkfire) August 3, 2017
The Sicilian man puts poison into a glass and the two proceed to pontificate on which one to drink to stay alive — and what strategy would Roberts take?
“But it’s so simple,” Vinzini said, alluding to what many know as game theory. “All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy’s?”
The scene goes on, but the Eagles and Chiefs’ Week 2 match up is basically that.
With Andy Reid, the former Eagles head coach and Doug Pederson, Reid’s former assistant and the former offensive coordinator in Kansas City, attempting to outwit one another Sunday (at 1 p.m. on FOX), the interaction and comfort inherent between the two leaders of men could lead to an interesting chess match on the sidelines. Do the teams try and stick with what’s in their comfort zones? Or do they try and surprise their opposition by offering unexpected looks? Or, do they buck an anticipation for digression from the mean by doing exactly what they always do?
“You want to go out of the box a little bit and present a few different things,” Pederson said. “I mean I know he’s going to do the same thing with that offense and try to present some things out of the box that way.”
Pederson came of age in the ‘House of Reid,’ and many have explained the Eagles’ decision to revert philosophies after the failures of Chip Kelly as a desire to return to the Reid Era. Now, the Eagles will see if Pederson can best his former mentor.
“His teams are always well prepared,” Pederson said of Reid and the Chiefs, who will be fresh off a long week to prepare after their Thursday win in New England last week. “They’re a disciplined group. You see that, very consistent in how they go about their preparation during the week… I can’t get caught up on who’s on the other side line, things of that nature. I just have to focus on my job and getting our team ready to play.”
The Eagles also had an impressive Week 1 win commanding national attention, as their defense forced Washington into submission in a 30-17 decision in D.C. The defense, coached by Jim Schwartz, may be uniquely well-suited to go up against Reid’s offense.
“The good news is we got to go all training camp against them, you know what I mean?” Schwartz said. “So, I think that has a lot to do with it. You go out there every day and passing-game wise, there’s a lot of similarities. There’s a little bit of difference in the run game. They have a little more gadgety runs, a little bit more read-option-type runs, some stuff that they try to distract you with.
“We’ve had interaction with a lot of different guys on the staff. “
More than on-field imitations, the Eagles clubhouse and practice facility under Pederson is back, in many ways, to its form during the Reid era. Even the rules and procedures for conduct resemble the early 2000s Eagles.
“There are regulations around the building and in the community. Even the way we practice sometimes,” Pederson said. “And then listen, I spent 14 years as a player, too. And then I’ve seen how players react to certain things. And so if I differ, I’ll differ in a certain area here and there. But for the most part, just the discipline part of the football team, the structure. You have to be black and white with players and coaches. You can’t leave it open for gray at all, and that’s something that I think that Andy does a tremendous job with his coaching staff, with the front office, with the players is: there is no gray. … I’ve been around him for seven years as a coach and obviously as a player. So it goes back. It’s not just him. It goes all the way back to my days in Green Bay with [former Packers head coach] Mike Holmgren. A lot of the same structure is still in place today.”