Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles have embraced churning through running backs

A division rival has gone the opposite route, but the Philadelphia Eagles have embraced churning through running backs on an annual basis.

The Dallas Cowboys ponied up to keep running back Ezekiel Elliott this week, as they surely plan to have him as the focal point of their offense indefinitely. On the other hand the Philadelphia Eagles have consistently gone running back by committee in recent years and that has worked well for them, including going all the way to a win in Super Bowl LII.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has confirmed the continued use of a strict committee backfield this year, with trade acquisition Jordan Howard and rookie Miles Sanders atop the depth chart. Darren Sproles is back, along with Corey Clement as passing down options to further divide touches and make fantasy football owners pull their hair out on a weekly basis.

During Pederson’s three seasons as head coach, Sproles (2016) is the only running back to even reach 40 percent the offensive snaps in a season. Backfield committees are obviously not a new concept, with the shelf life for running backs notably short due to the physical pounding they take. But the Eagles pretty clearly churn through bodies at the position like no other NFL team. Pederson said Wednesday:

I believe the National Football League season is a grueling, grinding season, particularly on running backs…And if you don’t have a couple of guys that you can really hang your hat on, it’s hard to get through a season.

Since LeSean McCoy had 312 carries in 2014, no Eagles’ running back has had more than 193 carries in a season. Going further the team’s last five leading rushers, McCoy (2014), DeMarco Murray (2015), Ryan Mathews (2016), LeGarrette Blount (2017) and Josh Adams (2018), were not brought back the following season. Adams, Wendell Smallwood and Boston Scott, the three backs who were relied on late last season, were part of the Philadelphia’s final cut down to 53 players last weekend.

Next: 3 teams who could realistically trade for Melvin Gordon

The Cowboys have gone all-in on Elliott, at least over the next four seasons. But without a guy they can lean on in the same way, and perhaps an unwillingness to allocate big resources to paying a running back, the Eagles have coldly embraced the volatility of the position.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Tom Brady congratulates forever teammate James White on perfect career with Patriots
Denver Broncos sign star linebacker to bolster defense
Tom Brady takes extensive leave of absence from Bucs for ‘family reasons’
Packers: How losing Davante Adams has changed Aaron Rodgers for the better
Browns could make big QB trade if Deshaun Watson suspension increases

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.