The Philadelphia Eagles would be unwise to ignore their running backs room.
After months and months of anticipation, analysis, and expectation, it appears the Philadelphia Eagles have officially settled on the final member of their offensive backfield: No one.
… kind of anticlimactic, right? Well according to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Dave Zangero, who interfaces with the organization with regularity, that appears to be the case, as the Birds are totally down with their current running back trifecta of Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, and Corey Clemment.
Technically, the Eagles also have Elijah Holyfield, Michael Warren II, and Adrian Killins under contract at the moment but none of those players are real needle-movers, let alone even a lock to make the final roster.
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Now on paper, could this crew of sub-26-year-old youngsters get things done for the Eagles over a full 16/17 game regular season and hopefully a nice little playoff run? I mean personally, I’d like to see a little more power between the tackles from a bruising bowling ball back but yeah, I’d say so. But if 2019 taught us anything, it’s that a team can never have too much talent at any given position.
I mean think about it, the Eagles entered Week 1 of the regular season last fall with five quality wide receivers and five cornerbacks that many assumed could compete for a starting role and were forced to, well, play players like Craig James, Ryan Lewis, Robert Davis, and Deontay Bounty for quality snaps in the regular season.
Conversely, the Eagles relied almost exclusively on two tight ends in 2019 and only signed a third in long-time reserve Josh Perkins to, ironically enough, do double duties as a makeshift wide receiver but when injuries come, they come with the relentless force that could tank an entire season.
To be fair, the Eagles are far from the most reliant team on the run in the NFL – personally, I think Doug Pederson would happily exclusively rely on passing plays for an entire game- but going from having a Rookie of the Year runner up with a pair of intriguing complements to having Clement and Scott taking up 30-40 snaps a game could be disastrous over an extended period of time.
Do the Eagles really want to have to scour the waiver wire again for a serviceable back if Sanders takes a break the wrong way and ends a play with a 330-pound nose tackle on his ankle? Are the Eagles that certain that LeSean McCoy’s market is so small that he can effectively serve as a long-term, off-roster emergency reserve?
I guess the New York Jets could waive Josh Adams after taking Florida’s La’Mical Perine in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft but can the Birds really count on their 2018 leading rusher to ever be more than a change of pace early-down thumper? History says no but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t be a solid cog in a playoff-bound offense.
Now granted, I’m not suggesting the Eagles should go out and pay Devonta Freeman $8 million a year to serve as a small-bodied change of pace bruiser next to Sanders or make some sort of trade for a player like Le’Veon Bell or Marlon Mack but willfully ignoring the position altogether? That just seems like an oversight.
Who knows, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the team makes it through 2020 without suffering a major injury or a player like Elijah Holifield, Adrien Killings, or my personal favorite, Michael Warren, turns out to be a diamond in the rough performer. That could happen. However, for peace of mind alone, the Philadelphia Eagles should continue to look for ways to improve their entire roster regardless of position, especially at a position as physical as running back.