Philadelphia Eagles: It’s time to bring Josh Adams home

If you’re a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and running the ball, Week 4 was sort of a mixed bag.

On one hand, Nick Sirianni actually listened to the onslaught of onlookers complaining about the lack of rushing plays in Week 3 and actually increased the number of runs called to both running backs and overall runs by 333 and 63 percent respectively. The team even crossed the century mark in overall rushing yards for the first time since Week 2, even if that game was 10 more rushing attempts for 48 more yards.

Then again, when you consider the team threw the ball 48 times versus 19 rushing attempts, good for a run-pass ratio of 27-73, the split is still nowhere close to where it needs to be.

But why? Does Sirianni simply not like Miles Sanders‘ style of play a la Chip Kelly with LeSean McCoy? Or has he simply adopted the Joe Philbin method of replacing rushing attempts with screen passes?

Either way, if the Eagles want to build on the positives they put on tape in Week 4, they’ll need to be willing to commit 25 plays at minimum to the run, even if it sometimes feels pointless.

Fortunately, there is a power running back on the open market who could help the Philadelphia Eagles move the chains between the tackles and produce more reliable results than in weeks prior.

Josh Adams might better fit the Philadelphia Eagles’ desired rushing style.

In Indianapolis, where Nick Sirianni cut his teeth as a head coach, the Colts run the ball between the tackles.

Sure, they’ll roll out to the outside and throw plenty of passes to receiving backs like Nyheim Hines, but at its heart, Frank Reich’s scheme is inherently built on moving the chains with power rushers like Jonathan Taylor or Marlon Mack.

That, my friends, shouldn’t be too surprising, as it’s the same blueprint the Philadelphia Eagles rode all the way to the Super Bowl when Reich was still on the payroll as the team’s OC.

Whether solely relying on LeGarrette Blount or pairing him up with Jay Ajayi in a thunder-and-thunder one-two punch, the Eagles would largely control the time of clock with line-pushing runs upfront, with backs like Darren Sproles and Corey Clement serving as complementary, change-of-pace backs in their sted.

As things presently stand, the Eagles’ best power rusher is probably Kenneth Gainwell, a 5-foot-9, 200-pound running back who was lauded for his ability to operate in space and run routes like a wide receiver but knocked for his lack of prototypical size. The team also has Boston Scott, who is deceptively strong but even smaller at 5-foot-6, 203 pounds. Unless Miles Sanders starts to forgo his home run-hitting theatrics for a more north-south style of play, the Eagles simply don’t have the sort of rusher that would fit the Colts’ mold.

Enter Josh Adams.

Now, if the name Josh Adams sounds familiar to you, it’s likely because he was the Philadelphia Eagles’ leading rusher back in 2018. He’s a Notre Dame product, tall, runs straight up and down? There’s even a park in Warrington, Pennsylvania named after him.

Yeah, you know who I’m talking about.

Well, since being released by the Eagles, Adams latched on with the New York Jets, reuniting with one of the men who signed him as a UDFA, Joe Douglas. While Adams never quite returned to his 2018 glory, as he recorded four times as many rushing yards in his first 14 games than in his final 12 spread over three seasons, he still showed the occasional flash as a power rusher who could push through opposing defensive lines on his way to a 4.6 average yards-per-carry.

For a team like the Eagles, who lack a consistent between-the-tackles rusher, that sort of yards-per-carry average could be very attractive.

Thankfully, it has been reported by Tom Pelissero that Adams has declined the offer to rejoin the Jets’ practice squad, opting to instead look for a more expansive role with another team.

Are the Philadelphia Eagles a free agent running back away from having a reliable rushing attack? No. It doesn’t matter who is in the building if Nick Sirianni doesn’t commit to running the ball almost as much as he throws it. With that being said, maybe the Philadelphia Eagles would run the ball more if they had the sort of power rusher Sirianni deployed in Indianapolis.

I mean, probably not, but you can always hope. Either way, it would be nice to see Josh Adams get another run with his hometown team, even if it looks more like his tenure in New York than his rookie season.