For seven seasons, I have watched New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs and wished the Eagles could have a power back like him to complement (then) Brian Westbrook and (now) LeSean McCoy.
Jacobs, who stands 6’4 and weighs 256 pounds, was just released by the Giants, despite leading the team to their second Super Bowl title in the past five seasons.
He will be 30 years old in July, so he likely has two to three seasons left as a situational back. Without question, that time needs to be spent with the Philadelphia Eagles.
LeSean McCoy is one of the top running backs in the NFL. He’s smart, shifty, and speedy, and he averages close to five yards per carry. But he’s not a power back, and he’s not the kind of guy the Eagles want carrying the football on 3rd and 1.
Former number two overall draft pick Ronnie Brown was expected to be that guy during the much-hyped 2011 season, but plays like this are the biggest reason why he won’t be anywhere near Philadelphia for the 2012 season.
Dion Lewis, a rookie last season, is extremely similar to McCoy. He’s small, shifty, and even went to Pitt. I think he has a good future but he’s absolutely not a power guy.
Like almost every season since Andy Reid became the team’s head coach in 1999, the Eagles will need a power back. They’ve tried countless options over the years.
Correll Buckhalter was a good backup but he never seemed to be able to get the big yardage with the game on the line. Veteran Dorsey Levens was a good solution–for a year. Penn State product Tony Hunt was a complete bust. Leonard Weaver worked, until he suffered the most gruesome injury you’ll ever see.
Signing Jacobs would completely solve the power back problems. It would give the Eagles an option in case McCoy got injured. After all, I fully trust Jacobs to carry the load for a few games if needed.
I could see Jacobs with the following stat line next season: 68 carries, 221 yards, 3.2 YPC, 4 touchdowns. And I would be perfectly fine with that.
If Jacobs can pick up the clutch yardage, the yards that have frequently cost the Eagles games over the years, it’ll be a good signing.