It is hard for any NFL running back to shoulder the load of his team’s rushing attack without the help of a complementary ball-carrier backing him up.
But for Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy, he is a man completely on his own.
The Eagles originally had high hopes for second-string rookie RB Bryce Brown, believing he could contribute to a 1-2 punch in the backfield. Brown was also thought to have the ability to handle goal-line carries, as he has a stocky build capable of pounding the ball.
But Brown has been a major disappointment.
The rookie has run for only 51 yards on 19 carries this season, averaging just 2.7 yards per tote. And if it wasn’t for a 17-yard run in Week 3 against the Arizona Cardinals, Brown would be averaging a paltry 1.9 yards per carry.
Brown was a high school phenom before having a very disappointing college career at the University of Tennessee and Kansas State University. The Eagles drafted Brown in the 7th round with the hope that he could revitalize his once promising abilities.
It is greatly detrimental to any running back when he does not have a backup that is able to sub-in for him and still produce. One of the reasons Houston Texans’ RB Arian Foster is such a beast is because his backup RB Ben Tate can spell him at any point with the ability to put up huge numbers.
The effect on the defense is that they can not take a play off when the second or third-stringer trots onto the field, in an attempt to save up their energy so they can lay a smack-down on the featured back.
And the fact that McCoy is the man handling the goal-line carries for the Eagles is just silly.
To put it lightly, McCoy is a shrimp.
He is listed at 5′ 11”, 208 pounds, which is a joke. Maybe 5′ 11” while wearing spikes and on his tippy-toes, and 208 pounds soaking wet after devouring a 5-course meal. Maybe.
McCoy is a speed and finesse guy, not a bruiser by any means. Not only is he not the right build, but having a little tiny RB like McCoy trying to put his head down against an 8-10 man front is just dangerous.
As a coach, you do not want to have your star running back taking a pounding between the tackles when he is the size of a high school freshman. You hear me Andy Reid? Marty Mornhinweg? Anybody?
Another Eagles’ backup RB Dion Lewis has completely fallen off the radar after battling injury in training camp and then flat out losing his job. He has only been active for one game this season, and has not recorded a carry.
Lewis originally showed promise as McCoy’s primary backup last year, as he is basically a clone of McCoy from a speed and size standpoint. He is also a University of Pittsburgh product like McCoy.
The Eagles are in desperate need of a goal-line, change-of-pace back that can take a little bit of focus off of McCoy. Brown has proven to be basically useless, so I think the team needs to eye-down the free agent or trade market because McCoy can not continue to take the pounding that he has.
Maybe sign free agent RB Tim Hightower? Maybe trade a late-round pick for San Francisco 49ers’ backup RB Brandon Jacobs? Just spit-balling here.
It may be too late, and the Eagles may be forced to wait until next year’s draft to snag some more talent in the running game.
But I really don’t see McCoy’s bony-body holding up much longer without a capable backup available to step in and man some of the rushing duties.
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