Bryce Brown emerged on the scene late last season for the Philadelphia Eagles after starting running back LeSean McCoy was placed on IR. The rookie made the most of his four starts, rushing for 564 yards and four touchdowns. He had Eagles’ fans everywhere taking notice, but he also had them cursing his name after averaging a fumble per start.
Brown is now heading into 2013 with raised expectations, but at the same time, he’s going to be fighting for carries. The Eagles went out and added another piece to their backfield with RB Felix Jones, so they clearly have some concerns with Brown. It’s definitely not a lack of talent with the second-year player, it’s just a matter of ball security. If you can’t hang onto the ball, you’re not going to play on Sunday.
I believe Brown is far more talented than the often injured Jones, but he’s going to have to show he’s the man for the backup RB role. Jones is going to get his fair share of carries, and until one man distances himself from the other, every touch will count. As long as Brown prioritizes protecting the football, I think he’ll be okay. The team has a much better idea of what they’re working with this time around, and an increased focus on ball security, should do wonders for Brown’s career.
A good start will be key for the second-year back, because if he turns the ball over right away, it could become a mental obstacle that prevents him from regular playing time the rest of his career. If he still can’t hold onto the ball, Jones will no doubt become the team’s No. 2 running back. Just from a sheer talent perspective, though, there’s no reason Brown should lose his job.