How many games did we watch last year where opposing defenses dared the Philadelphia Eagles to run the ball? They would stay in nickel packages for entire quarters and even the majority of games. Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg would stand across the field and keep throwing. They would throw from any down and distance on the field. Some games actually neared a 70-30 ratio, and with this formula, they were destined to lose. This year we will finally see a return to balance. LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, and whoever makes the roster as their third teammate are primed for huge seasons.
There is no reason that McCoy will not thrive in this offense. Last year he put up a pair of rushing touchdowns and averaged just over four yards a carry. This was a downturn from a 2011 Pro Bowl season with 17 touchdowns. Chip Kelly will have the ball in McCoy’s hands much more this year, in the running and passing games. He is young and still has the legs to hit holes faster than most in the league.
Brown was a mystery last year. He featured a mix of breakout games with untimely fumbles and bad choices. There were times that he looked like Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl, hitting and running through any attempted tackles. With the good came the huge issue of his ball security actually gaining points for the opposition. The healthy offensive line will add to Brown’s impact. If he can learn from Duce Staley and get his ball security under control, he will be a perfect complement to McCoy.
The third position will either end up in the hands of Chris Polk or Felix Jones. In reality it is Jones’ job to lose. He has been dynamic over his career, and if he can bring that to the Eagles, they will have an even more solid rushing unit. Polk will need to prove in camp and preseason that he deserves a spot.
Kelly ran the ball over 60 percent of the time in his collegiate coaching career. With this emphasis on the run, a healthy line, and Kelly’s coaching skill, the Eagles could easily have a pair of 1000 yard backs. McCoy, Brown, and Jones should be excited for the season to start. Their success will take the pressure off the rest of the offense and only make things easier for Kelly’s first season as head coach.