The hot topic for the rest of training camp will be the quarterback situation, and rightfully so since it’s the most important position on the field. Yet the Philadelphia Eagles will need to become a run first team to shed some light on their organization.
I think people are getting too caught up in the quarterback mix since Chip Kelly will primarily focus on the ground game. Kelly should be excited with the personnel he has at the running back position, and he should be able to get the most out of them.
LeSean McCoy, who is a top-5 running back in this league, should be able to get back to his Pro Bowl status and be able to run for about 1,300 yards this season. McCoy is just as dangerous in the passing game as he is in the running game, where he should be able to score more touchdowns on dump passes and screens. Any way Kelly can get McCoy in the open field will mean the chances of him scoring increase dramatically. If the Eagles intend to rely on the running game to have a dominant offense it obviously starts with No. 25.
Bryce Brown and Felix Jones will be two great backs that will change the pace of the game. Brown is an all-around solid back that can do a little bit of everything. He has incredible acceleration and surprisingly great agility. He’ll be a back that can complement McCoy very well and should see more touches this season if he can hang on to the ball. Jones is a back that if you get him in space he can be very dangerous. I don’t see him as a guy who will run between the tackles, but you can use him anywhere on the field. Kelly will be able to design plays for Jones that involve short passes and a lot of misdirection running plays.
The Eagles also have a bruiser on their roster that could be used on goal line and short yardage plays. According to multiple reports, second year running back Chris Polk slimmed down a bit but still looks like a guy who will run over you. I believe Polk not getting a lot of carries last season was a good thing because he needed to rest his shoulder that has been a problem for him since his college days at the University of Washington. I would like to see Polk get some carries this season because the kid has talent, but with the crowed and talented running backs on the roster I just don’t see Polk seeing the field that much unless it’s special teams or an injury occurs.
So for the Eagles to win as much as possible this season they will need to rely on an incredible running game and play solid defense. I think whoever starts at quarterback will struggle this season, but if you give Nick Foles, Michael Vick, or Matt Barkley a great running game then it will ease the pressure off of them.
Sonny Bryan is a Philadelphia Eagles writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SonnyBryan50