Strong training camps are becoming a trend for Philadelphia Eagles second-year running back Chris Polk.
The University of Washington product put together a nice string of practices during last year’s training camp, which translated into a roster spot. However, as impressive as he looked on the practice fields of Lehigh University and in preseason games, Polk failed to register a carry in 2012.
New year, same results for Polk.
After piecing three very solid practices together, Polk is now running with the second-team offense during practice at the Novacare Complex. The 5-foot-11, 222-pound Polk supplanted fellow NFL sophomore Bryce Brown from those snaps. However, as is the case with any position battle on this team, it’s worth a reminder that head coach Chip Kelly has repeatedly stated that he is operating without a depth chart at this point.
That doesn’t mean the first-year head coach isn’t impressed.
“I think in the last couple of days you’ve really seen Chris show up,” Kelly said after Wednesday’s practice. ” He had a great practice when we were in the stadium. Hit a couple of nice runs today.”
“Really truly understands the blocking scheme, so he’s patient in terms of understanding — letting the blocks develop. But when he sees them, then sticking his foot in the ground and taking off. I think the last couple of days he’s really come across. I did see him in college. He was a workhorse for Washington. He was really the guy you had to stop. But he has versatility and can catch a ball coming out of the backfield. I think he’s not just a one‑dimensional guy either.”
Elsewhere, Felix Jones had a rough day. The former Dallas Cowboy, signed by the Eagles as a free agent this spring, had two drops during seven-on-seven drills and barely saw the field in the ensuing sessions.
With LeSean McCoy cemented as the team’s franchise running back, it appears that an interesting position battle could be brewing for the top backup spot between Brown and Polk. Last season, Brown totaled 564 rushing yards and four touchdowns but also lost three fumbles.
Given his versatility, and Kelly’s familiarity from his Pac-12 days, Polk appears to have the inside track at a roster spot and potentially even the team’s second-running back position. If nothing else, this is certainly another intriguing position battle to watch at Camp Kelly.
Matt Lombardo is also a sports radio host on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow him on Twitter.