The Eagles’ running game has been the topic du jour since the Birds traded for Ronald Darby and partially fortified their undermanned secondary. We deviated for a day or so to bitch about screen passes, but now we’re right back to square one.
Much of the debate focuses on why the running game is struggling – lack of called running plays, poor offensive line play, lack of decent running backs, etc.
As an aside, I am firmly in the “running game is fine, you just need to actually run the ball” camp. Most of the offensive line, from an individual talent standpoint, is a known quantity. The Eagles have had success running behind these guys in the past.
As for the running backs, Darren Sproles is obviously not an issue, Wendell Smallwood has shown he can at least be effective in spurts, and LeGarrette Blount is a nine-year NFL veteran. You don’t play nine years in the NFL with no running ability. I honestly believe that the answer is giving them more opportunity and some patience. In other words, trade everyone to New England!
I don’t want to talk about the actual running game, though. That topic has been analyzed and debated ad nauseam.
I want to discuss another topic that has spurred a lot of recent debate: the Eagles walking away from a “historic” running back class with nothing but a 5’8”, 176-pound change of pace.
With the recent running game struggles, and the early success of rookies like Kareem Hunt and Tarik Cohen, the masses have taken those events, rolled them into a half-baked narrative about the Eagles leaving the draft with only Donnel Pumphrey, and are now passing it around for everyone to take a hit.
Here’s why that’s wrong.