2012 NFL Offseason: The Eagles Running Backs

For a team that has developed a strong reputation for being pass happy, the Philadelphia Eagles are actually one of the top rushing offenses in the league.


In 2010, the Birds rushed for more yards but that was because quarterback Michael Vick had a lot to do with it.  This past season, LeSean McCoy embarked on a successful mission to be considered one of the best rushers in the league.


To ensure theHarrisburg,PA native can continue this type of performance for a few more years, he needs more assistance from his backups.


Looking at the current roster, the Eagles cannot be content…..


LeSean McCoy


The former Pitt Panther exploded in 2011, rushing for 1309 yards and leading the league with 17 TDs.  Despite the concerns with how he carries the ball, McCoy only fumble the ball one time.


As successful as McCoy was, he actually digressed in the passing game (who didn’t??). I don’t think this will be a huge problem going forward.  The thing I like most about McCoy is that he acknowledges the fact that he can still improve.


Going into the final season of his rookie deal, the Eagles need to address McCoy’s contract ASAP.


Ronnie Brown


Signing Brown was one of the biggest mistakes heading into the 2011 season.  Two things stand out most about his brief tenure as an Eagle.  The first, of course, was the boneheaded fumble at the goal line against the 49ers.  Second, the Philly attempted to trade Brown toDetroitfor 2010 backup Jerome Harrison.


It’s safe to say Ronnie Brown will not be re-signed.


Dion Lewis


Maybe it was the lack of OTAs, but Lewis’ rookie season was very disappointing.  He wasn’t called upon in the running game even while Brown was obviously struggling. His one reception actually lost yardage.


Even as a kick returner, it looked as if he was just going through the motions.  If he’s to make in on the regular season roster in 2012, Lewis has a lot of improving to do.


Graig Cooper


Signed to a futures contract, Cooper is getting a second opportunity with the Eagles.  The former Miami Hurricane spent the preseason with the Eagles, but didn’t get much of opportunity to make the final cut.


He did enough to keep his phone number in the Birds contact list.  This go around, Cooper can take advantage of the OTAs and gain more recognition.


Stanley Havili (FB)


Havili spent his rookie season on the practice squad.  The 2011 7th round pick from USC is not considered a traditional fullback.  He’s more of an offensive weapon than a blocker.


This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It just makes people question whether Havili will be a backup halfback or the starting fullback.


Owen Schmitt (FB)


Schmitt did an okay job as a blocker.  As an offensive weapon, he offered nothing.  Don’t expect to see him inmidnightgreen next season.


2012 Forecast


As far as the running backs are concerned, the first order of business should be to sign McCoy to an extension.  The Eagles cannot afford to allow the final year of his rookie contract to be a distraction like WR DeSean Jackson.


Philly’s running game needs more productions from halfbacks besides McCoy as well.  Outside of his Pro Bowl performance, nobody else gained more than 136 yards.  The Eagles will take a long look at Cooper, Lewis and Havili, but they may still seek additional help.


Outside of San Diego’s Mike Tolbert, the potential free agent list isn’t much to look at.  I can definitely see a halfback and a fullback being acquired via the draft or trade.  If the Eagles do acquire a running back in the draft, it’ll likely be on Day 3.  Mississippi’s Brandon Bolden and Temple’s Evan Rodriguez should both be available in the 6th round.


Next: Wide Receivers


3 thoughts on “2012 NFL Offseason: The Eagles Running Backs

  1. Great Season by MCCoy, but I see him having a very hard time duplicated 2011 #’s as Defenses will prepare for him more and if Eagles don’t Resign D-Jax,
    they will see a lot more Defenses with a Safety in the box and not 20 yards deep.. Still a great player and deserving of a nice contract extension
    Quality RB’s that are Free-Agents without breaking the bank are

    RB – Michael Bush (Raiders)
    RB – Justin Forsett (Seahawks)
    RB – Ryan Grant (PAckers)
    RB – Tashard Coice (Cowboys)

    FB – Le’Ron McClain (KC Chiefs)

  2. Help from his back-ups…why don’t keep it real and write about the fact that the interior of the O-Line sucked for 98% of the season and the running game needs some support from a legitimate sized O-Line…Is it necessary to whip out the Chicago game tape to clarify it for you? Having Lesean Mccoy improv every week like his name is Brad Pitt doesn’t make for a compelling running game strategy. Running lanes need to be opened where they are supposed to be opened since very few running backs are the type of cut back runners McCoy is. The Eagles should save their money, keep the current RBs minus Ronnie Brown (maybe) and fix the O-Line by starting Winston Justice, moving Herremans’ back to LG and then have an open competition for the RG spot during summer camp.

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