There has been a lot of offseason talk about concern at the running back position, but perhaps it isn’t warranted. Most fans have expressed worry over backup Mike Bell and what he can bring to the fold, but the Eagles depth in the backfield is a strongpoint. If anything, the concern should be over starter LeSean McCoy.
Overall, “Shady” had an impressive first season. However , the rookie’s numbers faded towards the end of the year and he rarely saw a large number of carries. McCoy averaged 42 rushing yards per game the first 12 games of the year, but just 22.2 in the final six. He also only topped the 15 carry mark in three games. Philadelphia needs McCoy to be a go-to back.
That said, the depth behind McCoy may provide head coach Andy Reid the option to keep McCoy’s touches down by spreading out the carries. Mike Bell has averaged 4.0 yards per carry over his NFL career, but he’s never topped 200 carries in a season. That makes him a good fit as a change of pace back to McCoy, and with his style of play it should work well. Bell doesn’t waste much time hitting the hole and runs with power.
But more than anything, I’m excited to see Charles Scott in camp. I loved the pick when the Eagles grabbed the LSU product in the sixth round. At 5’11, 238 pounds, Scott is a powerful runner. During his senior year, his numbers were brought down due to injury. In 2008 though, Scott racked up 1,174 yards on 217 carries. He also found the end zone 18 times during his junior campaign. Scott may have less polish than some of the draft picks who went higher, but his size and raw power make him an interesting prospect.
While Eldra Buckley is a known commodity to the Eagles, Scott brings a lot to the table. If Buckley can’t cement his roster spot with special teams play, he may have his hands full holding off Scott. Buckley averaged less than three yards per carry last season, which simply isn’t good enough to warrant a spot on an NFL roster in and of itself.
So while the top two running backs may not be as interesting to watch in camp, the intrigue of seeing what Scott can do should draw some attention. And the reps in camp will be important for McCoy, as he prepares to carry the load himself in 2010.
Training Camp Coverage
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