2. The Philadelphia Eagles have a lot of players with similar skill sets in their current rotation. Guys will need to be kept fresh.
When a team employs someone with Sanders’ skill set, you want to get the most out of them for as long as you can get them to produce, and for all that we have done to complain about Philly’s offense over the past two seasons, its blandness and predictability, there’s one thing Duce Staley and Doug Pederson have gotten right. They’ve done a good job of keeping guys fresh.
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That will need to continue again in 2020, and the closer we all get to the regular season, it appears that the Eagles have settled upon Sanders, Boston Scott, Corey Clement, and Elijah Holyfield as the four guys they’re taking into battle on their running backs depth chart. Physically, none of those guys are LeGarrette Blount, Derrick Henry, or Todd Gurley in his prime (look at what the punishment did to the latter). From the outside looking in, Philly’s top four running backs are seemingly guys who all bring the same thing to the table, and none of them is a workhorse.
For the physical health of all of those guys, and if we truly want Sanders’ career to stretch past five seasons (and we do), the carries need to be spread around. Just look at 2019’s campaign. At its beginning, Jordan Howard was the starter. What happened? Philly’s coaches wanted to make him the sledgehammer, and eventually, a “stinger” that was supposed to be evaluated on a day-to-day basis, in essence, ended his season after nine weeks.
In came Sanders as the starter. Was he amazing? Of course, he was. He set franchise-rookie marks for rushing yards (818) and all-purpose yards (1,641), but he also limped off of the field in the season finale and was unable to return to action. Thank goodness for Boston Scott.
No one wants to see that again in 2020, and anyone who has Doug Pederson’s ear needs to let him know that no one wants to see “26” miss extensive time because he clearly needed a break. No one wants to see the “Birds” run Sanders into the ground in the same manner that they did with “Shady”.