Miles Sanders welcomes more responsibility in the Philadelphia Eagles offense.
When the Philadelphia Eagles selected Miles Sanders in Round 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft with the 53rd-overall selection, there was a pretty common theory around much of the team’s fan base and around the rest of the NFL. It didn’t take a lot to convince anyone that he was a very solid selection for a franchise that definitely needed help at the tailback position.
Then, at various points of the season, three of the Eagles’ top four running backs (Jordan Howard, Corey Clement, Darren Sproles) all either found their way onto the team’s IR (injured reserve) or they spent considerable time on the injury report. Keep in mind the fact that Howard missed over a month’s worth of games with what was called a ‘stinger’.
The point? It’s tough being a running back in today’s NFL. Everyone wants the shiftier guys who can contribute in both the passing and running game, but those guys tend to top out at about five-foot-eleven and 198 pounds.
Then, there’s also this. Running backs could touch the ball anywhere from 15 to 20 times a game while wide receivers may get about seven to eight balls thrown in their direction. We’ve seen the effects on some of the game’s best backs.
As lovers of Philadelphia Eagles football, we insist that Miles Sanders not be overworked.
Look around the league at some of the game’s best. Ezekiel Elliott is already deteriorating. Todd Gurley was one of the game’s best players just two years ago. Now, he’s beginning to look like he’s already on the decline. You worry about guys like Derrick Henry, but what about Miles Sanders? He doesn’t possess the body mass of any of those guys, and even in a committee approach where he shared carries early with Howard and later with Boston Scott, we still had to endure watching him limp off of the field in Week 17 versus the New York Giants.
Does anyone else feel like it’s important that Philly put an emphasis on ensuring that Sanders has a long career? Do any of us want to see ’26’ hammering the ball up the middle of the defensive line twenty times a game and taking shots from defensive linemen and linebackers who are 100 pounds heavier?
Just last week, Eagles running backs and assistant head coach Duce Staley spoke with the Philly media and complimented his running backs room. He also stated Sanders is ready for an increased role, a statement the second-year man co-signed on in a Sunday presser of his own.
Take a look at what ’26’ had to say.
"I’m just excited to do whatever I can to help this team win, whether it’s on the ground or if it’s in the air… Looking at my film honestly, I just wanted to get stronger, upper body and lower body-wise. Just stronger altogether. I want to break more tackles. Just show a little bit more on the ground."
Sanders also mentioned that, after tallying 1,327 yards from scrimmage, he had “probably left about almost 200 or 300 yards left on the ground”. According to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Dave Zangaro, Eagles All-World right guard Brandon Brooks has worked to put Miles Sanders in touch with Arian Foster this offseason.
Brooks and Foster were teammates on the Houston Texans roster from 2012 to 2015. Foster racked up 7,042 rushing yards, 2,494 receiving yards, and 74 career touchdowns over the course of his 84-game career (if you include four playoff games). He should provide a nice tutor for a guy the ‘Birds’ are expecting a lot from. Still, committee systems exist for a reason, and Philly should rely on theirs. No one wants to see Sanders have a short career.