How Should Philadelphia Eagles Address Dion Lewis Following Dumb Arrest?
According to Bryan Fitzgerald of the Albany Times-Union:
Dion Lewis was arrested over the weekend on felony charges after police said he and his older brother nearly knocked a downtown hotel's glass doors off their hinges and pulled a fire alarm.
In a more professional manner however, Lewis did immediately apologize through the team's official site:
"I want to apologize to my family, the Albany community, the Eagles organization and fans, and to the NFL for my involvement in an incident this past weekend," Lewis said.
What should the Eagles do with Dion Lewis?
Still, the Eagles have to take some course of action regarding the situation and send a message not only to Lewis, but to the rest of the team. Obviously illogical and irrational behavior such as this cannot be tolerated, so Philly has to approach with a stern intent.
Already serving as the No. 2 back to LeSean McCoy, Lewis only received 23 carries for 102 yards in 2011 and spent the majority of his time on special teams. There, Lewis returned 31 kickoffs for 669 yards and cemented a strong season as a return specialist to contribute more in 2012.
However, now Lewis may have assisted the Eagles in making their decision easier toward limiting his playing time.
For one, undrafted free agent running back Chris Polk out of Washington will be competing for the No. 2 role. After all, Polk was slated to be a third or fourth-round selection but was available after the draft.
With McCoy as the complete, every down back, Lewis wasn't going to see much time regardless. Now, his odds of legitimately remaining Philly's backup ball carrier may have significantly decreased. Polk is also a different type of running back.
As a between-the-tackles Brahma Bull, Polk will be a great short-yard situation option over Lewis. So just from an offensive perspective, with Polk's forte as a runner, Philly not only could use him more but Lewis' incident just makes taking away playing time that much simpler of a decision.
On the bright side, Lewis could then put all of his attention to developing more as a complete return man. In 2011, he served as the primary kickoff returner while DeSean Jackson kept his role on punt returns.
Well, Philadelphia drafted well and snagged Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin in Round 4. In addition to defense, Boykin returned 110 kickoffs for 2,663 yards and scored four times during his college days.
Therefore, it's now reasonable to suspect that Boykin will be given a greater opportunity to be Philly's primary kickoff returner in 2012. Not to mention, Lewis' return numbers were some of the least productive in the game.
The theme here is obviously geared toward Lewis receiving less playing time and a reduced role. Considering he's a backup running back that plays a similar style to McCoy (but much less developed), Lewis wasn't going to see much time in the backfield this season regardless.
On kickoffs, Boykin is a great option to sit back with Lewis, but the rookie should become the primary returner eventually. Depending on the game situation, Lewis could be a solid contributor to the offense. But after his incident, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Eagles open the window of opportunity even more to the rookies.
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