Philadelphia Eagles Position Battle: LeSean McCoy vs. Lorenzo Booker
The battle for the No. 2 running back spot on the Eagles' roster appears to be rookie LeSean McCoy's to lose.
But if you ask running back Lorenzo Booker, the job is rightfully his.
Popular belief in and around the NovaCare Complex is that McCoy is the backup to Brian Westbrook and the slated heir apparent. All signs point to McCoy taking on the workload as the number two running back.
Booker, with all pride imaginable, begs to differ on this point.
"For me to start sweating, you've got to take my job," Booker said. "Come take my job. If you can take it, then take it. We'll see. That's what the whole point of camp and all that is."
Booker, 24, was acquired from the Miami Dolphins for a fourth round pick prior to the 2008 season. His stock on the team rose due to his dazzling mini-camp workouts, but fell sharply when his skills failed to translate to the rigors of full contact. As a result, Booker rarely saw the field in 2008, producing just 64 total yards of offense.
Booker is optimistic that with Correll Buckhalter's departure to Denver his time has come to assume the vacant role.
"I think last year, for me, was more of a redshirt year," Booker said. "I don't think coming in Coach Reid's intentions were to just throw me out there. He didn't have to. Again, you have Brian and you have Correll Buckhalter in 2008."
In April, the Eagles publicly suggested that Booker would indeed get his time to shine.
"For whatever reason, it didn't work out great for him last year," Eagles General Manager Tom Heckert said. "But we think he can still play."
Although the tone has changed since the drafting of McCoy later in the month, Booker is optimistic that his job is secure.
"Had they drafted a running back in the first round that's a whole 'nother commitment," Booker said. "That means the back doesn't really have to work for his job. He's given the job. That's anybody in the first round. When you make that kind of investment in a person, you're going to see what you can get out of them."
McCoy is the obvious choice as the backup; despite what Booker may believe.
The Eagles purposely chose him with more in mind than just to compete for the backup running back position in 2009. The 20-year-old McCoy has a higher upside than Booker, who despite his stellar college career at Florida State has not made the transition to the pro game.
McCoy is a more complete back in comparison, but needs to make a drastic improvement in his blocking ability.
The competition may be on in Booker's mind, but barring injury, McCoy has this one wrapped up.
Source: philly.com-Jeff McLane
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