The Current Philadelphia Eagles Running Back Roster
One of the worst things to watch as a fan is an iconic figure on the decline of his career. That's exactly what Eagles fans witnessed in 2009 with Brian Westbrook. The bright side is that his eventual replacement looks like he's going to be pretty good.
With the current offensive philosophy, the Eagles aren’t going to put a huge emphasis on the number of rushes per game. I’d like to see an increase in carries, but I’ve come to peace with the fact that head coach Andy Reid isn’t going anywhere, and neither is his style of offense.
Going into the 2010 offseason, the Eagles addressed the position with two recent signings. Looking at the current roster, I wonder if it will look the same in August at Lehigh University...
1. Brian Westbrook
Before the concussions occurred, Westbrook was having trouble with his ankle. He doesn't have the initial, dangerous burst he was known for. His most productive plays have come mainly from his experience. I think we've seen the last of Westbrook as an Eagle.
2. LeSean McCoy
McCoy has a lot of talent, but he also has a lot to learn. The rookie has to get better at picking up blitzes. He also has to learn to burst forward and not rely on his juke moves so much. Overall, McCoy's future looks very bright in Philadelphia
3. Eldra Buckley
Unlike McCoy, Buckley is mainly a north/south power runner. Unfortunately, the Eagles don't use his style of run often, so his main role was on special teams. Buckley is a talented asset I'd stilllike to see on the roster.
4. Martell Mallett
An early offseason signing last month, Mallett came from a small school (Univ. of Arkansas-Pine Bluff) and was overlooked during last year's draft. He spent a year in the CFL and made headlines with over 1,200 yards and the Canadian Football League Rookie of The Year honors. This was enough for the Eagles to see how he fits on an NFL team.
Simply put, Leonard Weaver may be the best fullback the Eagles have had since Keith Byars. His addition was a huge improvement over the Tony Hunt/Dan Klecko experiment of 2008. In my opinion, he exceeded the expectations put on him. It is imperative that he stays an Eagle.
Another January signing after the Eagles season ended, Wright projects to be an extra fullback to help keep Weaver’s legs fresh. As long as Weaver’s healthy, Wright’s priority will be to produce enough for other teams to look at him during the preseason.
I have a hard time believing Brian Westbrook will be a Philadelphia Eagles going into training camp. His durability issues—combined with the huge raise in his 2010 salary—wouldn’t make much sense to keep from a football or business perspective. His refusal to retire makes it likely that he’ll go down a career path similar to Shaun Alexander and Deuce McAllister.
If Westbrook does get released, McCoy should be ready to be labeled the No. 1 halfback. The Eagles need to ensure he has adequate depth backing him up.
I have an even harder time believing the Eagles will let Weaver leave via free agency. You can’t ask for a bigger first year impact from someone on and off the field.
If Mallett’s CFL success transfers to the NFL, the Eagles backfield will be in great shape.