Ronnie Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles: How He Solves Red Zone Problems

WesAnalyst IAugust 2, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 12:  Ronnie Brown #23 of the Miami Dolphins rushes against the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 12, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles struggled to find the end zone when they drove inside the opponent's 20-yard line last year.

The solution seemed obvious: Sign a big-target wide receiver like Plaxico Burress and let him go get the ball.

When Burress signed with the Jets everyone's attention turned to Randy Moss.

Following Moss' retirement people tossed their hands up in the air and thought all hope was lost.

The Eagles may have found the answer while we all looked in the wrong places.

According to ESPN, the Philadelphia Eagles signed former Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown to a one-year deal.

Brown is not going to pile up a lot of rushing yards because he has problems staying healthy. In six years with Miami he has missed 21 games. That should not be a huge concern though because he will be used primarily as a complement to LeSean McCoy.

We all know McCoy brings speed and agility to the running back position, but he isn't exactly a short-yardage specialist and his effectiveness in the red zone is limited.

That's where Brown steps in.

The Eagles finally have a running back with some size (6'0", 233) who can help them pick up first downs in short yardage situations, run the ball more effectively in the red zone and help protect Michael Vick on several levels.

How many times did the Eagles find themselves facing third-and-short last year only to get stuffed at the line scrimmage or run some gimmicky pass play that failed?

With Brown in the backfield the Eagles can run the ball confidently and extend drives instead of sending in the punt unit.

And when the drives march into the red zone they will actually be able to run the ball behind a physical runner. This will allow the Eagles to not be as predictable and make it more difficult for defenses to stop the Eagles from finding the end zone.

As if those two things aren't important enough, Brown will bring something incredibly important to the table: He will protect Vick.

According to the report, Roseman is complimentary of Brown's ability to pass protect. That's critical when defenses send a blitz and the last man between Vick and a linebacker is Brown. Reid needs to trust a running back to protect the most important part of his offense when defenses are trying to knock him out.

But it doesn't end there.

Vick was actually called upon to run sneaks on short-yardage situations frequently. When he dove forward or ran a bootleg he took some unnecessary hits and they took their toll on Vick.

By Brown taking more hand-offs in those spots, Vick will avoid additional wear and tear on his body and be more effective at the end of the season.

Brown is not going to score a ton of touchdowns or put up mind-blowing stats. But when the season ends you will look back and notice how often he did little things to help this team win.