Addition Of Jerome Harrison Marks Change In Running Back Usage In Philly

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistOctober 13, 2010

CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 27:  Jerome Harrison #35 of the Cleveland Browns runs by Tyvon Branch #33 of the Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

During the Andy Reid era in Philadelphia, the Eagles have always employed a two running back system with a primary back and a secondary back that usually complements the primary back.

From 2000 to 2002, the Eagles used Duce Staley as their primary back with Correll Buckhalter being the young speedy backup.

This all changed in 2003 when Brian Westbrook was drafted out of Villanova and quickly turned the running back position in Philadelphia to primarily speed with a bigger, short-yardage back as the backup whether it be Dorsey Levens, a slower injury-prone Buckhalter or Leonard Weaver, the Eagles have always had two running backs with different traits.

Now with the trade of Mike Bell to Cleveland for Jerome Harrison, the Eagles are in a position that they have rarely seen with their running backs, two speedy young backs with big play potential.

With Weaver out injured, Bell was supposed to be the short yardage back but that has failed so far this season and the switch in philosophy could be a good change with current Eagles team.

Harrison now joins starter LeSean McCoy in the backfield and he also adds to the explosive offense that will only see its full potential come when Michael Vick comes back from his injury to start at quarterback.

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The change in philosophy at the running back will ultimately benefit the Eagles and their play-makers on offense.

With Vick most likely back for the Week 7 game at Tennessee, the Eagles could feature Vick, McCoy, Harrison, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin all on the field at once, which is scary for opposing defenses.

The Eagles will no doubt try to have somewhat of a power running attack by having McCoy go up the middle and occasionally giving the ball to fullback Owen Schmitt, who has done a good job filling in for Weaver, but the big plays should come early and often when the team gets back to full strength.