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Eagles Running Game Lacks Creativity

Eagles running game Jeremy Vandroff Via Flickr


The Philadelphia Eagles Running Game Needs A Spark

Overall, it has been a letdown to watch the Philadelphia Eagles running game. It’s strange to say such statement because Philadelphia doesn’t lack talent at the position. The first preseason game against the Green Bay Packers is where the concern was born because of running back LeGarrette Blount only had four carries and nine rushing yards. Rookie running back Donnell Pumphrey was also given four carries but like Blount, he struggled to get find any rhythm. Both backs didn’t fare any better in this week’s preseason game against the Buffalo Bills. The Eagles running game was slightly better. Undrafted running back Corey Clement rushed for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter. Nonetheless, Clement’s touchdown wasn’t enough to mask the Eagles’ clear inability to run the ball.

Let’s Address The Elephant In The Room

What is going on with the Eagles running game? Is Blount enough to spark the running game? In my opinion, offensive coordinator Frank Reich and head coach Doug Pederson need to be more creative with the play-calling. The offense has to learn to mix it up and call better plays, specifically, run plays. Reich has many options at running back that he could have a different back in every down. Blount is dangerous when small yards are needed, but can also get the tough yards if needed. The Eagles can change things up on 1st and 2nd downs with backs like Darren Sproles and Donnell Pumphrey. The different looks in the backfield can be good for puzzling opposing defenses.

Blount Has To Be Used Carefully And Correctly

This isn’t a knock on Blount. He shouldn’t be catching passes or be tasked with outside runs. He’s a running back that can push defenders off and break a tackle or two in a single run. However, he’s a 30-year old back so Eagles fans shouldn’t expect to see him in every snap of a game. What can help Blount be productive for the offense is helping him preserve his energy. The Eagles running game has potential but it’s the coaching staff’s job to figure out the best way to get the best out of all the running backs.

Smallwood Needs To Watch Out For Clement

Players like Blount, Sproles, and Pumphrey are the popular options for Philadelphia fans. But should the coaching staff look somewhere else? What about running back Corey Clement? Has he done enough to earn a spot on the team? He did have a respectable game against the Bills. Wendell Smallwood’s injury obstructed his progress with the team. It’s unlikely to see Smallwood get any real minutes with arguably four running backs ahead of him. The fourth one being Clement, of course. The Eagles running game has to focus on not being predictable and call plays depending on which running back is behind quarterback Carson Wentz.

Give Blount Time, He’ll Come Around

Ultimately, the Eagles have to solve their running back dilemma before the end of preseason. The offense needs a running game that can help open things up for the wide receivers. Finally, Blount isn’t going anywhere. It’s only preseason and the two-time Super Bowl champion deserves the benefit of the doubt.