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Eagles say they won't sign another tailback for camp

nfl_westbrook2_250.jpgBrian Westbrook is the go-to running back of the Philadelphia Eagles.  But, lately, his legs have been going to pot.  (We groaned only a little over that one.)

Still, even though Westbrook is recovering from fairly recent surgery to repair an ankle problem, the Eagles don’t plan to sign another tailback as camp approaches.

“We’re a little inexperienced, but at this point at running back we
think we have some real quality people there
,” Eagles president Joe
Banner said Wednesday, according to Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  “We expect that we’re going to go into camp and
the guys we have are going to put us in a good position to be
successful.  Running back is one of those positions where younger players can step in and have success.”

Banner is right.  We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again.  (If nothing else, it allows us to avoid coming up with new quasi-original thoughts.)  There are many, many players at the college level who can play running back effectively in the NFL, if they get blocking and proper instruction on how to hold onto the ball when they’re hit by NFL-caliber defenders.

So why throw cash at Warrick Dunn or Edgerrin James, especially when those players would occupy a position on the depth chart that otherwise entails playing special teams?

The other reality is that the older guys aren’t cheap.  Though the NFL has created a system that allows veteran players to be signed at a reduced cap charge, the teams still pay out the full dollars of the $850,000 minimum salary paid to guys with ten or more years of service.

Given the economy and the possible effort to tighten belts in order to sell the notion that the current labor agreement must change dramatically, there’s simply no reason for any team that needs a tailback at the bottom of the depth chart to pay for a guy with a big name and a large minimum salary.

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20 Responses to “Eagles say they won't sign another tailback for camp”
  1. swoopnc says: Jul 23, 2009 8:34 AM

    You are changing Mike. Finally, a story about the Eagles or their FO that isn’t bashing. Keep up the good work!

  2. Lucky5927 says: Jul 23, 2009 8:34 AM

    So let me get this straight? The economy is the reason why they can not sign a running back to get them through Preseason/Westbrook’s recovery? I mean they signed Jason “I did not know I gave up 11 1/2 sacks” Peters to a $60 Million Extension, but will be cheap over a few hundred thousand dollars? I agree that they have some solid players at the RB position, but why not bring in a veteran who can help teach these back ups during the preseason and lessen their load. Afterall, I would want to keep players like Lesean McCoy healthy in case Westbrook struggles to come back.

  3. bdinphoenix says: Jul 23, 2009 8:37 AM

    Here’s hoping there are no serious injuries because this reminds me of how my beloved Iggles were caught for years without quality receivers, one season without punt and kick returners, and another season without a quality middle line backer. I hope Reno Mahe, Dorsey Levins, and Duce Staley will all be hanging around in shape in case Westbrook goes down.

  4. Big Stretch says: Jul 23, 2009 8:38 AM

    With Westbrook’s history of getting dinged up, McCoy will probably have a chance to prove your theory Mike, but I don’t see how he is better than James or Dunn.
    The Jags could use one of those guys as well with the loss of Fragile Freddy

  5. clemenza says: Jul 23, 2009 8:39 AM

    don’t be stupid chizzler joe banner,you are a billion dollars under the cap so bring in warrick duun he would be perfect in the eagles offense

  6. empty13 says: Jul 23, 2009 8:49 AM

    and wher are all the edge supporters…
    oh yeah they dont wake up till noon…

  7. EskinSux says: Jul 23, 2009 8:57 AM

    Typical Banner BS…..”We’re a little inexperienced, but at this point at running back we think we have some real quality people there,”….Hey Joe, you have whomever the hell Reid wants back there, so don’t act like you’re a talent scout, cause your NOT. B-West coming back from surgery, could use a lighter workload anyway to avoid the eventual injury,McCoy is a unproven rookie (don’t call him a weapon yet eagles fans), he hasn’t done a damn thing. Who knows maybe Booker will step up and gain say 100 yards FOR THE SEASON. I can’t stand this condescending little prick…..

  8. Cleveland Sucks aka Philly Sewer Rat says: Jul 23, 2009 9:06 AM

    It’s pronounced E-GIRLS!

  9. penguininbondage says: Jul 23, 2009 9:26 AM

    Yea, the best thing that has come out of Cleveland was in a sewer pipe.
    This translates to Andy passing 75% of the time.

  10. Outsyder says: Jul 23, 2009 9:35 AM

    Clemenza, they are actually over the cap by about 7 million. Do some research.

  11. 20th & Pattison says: Jul 23, 2009 9:46 AM

    Do you like salt? That is where most of it comes from…good old Cleveland and birth of rock. Just a few things…..

  12. jkorn1818 says: Jul 23, 2009 9:57 AM

    I don’t think this is the eagles year, they have won with no wr’s and at times dinged up on D. if westbrook isnt fully healthy, they might have to pass the torch to another team this yr.

  13. ShockAndAwe09NYG! says: Jul 23, 2009 10:10 AM

    passing 75% of the time?!?!?! I LOVE IT! you better hope that O-Line can hold up that VICIOUS NEW YORK GIANT D-LINE ROTATION! remember 12 sacks lol man its only going to get worse! Go Giants!

  14. Duck Fallas says: Jul 23, 2009 10:10 AM

    I expect Shady McCoy to emerge as the #2 RB. Booker only survives training camp cuts by default.

  15. igglesfan74 says: Jul 23, 2009 10:20 AM

    The eagles will run a lot of screens to McCoy so he doesn’t get banged up. If they want to hand off and plow the middle they will use Booker, Weaver, or Eckel. But yeah, pass-run ratio will be 70-30 so it won’t matter.
    I don’t think they are going to take to many chances getting the rookie hurt.
    Dunn might be worth bringing in since he is a decent back and a team guy, step in when needed and step back when the others are called. He gets it. Edge only wants to go where he can compete to start and has a huge ego that will be a distraction down the line insisting he should get more touches in the media. Can’t have Booker and Edge both mouthing off insisting they get the ball more.

  16. Lucky5927 says: Jul 23, 2009 10:32 AM

    The Eagles are actually in a somewhat difficult position with McCoy. They want to give him lots of reps, but want to make sure he is rested and healthy for the regular season. Westbrook has done well to defy the odds and produce each year despite a consistent injury history. I do feel McCoy will be used more than just with screen passes, although that will help. They will use him to run stretch plays and off-tackle plays and hope he learns how to hit the hole and run upfield as opposed to running laterally. He will do well this year for a rookie, but with that pass-run ratio that everyone has talked about, it will be hard for McCoy to make a major impact on a weekly basis.

  17. EskinSux says: Jul 23, 2009 10:52 AM

    Outsyder…..Go to Eaglescap.com……….They have over 13 million in cap space…Updated July 19,2009….Enough research for ya?

  18. CtownBleedsGreen says: Jul 23, 2009 10:56 AM

    @ ShockandAwe
    Hey Corky, remember how the Giants got zero sacks in three games against the Eagles last year? You ‘tards have serious short term memory issues. And guess what? Our O-line is better than last year.

  19. Opie says: Jul 23, 2009 10:57 AM

    Eagles Avg. 42% running during winning seasons.
    I think, based on statistical averages they will be in that neighborhood, again, this year. It is a proven winning method. Rookie RB’s can be very successful if the OL is strong. These guys are big, athletic, deep, and experienced. Castillo is a huge plus for them, so I’m predicting a 11 or 12 win season.
    They won’t ever get to 70% or 75% passing, that is simply silly to make that prediction. The Giants better hope that their d-line lives up to the predictions, cause that is all they got. Talk about a predictable offense. It’ll be like Buck Belue handing the ball to Hershel Walker at UGA in the early 80’s!
    East is tough, no doubt, a battle of wills, but the Eagles will prevail….

  20. Jackal138 says: Jul 23, 2009 4:26 PM

    Hey ShockAndAwe09NYG —
    6 of those 12 sacks came on Winston Justice, a guy who’s now a 3rd stringer and will (hopefully) be cut before the end of this season.
    But since we’re recalling old Eagles-Giants games…
    Remember the playoffs last year? Lolz.

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