So what in the world was Eagles running back Ronnie Brown thinking on Sunday when he ran into a pile and then suddenly threw the ball backward, giving up a costly fumble? Good question. And Brown doesn’t have much of an answer.
Asked after the game what he was doing, Brown said that he had a run-pass option on the play and that when he got stopped he figured he should pass the ball, even though there was no one to pass to, and even though he threw the pass backward.
“It was a designed play,” Brown said. “I’ve just got to make a better decision with the ball. No matter if it’s a pass or a run, I’ve just got to make a better decision. I was trying to out-think myself a little bit. It was a pass play and I was thinking, once the guy slipped off, just try to throw the ball away and give us another chance for fourth down – not take a loss where we can go for it on fourth down, if possible. I’ve just got to make a better decision with the ball.”
To say that Brown has to make a better decision next time is an understatement. The truth is, after what Brown did on Sunday, the Eagles might not be able to afford to give him a next time: Brown has had some success in the past as a Wildcat quarterback, but from now on if the Eagles want to call a play in which someone takes a snap and has the option to run or pass, they’d be wise to limit those plays to Michael Vick or, maybe, Vince Young.