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Eagles to shift to two-back system under Chip Kelly

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After being a predominantly one-back offense for most of Andy Reid’s tenure as head coach, the Philadelphia Eagles plan on shifting to a two-back offense next season.

According to Reuben Frank of, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur plans to use both LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown and split the workload in the Eagles backfield.

“I think it’s important that you use more than one running back,” Shurmur said. “It’s a long season, and a guy can run out of gas quickly.

“If you have guys who are different, you can use them in different ways, and you try to play to their strengths. I think that’s important.”

Head coach Chip Kelly frequently relied on multiple running backs during his tenure at Oregon. Kelly had at least two players with more than 90 carries a season in each of his four years as head coach of the Ducks. Last season, running backs Kenjon Barner, De’Anthony Thomas and Byron Marshall and quarterback Marcus Mariota all had at least 87 carries a piece for Oregon.

Both McCoy and Brown each carried the ball over 100 times last season for the Eagles. It was the first time since 2003 when Shurmur was the Eagles quarterbacks coach that Philadelphia accomplished that feat. In between, McCoy and Brian Westbrook had been relied on to take the majority of the carries for the Eagles.

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21 Responses to “Eagles to shift to two-back system under Chip Kelly”
  1. christopher525 says: Feb 13, 2013 12:22 AM

    It’s a long season and guys can run out of gas quickly, eh? You told Adrian Peterson about that yet?

  2. mazblast says: Feb 13, 2013 12:24 AM

    On an Andy Reid team, I’m surprised there were over 200 rushing attempts by the Eagles in one season. Man, is he pass-happy. All those incomplete three-yard patterns on third-and-a-foot.

  3. downslide33 says: Feb 13, 2013 2:16 AM

    And LeSean McCoy goes from top 5 fantasy pick to 5th round fantasy pick.

  4. tombstone7 says: Feb 13, 2013 2:46 AM

    Philly is gonna love them some Chip Kelly! Very aggressive and in tune with his players!

  5. ryanspecial says: Feb 13, 2013 3:21 AM

    If Bryce Brown doesn’t fix that fumbling problem, Coach might want to look at Dion Lewis a little harder if he plans to run that 2 back system.

  6. phillyphannn83 says: Feb 13, 2013 4:19 AM

    I like it, as long as Brown figures out how to look like he’s using stickum. In all seriousness though, he’ll get better at ball security with more touches. Now let’s go draft Joekel!!

  7. prinefan5 says: Feb 13, 2013 4:35 AM

    this seems odd considering how shurmur ran Trent Richardson into the ground last year.

  8. pabrownsfan says: Feb 13, 2013 5:41 AM

    Thats strange. he played Trent Richardson 90% of the snaps playing with broken ribs all year.

  9. mustbechris says: Feb 13, 2013 6:53 AM

    for what it’s worth, the Eagles ran a three back set in the EARLY days of Reid’s tenure featuring the Duce Staley/Brian Westbrook/Correll Buckhalter “three headed monster” set. for whatever reason, Reid started running his 1st string runningbacks pretty exclusively after Duce left, and often kept little depth at running back behind Westbrook – especially in the several seasons Buckhalter missed due to injury. This has long been a point of contention for Eagles fans with Reid – specifically, fans always clamored for a power back to complement smallish and speedy Westbrook and now McCoy. Bryce is the first such back we’ve really ever had. Figures he gets drafted in Reid’s final season.

    In shirt: this will be a very welcome change.

  10. mustbechris says: Feb 13, 2013 6:55 AM

    I have to wonder how often we will see Desean Jackson running the ball given his self-comparison to DeAnthony Thomas. I could see him used much more like the Vikings use Percy Harvin than we’ve seen in the past.

  11. sjoyner59 says: Feb 13, 2013 7:02 AM

    Bryce Brown certainly has all the tools to become a good back in the NFL but if he doesn’t learn to hold onto the football he will not be able to get on the field

  12. division2lbss says: Feb 13, 2013 7:33 AM

    Getting the ball in LeSean’s hands more often spumds good

  13. ccjcsr says: Feb 13, 2013 8:02 AM

    Does it really matter, we’re talking about the eagles!

  14. vinceofdarkness says: Feb 13, 2013 8:07 AM

    A balanced offense (something Andy & Marty never subscribed too) is just the new offense needs. McCoy and Brown will be a great one two punch, provided Brown learns how to hold onto he ball. Something Duce Staley needs to make priority one.

  15. mp4philly says: Feb 13, 2013 8:28 AM

    The eagles never employed a one back system until recently. Early in Reid’s tenure they used two backs with Garner and Staley. At one point the even used three backs with Staley, Buckhalter and Westbrook in ’03.

  16. 1509lucky says: Feb 13, 2013 11:51 AM

    Bryce Brown will never be a stud Running Back until he learns Ball Security. The kid has all the tools,but until he shows an ability to hold on to the ball,I just can’t have any faith in him.

  17. realphan says: Feb 13, 2013 1:55 PM

    He can use 12 backs it won’t matter at all, if one of the backs keeps coughing up the ball, along with the QB! So let me get this straight, you keep vick who was responsible for 2.3 turnovers a game (A GAME) which invariably leads to at LEAST 6 losses, not to mention a depleted and pissed off defense, then you want to FEATURE a second back, in a guy who had on average, 1.5 turnovers per game. If I were shady, I would be pissed, becuase he will never see the ball, save for 1st and 10! IF he doesn’t score, they are screwed, because the odds are greater they will turn over the ball then get off another play! BTW….they should get rid of Shady now, while he still has value, SERIOUSLY before you hate….are we two years away from a superbowl? NO! Is Shady (who has a concussion under his belt and is already under-sized) 2 years away from being the next guy out? YES! Get value for him now, so the next coach has some good draft picks! FIRE KELLY NOW!

  18. bobonmycob says: Feb 13, 2013 2:14 PM

    prinefan5 says:Feb 13, 2013 4:35 AM

    this seems odd considering how shurmur ran Trent Richardson into the ground last year.

    Trent Richardson was the only decent back on the Browns so your point is invalid.

  19. onlyinthenfl says: Feb 13, 2013 3:00 PM

    Four of eight stories on the Eagles. My guess is there is no news on other NFL teams OR, someone is fixated on the Eagles. Will read elsewhere for news.

  20. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Feb 13, 2013 3:20 PM

    Someone better let Chip Kelly know the NFL has a 53 man roster. He still thinks it will be college football where he had 100 players on the sideline. I hear the Eagles will be playing their games next year on Saturdays.

  21. patssteelersorgiants says: Feb 14, 2013 2:14 AM

    I thought Vick was going to be the 2nd RB since he says he can rush for 1000 yards under Kelly’s system?

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