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Eagles say Sproles will run the ball first, catch it second

Sproles Getty Images

New Eagles running back Darren Sproles had more catches than runs in each of his last two seasons in New Orleans, and there’s been some talk that Sproles will effectively serve as a replacement to departed wide receiver DeSean Jackson in Philadelphia. But the Eagles’ coaches say Sproles is first and foremost a running back.

“I think he’s an outstanding running back, that’s what he is,” Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur told Philly.com. “There’s a lot of conversation about the fact we brought him in to play receiver. He’s played at a very high level for 10 years. He brings outstanding leadership. He’s one of our hardest workers. The first training session he went out there and he finishes as well as you see from any player, not to mention he can help us running the ball and catching it. That’s a very strong addition for us.”

Although head coach Chip Kelly has talked about Sproles being a difficult matchup for opposing defenses when he lines up in the slot, Shurmur said Sproles’s spot is in the backfield.

“He’s a running back, so we’re going to line him up in the backfield,” Shurmur said. “There is a portion of our offense where we can be in empty, or we can motion him out.”

That, however, will apparently be a minority of the time. Sproles’s primary role is to spell LeSean McCoy at running back.

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37 Responses to “Eagles say Sproles will run the ball first, catch it second”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 17, 2014 10:28 AM

    As opposed to the Saints’ style…”he’s a WR, so we’re going to line him up at TE so we can pay him less”.

  2. hakunamangata says: Jun 17, 2014 10:30 AM

    Wait so Chip Kelly is going to use a Running back as a running back? He truly is a genius and I for one am glad PFT had this article to prove it.

  3. thepftpoet says: Jun 17, 2014 10:31 AM

    Adrian Peterson > LeSean McCoy.

    Adrian Peterson > Darren Sproles.

    Minnesota Vikings > Eagles.

  4. packergator says: Jun 17, 2014 10:31 AM

    Easy to say now; let’s see how the O-line comes together in August and September.

  5. avenueoffreedom says: Jun 17, 2014 10:35 AM

    I was unaware Shurmur was the new Eagles O-Coordinator. So much for them repeating as NFC East Champs..

  6. paulnoga says: Jun 17, 2014 10:40 AM

    RB Sproles was let go by the Saints for a reason: he is 31 years old this June, and has lost at least a step. he has played indoors on fast turf and was released anyway.
    And yes, he was released, but when their were trade rumors, the Saints rescinded the release and got a draft pick. They were surprised.

  7. nyeagles10 says: Jun 17, 2014 10:42 AM

    Sproles will be used all over the field thats no secret

  8. s0merand0mguy says: Jun 17, 2014 10:47 AM

    McCoy and Sproles as a 1-2 punch? With Polk as the 3rd power back? Sounds great to me!

  9. eagleswin says: Jun 17, 2014 10:50 AM

    packergator says:
    Jun 17, 2014 10:31 AM
    Easy to say now; let’s see how the O-line comes together in August and September.

    —————–

    The O-Line is returning pretty much everyone and they are running the same scheme as last year.

    Not sure what there is to be concerned about (other than an injury)?

  10. floreskins says: Jun 17, 2014 11:00 AM

    RB Sproles was let go by the Saints for a reason: he is 31 years old this June, and has lost at least a step. he has played indoors on fast turf and was released anyway.
    And yes, he was released, but when their were trade rumors, the Saints rescinded the release and got a draft pick. They were surprised.
    ————————–
    He was released, because they had 2 other serviceable backs in an offense that doesn’t feature a RB. He was also released, because they wanted to throw too much money at Jarius Byrd, who just had back surgery.

  11. renberg19 says: Jun 17, 2014 11:06 AM

    Smokescreen

  12. baddegg says: Jun 17, 2014 11:15 AM

    Whatever they will do will be awesome because Chip Kelly is an offensive genius and can do no wrong.

    What does New Orleans know. Their offense sucks compared to Chip Kelly’s.

  13. rrhoe says: Jun 17, 2014 11:17 AM

    Gotta love the Eagle fans,in their mind Chip can do no wrong,I cannot wait for the season to start.

  14. mungman69 says: Jun 17, 2014 11:37 AM

    Why do people hate the Eagles? What have they ever done to you? Hate the cowboys, hate the Patriots, hate the steelers. The Eagles last won the championship at home, in front of a standing room only crowd but NFL rules of the day said NO home games on TV. Welcome to 1960.

  15. hanifmiller says: Jun 17, 2014 11:38 AM

    Easy to say now; let’s see how the O-line comes together in August and September.
    _________________________________
    You mean the O-line that was stellar last year with 2 pro-bowlers (listed on the NFL’s top 100) and 1 all-pro center along with a rookie lineman who was arguably the best line-man drafted last your.

  16. coldwater32301 says: Jun 17, 2014 11:39 AM

    The Eagles got a steal, imagine McCoy and Sproles on the field at the same time… pick your poison… now one thing I do not see is the field stretcher that D. Jackson was, however I look forward to seeing how the Eagles will be better this incoming season with a year of chemistry under their belt… Indeed…

  17. treye2 says: Jun 17, 2014 11:59 AM

    LIES!!! Why would any team tell the truth about how they will use a player that has multiple options as an offensive weapon? It would only hurt you. The media acts like everything told to them is the truth.

  18. crubenst says: Jun 17, 2014 12:01 PM

    Translation.. treat him like a wr and put nickel or dime out there and we will gash you from balls to throat up the gut. Play it straight and Sproles will burn any linebacker in the league. You can’t beat Chip. You can only hate. I smell fear and jealousy from all the haters.

  19. jbeagles23 says: Jun 17, 2014 12:12 PM

    Yup question arguably the best offensive line in all of football. Lets see how they come together. Even eagles haters can admit dumb comments when they read them

  20. johnclaytonsponytail says: Jun 17, 2014 12:17 PM

    This tells me they’ll use him exactly how the Saints did. They made the most out of him on screens and dump offs and stretch plays. He’s not gonna get you a bunch of yards between the tackles. Sean Payton>Chip Kelly. Our first win in the cold on the road says so.

  21. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jun 17, 2014 12:19 PM

    Sproles is there to relieve McCoy of so many carries since Chip pushes his team to run a thousand plays a game like he is in college with a 100 person roster and 8 RBs to rotate.

    It’s the NFL and pro RBs like McCoy want to extend their careers as long as they can.

  22. s0merand0mguy says: Jun 17, 2014 12:24 PM

    The comments section is filled with fear. Look at all the negative comments. Chip Kelly on his 1st year coaching in the pros taking his team to the playoffs and division title. I see all these “chip Kelly back to school” posts and I think “so… after a 1st year of extreme success he’s just going to all of a sudden be horrible when now his team actually knows and understands the offense/defense? lol ok….

  23. flexx91 says: Jun 17, 2014 12:37 PM

    Extreme success? Are you kidding me? Winning a division title (and a playoff berth) in that division isn’t saying much – and had to fight to the bitter end against a team with a pathetic defense with their backup underachieving QB at that. LOL ok is right.

  24. boudinhider says: Jun 17, 2014 12:48 PM

    Sproles will be good in Kelly’s offense but I’d not crown chip yet. 1 good season in that circus of a division means you get beat in the first round of the playoffs by a superior QB and head coach. Scoreboard.

  25. timtomandkevin says: Jun 17, 2014 12:53 PM

    Worked for the Ravens and Ray Rice last year. NOT! (busted)

  26. greenwhodat26 says: Jun 17, 2014 1:15 PM

    You seriously are an ignorant homer if you think Chip Kelly is better than Sean Payton. Payton is one, if not the greatest offensive minds the NFL has ever seen. His track record proves it. Kelly had one good but inconsistent season as the Eagles’ head coach. They were supposed to run like a 100 plays/game, or that’s what the media claimed. Half way through the season, New England averaged like 8 more plays/game. Sorry, he isn’t the innovator that Payton is. He could be close, but not on Payton’s level.

  27. avenueoffreedom says: Jun 17, 2014 2:00 PM

    Yea yea Chip won the division last year with a 10-6 record, and I respect that. Jim Zorn went 8-8 in his first year as the R-word’s HC. Just sayin…

  28. cunninghampeetemcnabbvick says: Jun 17, 2014 2:05 PM

    Who was the last rookie head coach with absolutely no NFL experience to win their division with a team that won 4 games the year prior? The Saints fans talking trash are pathetic to even compare a Superbowl winning coach like Sean Payton to Chip Kelly. We haven’t even installed the entire Playbook yet… geez. Give us a minute.

  29. birdfanatdabeach says: Jun 17, 2014 2:32 PM

    Sproles runs it first, catches it second, and then scores on third down. This cat will be all over the formation driving every “D” coordinator crazy.

    Sproles is a CHIP guy.
    He is smart, serious. dedicated and willing to do what is needed.

    I will see you all on Broad and South for the first parade. Yes, I said “first parade”. Chip ain’t done. Chip is just starting.

    In Chip We Trust
    ICWT….ICWT….ICWT

  30. s0merand0mguy says: Jun 17, 2014 2:36 PM

    So Flexx, how’s the hateraid taste? I hear it makes you say silly comments, 1st year in the pros with a playoff berth, division title, pro bowl/hall of famer QB, same team of players from a 4-12 to 10-6 record and you claim that’s not success? You must work at McDonalds.

  31. saintsfan87 says: Jun 17, 2014 2:38 PM

    And speaking of Jimmy, he’s a TE. No question about it.

  32. captainwisdom8888 says: Jun 17, 2014 3:43 PM

    Chris Polk is easily overlooked, and he’s a lot more talented than people give him credit for, a special teams standout as well.

    One guy Chris Polk should have in his rear view mirror is Matthew Tucker, and I expect Tucker to push him for the 3rd RB spot for sure.

  33. TheWizard says: Jun 17, 2014 4:30 PM

    Like trey said, it has to be disinformation.

    No team is that stupid as to reveal what their plans are for the season.

    Right?

  34. imnotsorryisaidthat says: Jun 17, 2014 5:18 PM

    Im sure Kelly will find some way to use..Sproles,Shady,Polk,Maclin,Cooper,Matthews,Huff,Ertz,Celek,Casey..did I leave anybody out?behind the best ol in football with a qb who is pretty damm good..so to all you haters who fear the mad scientist get ready for year two of the Big Green Machine

  35. srg608 says: Jun 17, 2014 6:54 PM

    Wow, so many morons, so little time. Eagles haters abound. Chip Kelly is one year in to his professional career. So far, pretty darn good. Took a team from 4 wins to 10 wins and a division title (regardless how weak the division was) in his first year. Led the league in plays gaining 20 yards or more. Lead the league in rushing offense and played fast break football. Arguing who’s the best coach or offensive mind is ridiculous and a fools errand. Bottom line, he was very successful in turning around the franchise in short order. We haven’t even started training camps yet this year, so let’s see what happens. When the playoffs start in January, we’ll know who the contenders and pretenders are. Then you can talk your trash……

  36. robertbayard says: Jun 18, 2014 1:06 AM

    Sproles did little last season. Unless he’s only in for a handful of plays, to stay fresh, I wouldn’t expect much, no matter who his coach is.

  37. iwantrudytodressforme says: Jun 18, 2014 6:54 PM

    Did someone just call Nick Foles the “underachieving backup?” Underachieving? You must not be watching. Dude had two of his jerseys go to to canton last year, had a history making int/td ratio, he made the pro bowl with only 10 starts and oh yeah, he got MVP of the pro bowl as the cherry on top of his “underachieving” sundae. Haters gonna hate but man you’re just saying dumb things now.

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