The Eagles see Darren Sproles as “an outstanding running back” and that they plan to line him up in the backfield this season.
That’s a change from the role Sproles played with the Saints. New Orleans lined Sproles up all over the place and threw him the ball more than they handed it to him. They don’t have a clear replacement for Sproles among the running backs on the roster, but quarterback Drew Brees underscored how different Sproles’ role will be in Philly when he said that wide receiver Brandin Cooks could take over the responsibilities.
“Even though Darren Sproles played the running back position, we were creative with him,” Brees said, via Tom Pelissero of USA Today. “We did a lot of things with him out of the backfield. We’d split him out. We’d throw him screens. We’d do all kinds of stuff with him. So, that role can be filled by maybe even a receiver. Hey, we go out in the draft and get a guy in Brandin Cooks out of Oregon State — an explosive player, great speed, great talent, tremendous young man, loves to learn, loves the game of football. … From all indications, this guy can do a lot of things for us, and he’s eager to fill a role that we need him to on offense.”
Brees continued to rave about all of the things that Cooks could do to help the offense, which explains why the Saints made the wideout their top choice in last month’s draft. If he lives up to the hype while Kenny Stills and others take steps forward, there shouldn’t be much of a drop at all on offense in New Orleans.