Chip Kelly calls Darren Sproles’s practice habits “awesome”

AP

When the Eagles acquired running back Darren Sproles in a trade with the Saints this offseason, they knew they were getting a guy who plays at full speed on Sundays. But Eagles coach Chip Kelly says what has really impressed him over the last couple months is how hard Sproles goes in practice every day.

“We heard from the coaches that coached him what an intelligent football player he is and [we] learned that from the first day he was in this building and how sharp he is and how dedicated he is,” Kelly said, via CSNPhilly.com. “I talked to Norv Turner [who coached Sproles in San Diego] and he remarked to me when I saw him at one of the pro days, he said, ‘You’ll have to slow him down because he only knows one speed.’ And that’s the same thing you see. Darren practices and trains at one speed. It’s awesome. He fits in with the culture that we want in terms of preparation, but it’s everything we wanted when we got him here.”

Malcolm Jenkins, who like Sproles left New Orleans for Philadelphia this offseason, said people who have played with the 5-foot-6 Sproles quickly learn that he’s a lot tougher than he looks.

“I think Darren has a little Napoleon complex,” Jenkins said. “He doesn’t like when people call him small and things like that, so those are the things that he takes pride in, the hard-working things, the things that take attitude and want-to to do.”

Sproles sounds like a good fit in Philadelphia.

71 responses to “Chip Kelly calls Darren Sproles’s practice habits “awesome”

  1. He’s older. He’s slower. And now he’s playing for a franchise that hasn’t won anything significant in over 50 years…

    Please Eagle fans, tell me how this is going to turn out…

    The rest of the NFC East is waiting for you to contribute….. still……..

  2. Still don’t get why Saints traded Sproles…I guess to target a cheaper version of him in B Cooks. Chip Kelly is going to have some fun finding ways to exploit defenses with this guy.

  3. That’s great but can he still do what Chip wants him to do at age 31? Is he going to outrun people? If not, it sounds like he’d make a great assistant coach.

  4. We’re still waiting for nohopeleft to give us something relevant. Other than his poor attempt at trolling.

    Giants 5-11

  5. Say what you will, previous posters. I think this was a heckuva signing, and that offense is gonna be electrifying, in my opinion. Sproles has plenty left, and will be featured all over the field. Nice get, Philly.

    Patriots fan

  6. I really want to see how are they going to stretch the field without Jackson, that offense worked because Defenses were afraid to get torched by the Long Ball to DJax therefor cause large spaces or gaps for cooper and Avant to creep on through with out that I believe its going to look alot like bumper cars until they get another Vertical “RESPECTED” threat…Indeed…

  7. Sad to see Sproles move on from New Orleans but with the younger guys coming in, seemed like the right thing to do.

    Enjoy him Eagles fans, he’s fun to watch and tough as nails. Despite his age, he will make your team better, no doubt.

  8. coldwater32301 says: Jun 25, 2014 10:15 AM

    I really want to see how are they going to stretch the field without Jackson, that offense worked because Defenses were afraid to get torched by the Long Ball to DJax therefor cause large spaces or gaps for cooper and Avant to creep on through with out that I believe its going to look alot like bumper cars until they get another Vertical “RESPECTED” threat…Indeed…
    _______________________________

    ……..Maclin

    When he was in he ran a step slower than DeSean, but still a good deep threat. People seem to forget that.

  9. “We’re still waiting for nohopeleft to give us something relevant. Other than his poor attempt at trolling.

    Giants 5-11”

    Just as we are all waiting for the second rate franchise in Philadelphia to PRODUCE something relevant. 5-11 is livable when you have 2 Super Bowl championships in the last 7 years & we know how much it drives Egals fans crazy – instead of 54 years since winning anything meaningful.

    Are you mad dallassux???

  10. I find it humorous that Saints have one title in all the years Sproles was in NO and yet Eagles fans think he is the key to a title…had nothing to do with Payton or Breeze I suppose…

  11. oakfolk – you will soon realize why the Saints wanted to part ways with Sproles. He was a great player for the Saints for a year & a half. However, he dropped several crucial passes where he was wide open, see: Saints @ Patriots last season. He dropped a third down pass out of the flat that would’ve sealed the victory for the Saints. Instead, it’s a failed conversion, punt, and then Tom Brady throwing a game-winning TD with no time left on the clock. You can’t blame Sproles for the defense, but if he catches that relatively simple pass then Brady has no chance to play hero once again.

  12. Just the Eagles offense alone is enough to win the NFC East. Eli will lead the league in INTs for the second straight yr, a dinged-up Romo will be one of many reasons the Cowboys season will be over by week 8, and the Redskins will be laughed at again for telling everyone they ‘competed’ last season.

  13. So a wr with a step slower than jackson can do the same job? I think you are way understanding estimating how much “a step” is in termsnof speed and running routes…

  14. Darren was on my soccer and basketball team in kindergarten… He was always the smallest but a beast. He didn’t have the best fundamentals I’m Bball but he could go coast to coast faster then I’ve ever seen…. I saw him play football and they had to make a touchdown limit for him bcus he would score so much… He is a beast!

  15. leevi98 says:
    Jun 25, 2014 10:37 AM
    I find it humorous that Saints have one title in all the years Sproles was in NO and yet Eagles fans think he is the key to a title…had nothing to do with Payton or Breeze I suppose…

    I find it humorous that you think he was on that superbowl team

  16. @jimmy johnson…you should really be paying more attention to the demise of the cowplods..not the rise of the eagles. It’ll just give you heartburn sucking it the way you will.

  17. He’s a backup RB gotten for a 5th round pick. IF the only thing he does is improve the practice tempo and model behavior for the young guys on the team, it was a successful trade.

  18. Nothing better than current losers, need I name names, talking about their past conquests from the bottom of our shoes. So, so tired.

  19. Chip is putting together a team of hard-working winners. I’m excited for the future of the team.

    Will they win it all this year? Doubtful. Will they win it all soon? Yep.

  20. Sproles does not replace Jackson. Jackson was a better fit for Vick than Foles. Jackson production (but not his speed) will be made up by Maclin (60 catches min) and Matthews.

    Sproles will spell McCoy as both a runner and as a pass threat.

    No one thinks Sproles=Super Bowl

    Yes every other team in the East has rings, and that is great, but guys…focus…rings do not mean wins in 2014. In 2014 I believe the Eagles are the best of a mediocre division.

    Eagles 10-6
    Giants 9-7
    Wash. 7-9
    Dallas 6-10 (by Garrett)

  21. So Maclin is the answer I guess he can do the job I guess if he can stay healthy which should be a concern but picking up Sproiles is a great look it was a steal…. But so was giving up what would’ve been the best FA reciever for nothing!! HTTR let’s get to the season!!!

  22. The Eagles got everything except someone to pick up that tough late December 3rd and 1.

  23. It will be good to have sproles there for check down charlie at qb but he is not the answer. If you look at franchises you have to say the saints right now are a better franchise. That being said good franchises don’t let people walk when they have more left in the tank or who they think are talented. Hence letting jenkins and sproles go. Philly you are not smarter than the rest of the league. Teams are not there to make you better and their team worse. Only real trade that has worked out recently was j peters. But the bills suck as a franchise so my rule holds true. Better franchises are better for a reason. They know what they are doing. This yr will be a mess in philly. Chip back to school in 2015.

  24. Eagles fans are happy just making the playoffs. They’ve been trained to think that winning the super bowl is just dumb luck after you qualify for the playoffs. That’s why their teams are often good enough to qualify for the tournament, but fatally flawed to win it all. This season is no different.

  25. Please tell me again how Maclin performed when Desean was an Eagle? Maclin was and still is the better receiver without the drama.

    “Maclin was clocked running the 40 in 4.35 seconds and has even touched 4.29 previously”, Matthews is a 6’3 receiver running a 4.4 40 with excellent hands and leaping ability, Cooper is a 6’4 receiver with high 4.4 40 speed who has already proved he is a threat, and Huff – a 5’11 4.40 receiver with return talent. How are these guy not going to stretch the field? Desean jackson timed 4.27 once but repeated timed at 4.35 and 4.43. What am i missing?

    Darren Sproles is just going to compliment Shady and create mismatches.

    What about Celek and Ertz? These big guys are passing threats all day long on any team.

    Miss Desean? Please. This group is better without him. If im 169lbs, i better run fast too.

  26. Eventually all fans in the East won’t be able to use the zero Super Bowl line ever again. So use it while you can.

    I think it actually speaks volumes that the Eagles fan base is one of the strongest in the NFL without having won it all.

    That’s a parade I’m going to try to be at when that happens.

  27. @Youknowimright says:
    Jun 25, 2014 11:56 AM
    It will be good to have sproles there for check down charlie at qb but he is not the answer. If you look at franchises you have to say the saints right now are a better franchise. That being said good franchises don’t let people walk when they have more left in the tank or who they think are talented. Hence letting jenkins and sproles go. Philly you are not smarter than the rest of the league. Teams are not there to make you better and their team worse. Only real trade that has worked out recently was j peters.
    Ok so Demeco is a bust? and im sure Barwin is a total bust? Go back to worshiping the Cowgirls dude!

  28. @folesever

    Another brilliant t eagles fan who really knows about his team I see. Demeco was solid last yr but the first year he sucked. And last yr, someone had to make the tackles on a terrible def. Still a pass liability. And connor barwin was a free agent. So what else you got there number one foles fan. And I don’t worship anyone son. I don’t let nfl football make or break my day like loser eagle fans. I just love the game whoever is playing. Trust me philly if your team ever wins a sb nothing really changes. The sun comes up the next day and life goes on. I’m just here to make sure you know what you are watching.

  29. Youknowimright – You will rethink that statement after Jenkins whiffs on his fourth tackle in one game. He’s still talented, no doubt, but the Saints essentially traded away an average Jenkins for an All-Pro Byrd.

  30. I always liked Sproles. As a Charger fan I didn’t want to see him go. Looking at Philip Rivers’ INTs the final two years with Sproles in the Chargers backfield (22 INTs) vs. two years following his departure (35 INTs) and you can see what he meant to the team. He just makes any team better.

  31. Bottom line is the type of offense that utilizes Sproles’ skillset doesn’t work against Seahawk-type defenses – which is the reason he was traded. The Saints knew they needed more of a power running attack and a vertical downfield threat to score on this type of defense. Besides Graham, they basically took Sproles out of that game (the divisional playoff game against Seattle) as well…..

  32. It’s remarkable to see a guy of such small stature play as many years as he has. I remember him from Kansas State, along with Ell Roberson were such a fast team and exciting to watch.

    Though I am an New York Giants fan, I applaud him for surviving in a league that is meant for big bodies. Should be interested to see what Chip Kelly does with him.

  33. I see Sproles as a screen option more than anything.. so, line up with Sproles and Shady both in the back field it’s pick your poison.. Ppl can hate all they want but I bet not one of these haters wants to play us.

  34. Sproles is overrated. He excelled on SD and NO because both teams had players who can stretch the field and give him space to operate. With Jackson gone, defenses will go 8 in the box and dare Foles to beat them with an underwhelming and oft-injured Maclin and their twin tight ends (who I admit are decent). As a Giant fan, I’m glad Jackson is gone and not because of the punt return. He’s a 10M WR not because of his numbers but because he’s one of the few WRs that can open the field up for everyone else. Chip got arrogant on that one and I couldn’t be happier. Just wish Jackson left the division.

  35. Sproles was a good fit in New Orleans nad I wish him well. I don’t know what he contributes to the Eagles that LeSean isn’t already doing for them, though. Still, they wanted him and he might still have something left in the tank. he slowed down pretty good last season at the end.

  36. Since every report ALWAYS focuses on Desean Jackson, I wonder how the team will respond to having receivers who actually play hard every minute of every game. Everyone knows Desean took plays off when his number wasn’t called.

    In your worried about the eagles top end speed, I already posted about this teams speed. Desean ran a 4.27 once, and Maclin ran a 4.29 once. The difference? Maclin shows up to play. If you think a 4.4 receiver cannot stretch the field, you are really fooling yourself. Even Cooper, who runs a 4.5 stretched the field last year. Maclin a complete receiver who proved year in year out he was better than Desean. When you all in Matthews and Huff, and then involve Shady and Sproles.. its easy to see Foles topping 4500 yards passing with 30+ TD’s.

    As for trades never working, lmao. Different teams, different schemes, different skillsets. Go ask Drew Brees if his team is better without Sproles. He spoke out against the trade the ay it happened. As for Jenkins, yeah, Byrd is the better safety, EVERYONE wanted the guy, but the Saints paid him. It is business. Jenkins is better than any safety on this roster, and I welcome him to Philadelphia. Is he elite? No one said he was, but he is an upgrade, and that is what your looking for.

  37. Sproles is great, but at age 31 and with a 4 million dollar contract year why would the Saints not trade him? FYI, Sproles was not on the Superbowl team. Mike Bell and Pierre Thomas ran the ball. Graham wasn’t there either…it was Shockey.

    Cadet will fill in for Sproles in the backfield. Not as good, but young and can get it done. The Eagles got one outstanding player and one dud. Jenkins is going to have Eagles fans pulling their hair out. Worst tackling safety in the NFL. Takes horrible angles and gives up big gains.

    Darren is going to have to make up a lot of points that Malcolm gives opposing teams.

  38. Is everyone taking crazy pills or are eagle fans just selectively forgetting that maclin is now running on two shredded knees. So all of you 4.29 guys out there pump the breaks. It is going to be like splitting out joe from family guy.

  39. You really boasting about 1960? LOL! Let’s reword this… Modern times… You know since the Super Bowl was started.

  40. Maclin has never had a 1000yd season and is coming off a ACL injury. 40 times mean little when you got pads on in a game situation DJax showed he had the burst to take the top off a defense. Maclin is a decent receiver but as the stats show not the threat. To think You can replace or won’t miss 1300yds 9 tds is foolish. Sproles will not put those numbers up and Maclin has yet to.

  41. Jackson’s best games were early in the season. He seemed to hit a wall later in the season. He disappeared in the Red Zone. BUT HE DID STRETCH THE FIELD which helped Cooper and others. Gonna be a fun season.

  42. eaglesnoles05 says:Jun 25, 2014 3:35 PM

    Hey, did y’all know the Eagles still have fast people?
    _________________________________

    Yes we do. They exit the playoffs extremely fast, if they even make it to the tourney.

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