The Philadelphia Eagles and head coach Chip Kelly has one of the most promising backfields in the entire NFL.
There are no questions regarding who the starting running back is in Philadelphia. But it’s a must to note the extreme agility RB LeSean McCoy has displayed during the preseason, especially since his most sic run was against a top five 4-3 defense in the Carolina Panthers.
Behind McCoy, the Eagles have a combination of complimentary backs who are very close in stature. Bryce Brown (6-0, 220) and Chris Polk (5-11, 222) has also showcased talent in their two years in the league, Polk is only now getting an opportunity to show what he can do.
But in the traditional NFL depth chart, only one can be penciled in as the starter — even though it can change on a week by week basis. Here is a look at both players through their two seasons with the Eagles. But more importantly, a look at their accomplishments and mishaps through three preseason games.
There was a brief period of time when Brown was filling in for LeSean McCoy that fans actually questioned who the starting running back in Philadelphia should be. And when your starter is McCoy, that says a ton. But as good as Brown is, excellent straight-line speed, size, and ability to break numerous tackles, Brown also has numerous areas he can use some improving.
The obvious is Brown’s inability to hold on to the ball. During the season last year there were far too many instances where Brown fumbled at pivotal points in a game. Brown also doesn’t possess a fluid cutback, not even remotely close to the freakish agility McCoy has.
But, we’re not comparing Brown to McCoy, this is the battle between Brown and Polk and through three preseason games it has been all Brown in this race.
Brown’s 2013 Preseason Stats
Rush Yards: 114
Rec Yards: 4 / 39
TD’s (Rush / Receiving): 1 / No receiving TD’s
Originally an undrafted free agent in 2011, Polk saw limited playing time in 2012 mainly due to being inactive the final eight games of the season. This has only encouraged Polk to come out this year putting his best foot forward in hopes to land a roster spot. Depending on how many RB’s Chip Kelly keeps (currently four on roster with Matthew Tucker) Polk has accomplished a stay at Resort NovaCare Complex.
An inch shorter and two pounds heavier than Bryce Brown, Polk is nearly a complete package. Solid speed, agile, and proved he isn’t afraid to lower his head and punch two guys in the mouth as he did on his four-yard TD scamper against the Panthers.
Polk’s 2013 Preseason Stats
Rush Yards: 54
Rec Yards: 6 / 29
TD’s (Rush / Receiving) 1 / No receiving TD’s
Stats really do tell a story and it is no different here, Brown leads the race by a pretty good margin. But you never know what can happen in a final preseason game where both Brown and Polk look forward to considerable playing time. Regardless of what happens I expect both players to be on Chip Kelly’s final roster, but if Polk can maximize his production in this final preseason game, the table could turn in his favor.
Regardless of how this plays out the Eagles has a phenomenal situation in the offensive backfield. McCoy, Brown and Polk should prove as the return of the three-headed monster in Philadelphia.