He broke the Eagles’ running rivalry after three weeks appeared in the original NBC Sports Philadelphia
Three weeks into training camp and out of their first preseason game, the Eagles’ muddled running back picture was beginning to emerge.
Boston Scott and Kenny Ginnuel didn’t play Saturday night in Baltimore and D’Andre Swift started but only played six snaps and got out of the game after an impressive 20-yard run. That left Rashad Penny, Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks for the bulk of the game.
Penny had nine carries – all within the first 23 minutes of the game – and took 29 shots. Sermon also had nine carries and caught 27 catches. Brooks caught four carries, all in the fourth quarter.
What does it all mean?
Swift and Gainwell are list locks. Both are good runners and excellent receivers. Swift was the best in the camp, and Gainwell isn’t far behind. Both are versatile, capable of playing all the bad sides and being comfortable in different settings.
Not going anywhere.
Penny ran for 34 yards Saturday night with a long gain of 10 yards and a 3.8 average, Sermon was 9-for-21 with a long gain of eight yards and a 2.3 average. They didn’t put up flashy numbers, but they were also operating behind a deep backup offensive line and there wasn’t much room for running backs. Looks like they both got the squares that were there. Sermon gets points for his physical nature, as he picks up a couple of crows.
Brooks ran four times for 15 yards and lost a fumble three days after he had a fumble near the goal line in practice.
The only thing the Eagles want to see from Penny is health. His career has been derailed by injuries and despite his career rushing average of 5.7 – tied for the all-time high by a running back – he’s averaged just 57 carries per year in his five NFL seasons and has a lot to prove.
So far, so good. If Benny was healthy, it would be very difficult for the Eagles to release him.
That leaves Scott and Sermon, and given how the Eagles feel about Scott – he’s in his sixth year here and has proven himself to be a terrific goal-line runner, voluntary blocker and girl-on-all trade – Sermon should go out and really beat Scott to secure the fourth and final straight spot on the list. consisting of 53 players.
The only thing Sermon has to offer is his size and physical style of play. The Eagles kept him at #53 all last year for a reason. was 3Research and development-Round pick just two years ago. But for now, he’s the odd man out simply because it’s clear the Eagles aren’t going to sever ties with Swift or Gainwell, and Sermon will have to outsmart both Penny and his 5.7 career average and Scott’s 20 career touchdowns. a team.
Maybe he can. But it will be an uphill battle.
If the Eagles release Sermon, they will no doubt try to add him to the practice squad, even though he may be a candidate to claim.
But we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves.
Nick Siriani said Saturday night he will continue to rotate preseason appearances, giving them all a chance to play and show what they can do.
He said, “We wanted to see Rashad go (against the Crows).” “Rashad didn’t play a little bit, Trey didn’t play a little bit. So we wanted to see them go a little bit.
“My plan with the running backs… I always like dealing with these guys, so the first time they’re tackled isn’t in game one. So the next game (against Browns Thursday), Boston or Kenny will have two carries, like Swift did today.” , and the next game the others will have two campaigns.
“So it was D’Andre’s turn tonight just to do that. That’s what went into it. That’s my philosophy with their backs.”
This all marks a huge departure for the Eagles.
The season opener for the past four years has been Miles Sanders, in 2018 it was Jay Ajayi, in 2017 Legarette Blount, in 2016 Ryan Matthews, 2015 DeMarco Murray and before that Lysain McCoy and Brian Westbrook.
This is really the first time since the Three-Headed Beast in 2003 with Westbrook, Corell Buckhalter, and Duce Staley — Swift’s one-time coach in Detroit — the Eagles have taken this kind of approach.
The Eagles ranked third in the NFL at 4.8 yards per carry in 2003, went 12-4 and reached the NFC Championship Game and the three backs combined for 2,465 scrimmage yards and 29 touchdowns.
With the right people, it works. And the Eagles clearly believe they have the right people.