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Eagles know running game remains vital

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted June 26, 2010 @ 10:27 a.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

With all of the talk about how the offense will be different with the change from Donovan McNabb to Kevin Kolb at quarterback, it's easy to forget how important the run game might be in the big picture.

It's nearly a given that the Eagles will throw the ball more than they run it this season. Since Andy Reid took over in 1999, the team has thrown the ball more than it passed it every season and has hovered around the 60 percent passing mark several times.

But taking pressure off Kolb to win games by himself will be an important element of the Eagles' offensive identity. And he knows that he also must help out in the run game.

"Not so much with my scrambling, though I can do that," Kolb told PFW in June. "But as much with my helping make calls (at the line) and carry out (play-action) fakes throughout the game so that the defense is guessing."

How the run game will look is starting to take shape. The Eagles have informed FB Leonard Weaver, who carried the ball a career-high 70 times last season, that he probably won't handle it that much this season. He will be counted on more as a blocker and receiver, which he also does well.

"Whatever (Andy Reid) wants to do, I am fine with it," Weaver told PFW. "If you need to use me (as a runner), I am there. If you don't, I am not going to complain.

It's clear that even with the acquisition of Mike Bell and the drafting of Charles Scott, the Eagles want LeSean McCoy to be the primary ballcarrier. He isn't likely to be a 20-carry back in too many games, but Weaver thinks McCoy's speed will be a great complement to the size the team has with its other backs, even if McCoy is not yet a finished product.

"He's your elusive back," Weaver said. "He's going to shake people. He's going to make people look bad. He's going to be big on screens and running the ball outside. Those things are very vital to our offense.

"Right now, he just has to be himself and not feel the pressure people try to put on him. I think he has to continue to work on his pass (protection) and understand that there are always little form things he has to work on as a running back. When you're running the ball, don't juke (when the defender) is 15 yards away. Get on top of the guy then make him make a decision. Those are the little difference between good and great backs."

 

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