Brown's offseason goal: Hang on to the ball

Posted Dec. 14, 2012 @ 12:13 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Young running backs are prone to bad habits, and young ones who have little college experience and raw tools apparently are most prone to them. Eagles seventh-round RB Bryce Brown has been something of a revelation with a little more than one year of major college experience, first winning the Eagles' backup job and then taking over for an injured LeSean McCoy to put up back-to-back monster games (a combined 347 yards, four rushing TDs) in his first two starts.

But it’s becoming clear that he needs a good hard lesson in ball security. Like an offseason’s worth. Brown lost three fumbles in those two starts and was guilty of not securing the ball on another handoff in Week 15, an exchange fumble that unfairly was credited to QB Nick Foles. Brown anticipated the hit off quick penetration and didn’t wrap the ball up. The ensuing fumble return resulted in a touchdown for the Bengals and helped them steamroll to a victory they didn’t fully deserve.

Turnovers will do that, and Brown needs to spend the offseason working on his ball placement, concentration and anticipation. He needs to know that in addition to trying to tackle him, defenders will be trying to poke away the ball when they smell weakness.

Brown likely will return to a role behind McCoy next season, no matter the coaching staff. However, further fumbling, no matter how well Brown runs, could put him in a different doghouse.