The Running Men

Posted: July 22nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 46 Comments »

When I became an Eagles fan back in the Buddy Ryan era, the team’s best RB was actually QB Randall Cunningham. After him, it was FB Keith Byars. The Eagles just didn’t  have a truly good RB. That was ironic for a couple of reasons. First, Buddy Ryan was desperate to run the ball. He wanted to run so he could control the flow of the game and help his beloved defense.

The other reason the lack of a good RB was ironic is that Eagles history is loaded with good, and even some great, RBs. I wrote about the Eagles long tradition of RB excellence for

Aside from the all-time greats, the Eagles have had some good short term RBs. The top of that list would be Leonard Weaver. He was a RB/FB tweener that came over from Seattle. He was supposed to be the lead blocker for Westy and Shady in 2009, but Westy missed half the season. That meant Weaver got used in plenty of 1-back sets. He ran for 323 yards and averaged 4.6 yards per carry. Andy Reid should have gotten him the ball even more (what’s new?).

Expectations were sky high for 2010, but Weaver suffered a devastating injury in the season opener and never played again. It really is a shame. He had the potential to be a really interesting player.

Dorsey Levens played with the Eagles in 2002 and 2004. Both years he was signed to replace Correll Buckhalter after injuries ended his season. Levens was a great backup. In the 2 combined seasons, he ran for 821 yards and 5 TDs, while averaging 5 yards per carry. Levens was big and strong, but still had a bit of wiggle. I really enjoyed watching him, especially in 2002.

Heath Sherman played for the Eagles for 5 years, but only one of those seasons stands out. Sherman got used a lot down the stretch in 1992. He finished with 583 yards on the ground and averaged 5.2 ypc. He also averaged more than 12 yards per reception. He ran for 105 yards in the wild card win over the Saints that year. Sherman just wore down because of his physical running style and injuries cut short his career.

Earnest Jackson ran for 1,028 yards in 1985, but Buddy Ryan arrived after the season and got rid of him. Jackson was no superstar, but he was better than the RBs Buddy ended up putting on the field.

Remember when Bryce Brown was the new Bo Jackson? That didn’t last long but it was fun. His combination of size and speed was special. He just struggled with the little things that it takes to be a consistently good player.

Eagles fans have seen some really great RBs over the years.

I can’t wait to see what the guys do this year.

* * * * *

Thank god this finally happened.

* * * * *

Do you want to read this?

Jimmy laid out the reasons that each of the NFCE teams could stink this year. In order to show his journalistic integrity (insert joke here) he even did the Eagles.


46 Comments on “The Running Men”

  1. 1 Avery Greene said at 9:59 AM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Whether we like ESP or not, he’s reporting that Bradford will be ready for 11-on-11 to start training camp. Great news.

    11 days and counting.

  2. 2 Ark87 said at 10:23 AM on July 22nd, 2015:

    that’s excellent news. Every rep is precious for him, he’s got a season and a half of rust to finish knocking off and a new system to finish mastering. Should see steady progress from him.

  3. 3 GEAGLE said at 11:08 AM on July 22nd, 2015:

    While its nice to hear, I seriously don’t believe a word that dude says… He is the type of media hack that would rather be first and wrong, then be second and right… He has zero concept of credibility so he can throw any shit at the wall and hope it sticks, if it doesn’t, he couldn’t care less, after all he still hasn’t apologized to Desean or the Eagles for that Desean hatchet job “reporting”… I can’t stand DEsean anymore but he deserved better than that hatchet job on his way out…. DEsean a Ganster? Don’t make me laugh, I’ll slap that bitch and tell him to run along..

  4. 4 FalKirk said at 6:59 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    I like Eliot, but he seems to have a strange block (or is it blockhead?) when it comes to Mariotta and Bedford.

    To be fair, the “Chip wants Mariotta” meme will just not die. Look at the tweet Tommy highlighted, above. It — tongue-in-cheek or half-seriously? — talks about Chip Kelly’s dream of acquiring Mariotta being deferred. Please STOP. I wish Mariotta all the best, but I’d be thrilled if I didn’t have to hear his name for the next 12 months.

    As for Bradford, lots of different opinions — which I respect. But arguing that Sanchez may start ahead of Bradford even if Bradford is healthy is — well, it’s bizarre. No one — save Eliot Shorr-Parks — believes that Sanchez is the better option at quarterback.

    And when I say no one, I include every single GM in the NFL. Sanchez was a free agent this year and he re-signed with the Eagles. If any team thought that Sanchez was the answer at starting quarterback, they would have stolen him away from the Eagles. No one did that and for good reason. Sanchez is almost certainly the best backup quarterback in the league. But someone you want as your starter for 16 games? Not a chance.

  5. 5 MagsBirdieBaby said at 7:33 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    We (our household) always enjoy an eloquent application of logic.

  6. 6 FalKirk said at 7:59 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Thanks, MagsBirdieBaby.

    Let me use this as an opportunity to compliment both Tommy for this wonderful site and the commentators who people it. Most web sites draw the worst kind of trolls. The football conversations here — while spirited — are 10 times better than the conversations almost anywhere else on the web.

  7. 7 Cliff said at 12:30 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Man, I used to love Correll Buckhalter. Shame he wasn’t able to stay healthy.

  8. 8 Cliff said at 12:32 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Injuries on top of other things (from Wikipedia):

    Buckhalter has had to deal with adversity over his career. His mother died when he was young and his brother Chris, who played on the Eagles practice squad in 1996, is serving a 20-year sentence for manslaughter.[4] In March 2009 prosecutors in a Philadelphia drug dealing case named Buckhalter as a celebrity client of the alleged dealer, Styles N. Beckles.[5] Buckhalter has not been charged with any crime and strongly denied any link to Beckles.[

  9. 9 SteveH said at 6:58 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    If I remember correctly Buckhalter was a known connoisseur of the ganja. I might be remembering wrong though.

  10. 10 Cliff said at 7:07 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    You might be right. We had a few of those on the team back then too. Was that around the same time Herremans and Juqua Parker got busted in the infamous smokey van?

  11. 11 bsuperfi said at 12:48 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    I used to love watching Ricky watters play ball. That guy was crazy talented even if he didn’t endear himself to the fan base with the for who for what comments.

  12. 12 Ark87 said at 1:38 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Those comments made him one of young Vinny Curry’s favorite players, funny enough. That super star swagger appeals to some folks.

  13. 13 ACViking said at 12:50 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Given the stakes, the opponent, and all the losing seasons about to be put in the rear-view mirror . . . still the most exciting run by an Eagles RB:

  14. 14 botto said at 1:24 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    this is 100% true. that run was so exciting when it happened it just lit the whole city up and set the stage for that win and the defense to humiliate Danny White and the girls.
    there was another great run by Wilbur later in the game as well right?

    I was 6 years old and remember it live like it was yesterday.
    I don’t know that I remember too much else from when I was 6 except for Tugger winning the series and most of the bad plays from the superbowl we lost against the raiders, like Carmichael jumping too soon on a touchdown we scored.

  15. 15 ACViking said at 2:16 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    On Montgomery’s 1st Q TD . . . a couple of interesting tid-bits:

    1. Jaworski attempted a pass on the previous down and was knocked down, banging his head on the turf. He basically sleep-walked through the play — not remembering it after the game.

    2. Asst Coach Dick Coury, up in the coaches box, is famously caught on NFL Films telling Vermeil — before the snap — that this play could go for a TD. The coaches had game-planned the call against the defense Dallas called on that play.

    Yes, Wilbert had a “game sealing” 55-yard run in the 4th Q.

    Seems like he ran 100 yards — going right, then straight, then right, then left — before running out of gas deep in Dallas territory late in the 4th Q.

    Game over.

  16. 16 botto said at 2:39 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    you know, it does look like Jaws messed up the handoff a little bit in that play, like he was too close to Wilbur, must’ve been the concussion…

  17. 17 RobNE said at 1:27 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    was that an inside zone read?

  18. 18 Avery Greene said at 1:01 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Jeff McLane on the morning show about both Bradford and Foles:

    I think there probably wasn’t as much written about that [as there should’ve been] and I’ve kind of learned a few things since Nick has been gone, that it had really gotten to him, some of the criticism that was happening here in Philadelphia based on his play last season and I don’t think Bradford is the type of guy where he lets that type of stuff get to him.

  19. 19 Nailed it! said at 1:18 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    I think there is allot of revisionist history going on here with reporters and players.

  20. 20 Avery Greene said at 1:24 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    I’m not a fan of McLane, just throwing some stuff out there that I’m coming across.

  21. 21 Weapon Y said at 1:27 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    I think it’s worth debating whether the Eagles should keep a 4th RB. Murray and Matthews are both injury prone, and Sproles isn’t an every down RB. Chip seems to want to run the crap out of the ball, but injuries could derail that plan. This is a unique situation that could make it optimal to keep either Tucker or Barner as a fourth RB. One of them has to emerge as a great special teams player to make that happen though.

  22. 22 botto said at 1:28 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    I thought tucker has looked pretty good out there in the past

  23. 23 TypicalDouche said at 1:49 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Agree botto, if I had to keep a 4th it would definitely be Tucker.

  24. 24 Weapon Y said at 1:56 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    I agree that Tucker looks like the better RB. But that’s not the only factor that decides who makes the roster. Special teams plays a big part and that might be where Barner has an edge.

  25. 25 D3FB said at 2:05 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Huff can do it in a pinch as can Burton. That gives you an emergency back if someone gets dinged and you go into the week with only 2 healthy.

    If its a longer term injury? You can find Barner or Tucker types either from someone we get off waivers for our own practice squad, or on other p-squads.

    If Turner or Barner make the 53 it will be on the merits of their special teams play and not because we need to carry a fourth back.

  26. 26 botto said at 2:49 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    does that super fast kick returner have a shot at making it?

  27. 27 D3FB said at 4:52 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Highly unlikely

  28. 28 Ben said at 2:51 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Great read.
    Once again, I feel Tommy is accessing my internet history.

    Yesterday, I was bored and was poking around the internet in my usual search for anything Eagles, when I stumbled upon this Eagles game.
    It was the Bounty Bowl in Dalass back on Thanksgiving day,11/23/89 as I was a 21 years old and was even more fanatical then than I am now.
    (Believe it or not).

    Anyway, the best part is that it had the original commercials also recorded
    on this video. I do not like like commercials in general, but it flashed me back to those good ole days of my younger days.

    This has John Madden and Pat Summerall calling the game, and you just have to laugh at Maddens commentary as he was hillarious to listen to and I every time I hear him talk it reminds me of those Madden Video games. Too funny.

    You get to see Reggie, Clyde, Jerome, Pitts and company of that stellar defense and Randall, who was one of my favorite Eagles QB.

    Keep your eye our for kicker, Luis Zendayhas or something like that, as he left the Eagles for Dalass right before this game and he gets his clocked cleaned thoroughly.

    And since I enjoyed it so much, as always I wanted to share with my favorite
    group of Football fans right here at Tommy’s place

    Click on the link below and enjoy, I sure did.;_ylt=A2KLqIFf6K5VM28AXf37w8QF;_ylu=X3oDMTEzZDg5cGdxBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDdmlkBHZ0aWQDVklEUUJDSwRncG9zAzE1?p=philadelphia+eagles&vid=37b974f7e9089d6365d69499555a37ac&

  29. 29 bwin29 said at 5:03 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    That Leonard Weaver injury was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. You knew immediately that at minimum he was out for the year.

  30. 30 P_P_K said at 5:18 PM on July 22nd, 2015:


  31. 31 Ark87 said at 6:15 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    I can’t even bring myself to press play on that video, it is seared into my mind in such a way that I will never voluntarily rewatch that ever again.

  32. 32 bwin29 said at 6:29 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    I was so mad after that injury. That was a tough game with Kolb going down right away with a concussion and that play also.

  33. 33 Ark87 said at 6:31 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    I think Jamaal Jackson tore his ACL that game too

  34. 34 bwin29 said at 6:40 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Yeah that was a really tough game and a tough way to start the season.

  35. 35 Ark87 said at 6:45 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    And a lot of people don’t really remember it because Mike Vick went on to have a phenomenal season. I mean a lot of people like to remember Andy Reid teams as being soft, but that team started the season in just about the worst possible way and made something of the season, got to give them credit.

  36. 36 bwin29 said at 7:04 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    His play in that game was definitely the silver lining, even without the knowledge that he would go on to have a pretty great season. Although that 3rd and goal play late in the game where he was running free toward the end zone but inexplicably decided to chuck a laser at a covered receiver instead still kills me. They would have won the game. It was almost like the New Miracle at the Meadowlands game except that time he finished the deal.

  37. 37 SteveH said at 6:57 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Same here. Never care to watch that again. The most gruesome injury I’ve seen on live TV.

  38. 38 MagsBirdieBaby said at 7:27 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    You didn’t see Theisman or baseball’s Alou leg breaks. I also saw a horse’s leg break in the middle of a race that still makes me sick to my stomach. The horse took several more strides before it could stop/fall down.
    Damn, now I’ve ruined my own day.

  39. 39 SteveH said at 8:24 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    You might have ruined mine too. What a mental image.

    I didn’t see the Theismann one you’re right and I don’t ever care to either.

    I managed to avoid seeing the Louisville kids leg break too, but I did see the Paul George one (not live) and that was grotesque.

  40. 40 Bert's Bells said at 10:19 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    All of those pale next to Suzie Spirit from GLOW breaking her arm.

  41. 41 A Roy said at 10:28 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Theisman’s break was ugly, but I was young and it didn’t bother me…even though ABC played it several times, as I recall. Weaver’s didn’t seem quite as bad, but I felt it more because he was an Eagle and I was older.

  42. 42 BlindChow said at 9:04 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Ugh, I saw the Marc Mariani (from the Titans) ankle break on live TV. It was way worse. Haunts me to this day.

  43. 43 wee2424 said at 9:29 PM on July 22nd, 2015:

    Yeah… I don’t even want to watch that. Not as bad as Willis Mcgahees leg injury in college though. I didn’t think he was ever going to be able to play again.

  44. 44 bwin29 said at 8:20 AM on July 23rd, 2015:

    That one ranks right up there with the worst ever. I didn’t see that one live though.

  45. 45 KevinShinn said at 2:03 PM on July 23rd, 2015:

    Earnest Jackson was a #Culture cut as I recall.

  46. 46 BobSmith77 said at 12:52 AM on July 24th, 2015:

    No long for Heath Sherman (plow ahead and fall down after 1 contact at 3-4 yards)?

    He was still a better RB than Byars. Byars just had those really big soft hands and surprising agility for his size and shape.