New RB

Posted: December 30th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 57 Comments »

Ryan Mathews is out. So is Wendell Smallwood. And Kenjon Barner. And even Darnell Autry and Eric McCoo. Les Bowen turned down the Eagles offer to suit up and play RB so they turned to practice squad player Terrell Watson. He’s now on the roster and will be active on Sunday.

Watson has been here long enough to know the playbook…exists. He doesn’t know a whole lot more than that. Doug Pedreson said the plan is to only use Watson in an emergency situation.

Darren Sproles and Byron Marshall will be the workhorse RBs. Pederson specifically said the team wants to get an extended look at Marshall. With the Eagles having no specific goal to play for and Dallas already thinking about the playoffs, this is a game both teams will want to get over as fast as possible. Neither team wants injuries, Dallas for the postseason and the Eagles for the offseason.

If the Eagles somehow get a big lead, it would be cool to see Watson play. He seems like a terrific kid and it would be fun to watch a 240-pound RB in this offense. Watson has good size and speed. He’s powerful. The issue that he has is that he’s stiff. He’s not going to make many dynamic cuts and he’s not going to make defenders miss in space. I also have questions on his vision, but haven’t seen enough of him to know for sure if that’s an issue or not. has a piece on him. Watson has an amazing background story.

Watson was 25-130 for 5.2 ypc for the Bengals in the 2015 preseason. He had some impressive runs, including this one. He wasn’t as good this year behind the Browns mediocre OL and was eventually let go. He went to Denver and then found his way to Philly.

At his best, Watson is a role player. We’ll see if he gets on the field Sunday.


If you are watching the Orange Bowl, you have to be thinking at least a little bit about how good a fit Florida State RB would be in the Eagles offense. He is a big play machine, generating a ton of 20-yard runs in his career. Cook has some character issues, but is a 1st round talent. The Eagles gave serious consideration to Ezekiel Elliott last year before focusing elsewhere. I don’t know that the team will invest a 1st round pick on a RB this year, but this isn’t the Andy Reid era where it is not even up for discussion.


Interesting piece here on Darren Sproles.

His hope is to remain in Philadelphia for the swan song — he has grown close to many of his teammates and is fond of the coaching staff — but noted that whether he’s back in an Eagles uniform next season is out of his hands.

“That’s not up to me. That’s up to the people upstairs. I’ve got nothing to do with that,” Sproles said. “But that’s the plan.”

Sproles is scheduled to make a base salary of $4 million next season. There is certainly an argument to be made for why that is a worthwhile investment. For one, he remains productive. His 406 rushing yards (4.8 ypc) is the second-highest total of his career. He has an additional 423 receiving yards on the season, has found the end zone four times in all and remains a threat in the return game.

Second, the running back cupboard might be pretty bare without him. Ryan Mathews suffered a neck injury in Week 16 against the New York Giants, further clouding his future with the team. Little proven depth lies beyond that.

Sproles responded “yeah” when asked if he would return to the NFL for one final season whether the Eagles decide to keep him or not.

“[My family] wanted me to [retire] this year. I was like, ‘Nah, I can’t. I can’t.’ The thing is, when you’re chasing that ring … you really want to get that ring.”

Great stuff from Tim McManus, as always.

Pederson loves Sproles so I doubt the team lets him go, but business is business and you never know what will happen in the offseason.


57 Comments on “New RB”

  1. 1 Insomniac said at 11:33 PM on December 30th, 2016:

    Sproles and Barwin have been fan favorites and very fine players since they came here. If I were Howie then I would grant their wishes.

    Lets talk Cook vs Zeke

    Cook is most likely faster than Zeke but Zeke has more power.
    Zeke is a fine receiver but Cook is better.
    Zeke is a better blocker.
    Who’s the better runner? Depends on which flavor you want in a RB. There are going to be runs that Zeke can do that Cook can’t and vice versa.
    Durability would have to go to Zeke so far.

    Call me crazy but if the Cowgirls had Cook instead of Zeke then they could be better. Zeke would be a rookie QB’s best friend since he is a good reliable fallback option.

  2. 2 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 12:45 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    I can buy that. I also think a back like Cook or McCaffrey might be better for the pass happy offense we run. Cook or McCaffrey would catch a lot of passes.

  3. 3 Media Mike said at 7:51 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    I find it to be very simple; any player the Eagles take in the first round this year will automatically be the best player in this division at that position. Duh.

  4. 4 eagleyankfan said at 8:00 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    Spring 2016 — Dallas projected to take Zeke. Eagle nation “no way I’d take a running back in round 1, never mind top 10. Dallas would be stupid to take him”
    Spring 2017 — Eagle nation “We want Cook, he’s better! and Dallas is still stupid”

    We Eagle fans are the best 🙂

  5. 5 Media Mike said at 8:07 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    I’d offer that 4 is significantly different than 10ish when it comes to value.

  6. 6 eagleyankfan said at 8:26 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    true — but fans were saying “no rb in 1st round”…

  7. 7 Media Mike said at 8:28 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    That’s a bit excessive. I just know what Joel Corry wrote (check him out if you like salary writers) about taking a RB in the top few picks being a death sentence for the guy’s 2nd deal.

  8. 8 Anders said at 9:31 AM on January 1st, 2017:

    Zekes 5thyear option might be higher than his average over his next deal

  9. 9 Jamie Parker said at 5:54 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    Good ole Darnell Autry. I remember a game in 2000, after Duce had gotten injured for the year, Andy Reid simply refused to run the ball on 3rd & 1. It was driving me nuts how he would pass on 3rd & 1 every time. Then one time he did it. He had McNabb hand the ball to Autry, who proceeded to run about 4 yds…and then fumbled it. I went from “YES!” to “Awe crap, Andy will never run the ball again” in about half a second.

  10. 10 Media Mike said at 7:58 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    That was the Washington game I believe. But don’t hold a gun to my head on that one. I think there was a game. vs Cincy in that mix as well. The mistake was not giving the carries by Brian Mitchell.

  11. 11 Tumtum said at 10:32 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    …and he never did run the ball again. The End.

  12. 12 iceberg584 said at 7:59 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    I have some fond Stanley Pritchett memories from that 2000 season as well.

  13. 13 Media Mike said at 7:51 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    “With the Eagles having no specific goal to play for”

    Incorrect. They Eagles are playing to win because a Vikings loss allows the Eagles to get a better 1st rounder than they’re giving up.

  14. 14 Ryan Rambo said at 7:53 AM on December 31st, 2016:

  15. 15 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 8:44 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    Can I have one?

  16. 16 Ryan Rambo said at 9:16 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    I hope so!!

  17. 17 Media Mike said at 10:13 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    We got him!

    Round 1 Pick 16 (TENN): Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (A+)
    Round 2 Pick 12 (BUF): DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State (A)
    Round 3 Pick 5 (TENN): Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky (A-)
    Round 3 Pick 10: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State (A)
    Round 3 Pick 12 (BUF): Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina (A)
    Round 3 Pick 16 (TENN): Jarron Jones, DT, Notre Dame (A)
    Round 4 Pick 10: Dion Dawkins, OT, Temple (A)
    Round 5 Pick 1: Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia (B)
    Round 5 Pick 10: Matt Milano, OLB, Boston College (B+)
    Round 6 Pick 10: Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Arkansas (B-)
    Round 7 Pick 10: Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston (B+)

  18. 18 Ryan Rambo said at 10:18 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    My hero!

  19. 19 Media Mike said at 10:19 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    Hopefully the correct teams win tomorrow so we are drafting as highly as possible.

  20. 20 Tumtum said at 10:30 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    Like Dallas?

  21. 21 Media Mike said at 10:38 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    No, we need to beat Dallas in order to drop the Vikings lower in round 1.

  22. 22 Tumtum said at 7:09 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    And ourselves in every other round? Sounds fishy.

  23. 23 Ryan Rambo said at 10:36 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    Absolutely brotha!!!

  24. 24 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 10:57 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    All those picks though!

  25. 25 BlindChow said at 12:53 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    That’s the worst thing about these garbage mock draft postings, the stupid Madden trade downs…

  26. 26 deg0ey said at 2:53 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    Yeah, when I feel like playing one of those things I tend to stick to the Fanspeak version because it doesn’t allow trades and forces you to think of scenarios using the picks you actually have rather than just trading down a couple times and collecting infinite picks.

    It’s fun to play through them sometimes to think through which guys might be available in different spots (even if it’s probably not remotely accurate). Here’s one I just did. I’d have liked to pick up some DL help and/or some more OL depth, but there just didn’t seem to be much value whenever I was on the clock. I think I’d be reasonably happy if this is how it turned out, though:


  27. 27 Media Mike said at 7:50 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    The interface on Fanspeak is rough, so I like first pick better. But I do agree that the trade downs are overly generous.

  28. 28 deg0ey said at 7:53 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    I did one on First Pick the other day and ended up with 34 picks in total. That was when I decided it was too implausible to be worth sticking with.

  29. 29 Media Mike said at 7:53 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    I once did one where I just accepted every single trade down offer until I was forced to pick. That was certainly comical.

  30. 30 Media Mike said at 8:08 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    Here is a straight up one

    Round 1 Pick 14: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (A+)
    Round 2 Pick 10: Desmond King, CB, Iowa (A)
    Round 3 Pick 10: Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina (A-)
    Round 4 Pick 10: Dion Dawkins, OT, Temple (A)
    Round 5 Pick 1: Vince Biegel, OLB, Wisconsin (A)
    Round 5 Pick 10: Larry Ogunjobi, DT, Charlotte (B)
    Round 6 Pick 10: Jordan Morgan, OG, Kutztown (B+)
    Round 7 Pick 10: Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova (A-)

  31. 31 Media Mike said at 7:50 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    It is stupid, but addictive. You can just delete the extras and still keep what you like however.

  32. 32 eagleyankfan said at 8:00 PM on December 31st, 2016:


  33. 33 aron said at 9:30 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    after Christmas, Im fuller than a tick on dracula

  34. 34 unhinged said at 10:55 AM on December 31st, 2016:

    “With the Eagles having no specific goal to play for and Dallas already thinking about the playoffs…” There is no greater enticement than pride, and playing the Cowboys on ANY day on ANY field should be reason enough to prove yourself. There is a game to play.

  35. 35 BlindChow said at 1:21 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    49ers finally gonna turn their season around…

  36. 36 GordonGekko said at 1:49 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    Dalvin Cook. Sproles won’t make that decision on his own, this team or another will when no one signs him after next year. I love the guy as a player but that’s the reality of it.

  37. 37 SteveH said at 4:02 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    The most entertaining thing about watching Bama is how joyless Nick Saban is. Him and Belichick are two peas in a pod. I assume if they win the championship Saban is just going to start watching LSU film in lieu of celebrating.

  38. 38 Insomniac said at 6:01 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    I don’t want to put too much stock in one game but John Ross has been nonexistent vs Bama. I wouldn’t want to spend such a high pick on a guy that disappears in a big game that easily.

  39. 39 lonfident said at 7:17 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    Bama made Leonard Fournette disappear when they played LSU, also. I know it’s a different position, but still that defense is just really good.

  40. 40 Media Mike said at 7:49 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    Agreed. Bama’s D is legit. I hope they brutalize the winner of the Clemson / OSU game.

  41. 41 Media Mike said at 8:13 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    Remind me to slap the next person who criticizes a likely high NFL draft pick for sitting out a bowl game.

    Butt tore his ACL last night. What a shame. I HATE Michigan, but that’s really bad for that kid.

  42. 42 BreakinAnklez said at 8:25 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    I definitely find Cook intriguing and think he can be a good player, but he has to clean up the fumbles. He puts the ball on the turf way to much for a top back.

  43. 43 Media Mike said at 8:28 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    That, hopefully, is a focus issue.

  44. 44 Media Mike said at 8:42 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    POOF…. maybe he should have taken the Oregon opening.

  45. 45 unhinged said at 8:45 PM on December 31st, 2016:


  46. 46 Media Mike said at 8:45 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    I think they’re married to Hue for another season or two.

  47. 47 BobSmith77 said at 9:38 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    He’ll go back to college and I bet have real success at a second-tier program.

    Some guys just aren’t meant to coach at the pro level. Kelly is clearly one of them.

  48. 48 Anders said at 9:27 AM on January 1st, 2017:

    If he really do not want to coach college I bet he can find a OC opening

  49. 49 BobSmith77 said at 9:22 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    Bama didn’t even play that well and still won 24-7. Their defense today reminded me of when you play Madden and for whatever reason you were going to lose because the computer defense was in FU mode after the opening drive when you scored. Exactly what happened to Washington today.

    Browning’s draft stock definitely took a hit today too. Took a few hard hits early on and look just looked like he didn’t know how to respond. Bama has a great college defense and DL but that every NFL team has that level of physicality up front.

  50. 50 Media Mike said at 9:27 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    And that’s likely to be the case in the title game as well.

  51. 51 BobSmith77 said at 9:36 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    I hate to admit it but Saban is probably the best college football coach ever.

    Of all the stats they have thrown out there, they said he has had to replace 15 coaches on his staff the past 2 years alone. Still just keep humming along.

    Built up so much momentum and such a rep now that Bama doesn’t even have to really work that hard at recruiting either. If they really want someone, they almost always win.

    I’m really glad the Eagles aren’t in the boat of needing a QB in this draft though including considering Browning. One of the least impressive performances I’ve seen in a big game from a QB with gowdy stats in a while. Pick 6 before half was brutal and he simply wasn’t even looking at 2nd and 3rd reads on some plays.

    Browning’s 42 TDs/7 INTs line reminds me of Mexican boxers who used to clean up in Mexico before coming state side with really impressive records & KO totals only to get their asses kicked by legit competition.

  52. 52 laeagle said at 10:38 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    Which is exactly why a dipshit like Skip Bayless says that Meyer is far better. Someone needs to shoot Bayless. I thought I was safe because I rarely watched ESPN, but now that he’s on Fox, I have to endure his horrid countenance multiple times during every game. 2016 sucks.

  53. 53 BobSmith77 said at 10:52 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    Bayless is a product of the ratings. Sadly people watch him a lot despite complaining about him.

    As for 2016, unlesss personal tragedy befill you or your loved ones it wasn’t a bad year for Americans. I hear a lot of people saying that this year and it drives me a little nuts a history bluff.

  54. 54 laeagle said at 11:29 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    As a history buff, you should recognize a lot of warning signs as to why what happened in 2016 made it a bad year. It’s not just related to the election, though regardless of your political bias, it’s pretty tough on anyone who considers that our head of state should act with any modicum of dignity.

  55. 55 BobSmith77 said at 11:40 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    But those are larger global forces including a rerise of nationalism and signs democratic styles of government are failing across the globe.

    I don’t want to go into politics on here but in the broader scheme of things we still had a pretty forutunate year. Yeah some terrible things occurred domestically but we not in a war zone nor have experienced severe economic challenges or upheaval. That is something to be very thankful for.

  56. 56 laeagle said at 11:50 PM on December 31st, 2016:

    True, but what makes it a tough year is those very forces you describe gaining momentum. Sad to see, troublesome to predict.

  57. 57 D3FB said at 8:16 AM on January 1st, 2017:

    Browning’s a sophomore