One to watch: Eagles rookie RB Miles Sanders, will he challenge for the starting role
2 August 2019 Eagles News
The season is almost upon us. With that being said, training camp is currently underway and it is a big time of the year for some players. Some players win more playing time and bigger roles as they impressive during camp. One player to watch this training camp is Philadelphia Eagles’ rookie running back Miles Sanders.
Sanders was the Eagles second round pick in this year’s NFL draft. Coming into his first training camp, the expectation is that he pushes for a starting job. It’s not going to be easy with former Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard in the running as well. However, Sanders hard but shifty run style has impressed.
But to really understand how good Sanders is, let’s take it back a step. While at Penn St., Sanders racked up 1,247 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, and this was just in the one season he played. Prior, he sat behind New York Giants’ star running Saquon Barkley. Barkley was quoted saying he was ‘the best running back in the class.”
But potential is one thing, living up to it is another. And, Sanders has impressed this training camp. He’s shifty, yet powerful when he runs the ball. At any moment, Sanders can make a play. Turning nothing into something of a trait the Eagles haven’t seen in a running back since Lesean McCoy. There’s going to be a learning curve for Sanders but his natural ability and skill set will get him through it with ease.
Its about time the Eagles find themselves a running back who’s not only versatile, but able to carry the run game. Even though the Eagles do a running back by committee, there’s always two who dominate the snaps. Last year, Wendell Smallwood was on the field for 30% of the plays and Corey Clement says 21%. There’s no reason to not believe Sanders can take over Smallwood’s role and Howard can take over Clement’s in terms of on field percentage.
But it comes back to the question, will be able to earn the starting role over Howard? It is hard to say, but the likely good of seeing them both heavily involved in the offense is very promising. Sanders brings more to the table in terms of running ability and catching out of the backfield. However, that’s not to say Howard is bad in those departments either. But one things for sure, the Eagles have a very good passing game, but if the running game gets going, their offense will be virtually unstoppable. And, with Sanders, Howard, Corey Clement and Darren Sproles in the backfield, it’s going to be a good running game.
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