Lethal 3-headed monster quickly developing in Eagles' backfield

Lethal 3-headed monster quickly developing in Eagles' backfield

The Eagles have a ton of high-profile offensive weapons, from Carson Wentz to Alshon Jeffery and now even Jay Ajayi

But it was an undrafted rookie who scored three touchdowns Sunday afternoon in the Eagles' 51-23 beating of the Broncos (see story).

"It was three?" Corey Clement asked, with a smile. "I was just playing football."

Clement, the 23-year-old Glassboro, New Jersey, native, caught a 15-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. He ran for a two-yard touchdown in the third and added a four-yarder in the fourth. 

Three touchdowns in one game. That's impressive. 

He became the first Eagles rookie to score three touchdowns in the modern era, the first Eagles rookie to have a rushing TD and a receiving touchdown in a game since 1953 and the 19th rookie in NFL history to have two rushing TDs and one receiving touchdown in a game. 

But forget all the stats for a second. To make things simple, Clement is playing at an extremely high level. 

And even with the addition of Ajayi, he's going to have a role on the football team going forward. 

"Yeah, it just shows how the defense has to stay on their toes more," Clement said. "We have great weapons in this group. They have to look out for more backs now. We have me, we have (LeGarrette) Blount, we have (Wendell) Smallwood, we've got (Kenjon) Barner. We've got all these great assets on our offense that they really have to look out for."

Clement got his scoring going with the 15-yard touchdown catch in the first. That score made the game 17-3 and really began to put it away. On 3rd-and-10 in the red zone, Doug Pederson dialed up a screen pass that Clement and Carson Wentz executed to perfection. 

Clement chipped Von Miller off the edge before turning in time to catch the pass and follow a mammoth block from Brandon Brooks into the end zone. 

"It's gotta be quick," Clement said. "Once he goes by, I'm looking at Carson and he looked at me, gave me a nice ball. Caught it and turned inside, spotted my blockers, allowed the defenders to come into me and just fed off my blockers."

Clement wasn't known as a big pass-catcher at Wisconsin but has proven in the NFL that he has the ability. The same goes for his pass protection. The Eagles now rely on him quite often in third-down situations. 

There were 30 running backs taken in the 2017 draft and Clement wasn't one of them. But through nine games, he already has five touchdowns. Clement is the fourth undrafted player in Eagles history to have five touchdowns as a rookie. The other three players played in the '40s and '50s. 

"He's grown a bunch," Wentz said. "Seeing Corey all through training camp, he's just a guy that wanted to learn. He's just always ready whenever his number's called. Today, he made the most of them. He's a heckuva back, heckuva player, heckuva teammate as well. I just love seeing those backs celebrating when the other guy scores."

Clement knew immediately the last three-touchdown game he had was as a senior at Wisconsin against Illinois. He had just two three-touchdown performances in 39 college games. 

With Ajayi in the mix, it's unclear exactly how snaps and carries will be split once the Pro Bowler is completely caught up with the Eagles' offense. But Clement has shown he deserves to still be involved.  

"Once Jay got into the room, we noticed that he is definitely a competitor," Clement said. "A great contribution to a group means a lot. I am pretty sure everyone on the outside thought it was going to create some turmoil in our room but at the same time, we are having fun."

Pederson interviewing 2 for Eagles' OC job

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Pederson interviewing 2 for Eagles' OC job

While many folks are off for Presidents Day, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is hard at work trying to figure out how to replace Frank Reich. 

Pederson is spending his Monday interviewing running backs coach Duce Staley and wide receivers coach Mike Groh for the Eagles' vacant offensive coordinator position, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. ESPN's Tim McManus first reported the news Monday. 

It's possible one or both coaches could take over in some sort of offensive coordinator role. 

Reich left his post as offensive coordinator earlier this month when he accepted the head coaching job in Indianapolis. While it might not seem like an OC who doesn't call the plays has a big role, Reich was a good sounding board for Pederson and seemed to be very-well trusted by the head coach. He also helped put the weekly gameplan together. 

It makes sense that the Eagles don't want to go outside the organization to hire an offensive coordinator. Pederson trusts Staley and Groh and the chemistry inside the NovaCare Complex was tremendous during the Eagles' run to Super Bowl LII. 

Either way, Pederson is going to oversee the offense and call plays. Staley or Groh, if one or both are promoted, will handle some extra responsibility, but it'll still all be on Pederson. 

While Staley has been with the Eagles as a coach since 2011, working his way up from a quality control coach to running backs coach in 2013, Groh is a newcomer. He was added to the staff before the 2017 season to take over for Greg Lewis after the Eagles fired him. Groh did an impressive job last season, particularly with helping transform Nelson Agholor from a bust to one of the team's more explosive weapons. 

LeGarrette Blount makes his desire to stay in Philly clear

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LeGarrette Blount makes his desire to stay in Philly clear

LeGarrette Blount is fresh off of his third Super Bowl title and second in two years with two different teams. 

It sounds like he doesn't really want to go to a third team in three years. 

Blount, 31, played on a one-year deal worth around $1.25 million with the Eagles in 2017, but is set to become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year starts on March 14. He made it pretty clear on Sunday that he wouldn't mind coming back to Philly for another run. 

"It's early so we'll see," Blount said on NFL Network. 

"Obviously I like it a lot there. They like me a lot there. It's a mutual respect and a mutual agreement thing about how we feel about each other. Obviously, you guys know how I feel about the team, the guys; I love those guys. 

"I can't say enough about Duce (Staley), just for the simple fact for how well I was coached there and how good he helped me understand things. I feel like Duce is one of the best running back coaches, one of the best coaches I've ever had in my entire life. I obviously want to be a part of that for a while, so we'll see how it goes."

Blount began the year as the Eagles' top running back, but lost some of his role once the team traded for former Pro Bowler Jay Ajayi. But Blount still played a significant role in the Eagles' run to winning Super Bowl LII. 

During the season, he was the team's top rusher with 173 carries for 766 yards and two touchdowns. But then in Super Bowl LII, he had 14 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown, helping the Eagles to a 41-33 win over his former team, the Patriots. 

The Eagles are going to bring back Ajayi and second-year player Corey Clement. After that, things get murky. Blount and Darren Sproles (coming off injury) are both set to become free agents. 

Blount wasn't shy about his love for the Eagles during his interview on Sunday. He cited trust and how they handled the Ajayi trade with him as big reasons why. 

"They talked to me throughout the process of it happening," Blount said. "They were like, 'we're trading for Jay Ajayi, we just want to let you know.' Like I said, that's obviously another big thing for me, the honesty in that building and how open they are and how they don't keep any kind of secrets for you. They just tell you how it is. It's a big respect thing. Duce was the first person to reach out the me and be like, 'hey, we traded for Jay Ajayi. I just want to let you know.' Again, man, that's why it's a place that I love and I hope to stay there." 

Late in the six-and-a-half minute video, the crew brought out Clement while Blount was answering a question about the rookie. Blount laughed during the middle of his answer, but then got back on track and praised Clement. The two became very close during the 2017 season. 

After Blount's answer, Clement got to chat with his teammate and said getting to work with Blount was a "tremendous opportunity" and would clearly like to keep the core group together in the running back room next season. 

Obviously, it's not up to Clement, but Blount will play a big role and we already know what he thinks of the Eagles.