Eagles

Stoutland deserves a ton of credit for Eagles’ historic rushing streak

Eagles

The Eagles made history on Tuesday night, becoming the first team since the 1985 Chicago Bears to rush for 175 or more yards in seven consecutive games.

The Bears had Walter Payton.

The Eagles have Jeff Stoutland.

That’s not to diminish the contributions of Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell or any of the Eagles’ starting offensive linemen during this stretch. They’re the ones on the field, after all.

But more than any of them — and there are some good players there — Stoutland is the star of the operation. And the fact that a statement like that would bother the hell out of him tells you all you need to know.

READ: Nick Sirianni tests positive for COVID-19

There’s a reason the 59-year-old offensive line coach has now served for three different head coaches in Philadelphia and keeps getting retained. There’s a reason why he has the title of run game coordinator in addition to his job as offensive line coach. There’s a reason why his players have piled up six All-Pros and 17 Pro Bowl bids during his years in Philly.

There’s a reason why Nick Sirianni earlier this month called Stoutland “the best offensive line coach I’ve ever been around.”

It’s because Stoutland really is a great coach. And the Eagles are so lucky to have him.

He was already one of the best position coaches in Eagles history before this historic run and he has further cemented his legacy with it. Over the last seven games the Eagles have dealt with injuries to Sanders and Howard, they’ve been down to their third option at left guard and their fourth option at right guard.

 

Through all of it, the operation hasn’t changed. The Eagles keep running at will against their competition.

On Tuesday night against Washington, after just a few days of notice and without any practice, the Eagles were forced to start Sua Opeta at left guard in place of Landon Dickerson. That meant Eagles used their seventh different offensive line combination of the season to face the NFL’s fifth-ranked rushing defense.

Didn’t matter.

The Eagles still managed to run all over Washington, piling up 238 yards on the ground.

Earlier in the season, the Eagles were a heavy passing offense until Sirianni figured out that running the ball was really the formula. Since then, no one can stop them. The Eagles lead the NFL with 200+ yard rushing performances this season with five and all five have come during this incredible seven-game stretch.

When Sirianni was still in Indianapolis, he heard about the legend of Stoutland. Sirianni jokes that he used to think he was Frank Reich’s favorite coach until he heard him talk about Stout. So when Sirianni got hired in Philly, it was a no-brainer to keep him on staff.

And in the months since, Sirianni has gotten an up-close-and-personal view to watch a master at work.

“No detail is left unturned,” Sirianni said last month. “To me, Coach Stout is as advertised.”

Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast

Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube

Stoutland is overly passionate about his work and that’s why those details matter so much to him. It’s why he doesn’t just coach the Eagles 'starters, but develops everyone from giant former rugby players to Army graduates. Everyone gets better because everyone might need to play.

Before the Jets game back on Dec. 5, Stoutland wasn’t feeling well and he needed to be taken to a local hospital in North Jersey for an evaluation. But a little later, there he was, back on the sideline, coaching the Eagles to another win behind an impressive rushing performance.

“He's really important to this coaching staff and this team,” Sirianni said. “He's the best offensive line coach I've ever been around and just excited that he's here and he's healthy and he's on this staff.”