Eagles

Eagles

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. I’m hoping you’re reading this on the beach or somewhere where you’re having fun. 

As always, you guys came through with questions, so I split them up. 

Part 1 is here

Let’s get to Part 2: 

I don’t think he has one. 

Last week, I put together my ranking of the top 32 starting running backs in the NFL and put Sanders at No. 11. That might seem high to some people, but I think the kid is special. 

As a reminder, in his first NFL season, Sanders had 1,327 scrimmage yards to set a franchise rookie record. And he didn’t even become the full-time starter until Jordan Howard went down. And you’ll also remember that he averaged 112 scrimmage yards per game in the Eagles’ final four games of 2019 to get them into the playoffs. 

Without Howard on the roster in 2020, I expect Sanders to be the Eagles’ first true feature back in Doug Pederson’s five years as head coach. 

(That doesn’t mean Boston Scott and others won’t get carries, but it means that Sanders is the clearly defined No. 1.) 

Last year, Sanders had 818 rushing yards and 509 receiving yards. 

So a 1,000-yard rushing season is not only in play, but I expect it. And even if he can’t duplicate that pretty incredible season as a receiver, he should be able to duplicate his scrimmage yards total. There have been just seven players in Eagles history to have back-to-back seasons with 1,300-plus scrimmage yards: LeSean McCoy (twice), Brian Westbrook, Duce Staley, Ricky Watters, Herschel Walker, Wilbert Montgomery and Timmy Brown. 

 

I fully expect Sanders to join that list in 2020. 

I still think there’s a small chance Peters returns to the Eagles, but I’m not convinced it would be to play right guard. I think Peters could probably do the job but asking him to change positions and sides of the line after a full Hall of Fame career at left tackle is a tough ask. 

My understanding about the Peters situation is that the Eagles thought he was going to sign pretty quickly and they were fully prepared to move forward with Andre Dillard. But now it’s nearly July and Peters still doesn’t have a team. If his price drops to a certain point and he can’t find a job, the Eagles would be foolish not to bring him back, at the very least for depth purposes. 

Since he was drafted in 2018, Mailata hasn’t even played in a real game. He has been active just three times and didn’t get on the field. So the goal with him is still to bring him along as an offensive tackle. 

I get why everyone wants to put him at running back. You go back and watch his rugby tape and it’s impressive. But he still has so much on his plate learning the sport and the tackle positions, that adding running back responsibilities wouldn’t be fair. Maybe down the line that could become a possibility. The Eagles are a creative offensive team and they’ve seen the rugby videos too. But that’s not something we’ve ever heard them talk about. 

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