The usual pattern with Doug Pederson is that at his regular Monday press conference he’s asked why he didn’t run the ball more the day before.
And then he says, yeah, he should have.
This week was different.
Pederson didn’t wait to be asked why impressive rookie Josh Adams didn’t get more work.
He brought it up himself.
“Do I think he can have a few more touches? I do,” he said. “So that’ll answer everybody’s question right there. I do feel like he can touch the ball a few more times.”
That clears that up.
Adams was 9-for-61 in London against the Jaguars and followed that with a 7-for-47 performance Sunday in the loss to the Cowboys.
Overall, the rookie from Warrington and Notre Dame is averaging 5.7 yards on 27 carries.
“For the limited amount of touches, I thought Josh played well, and he’s improved each week,” Pederson said.
Let’s take a quick look at Adams’ performance so far:
• Even though he has far fewer carries than Wendell Smallwood (62 carries, 4.2 average), Corey Clement (55 carries 3.3 average) and injured Jay Ajayi (45 carries, 4.1 average), Adams leads the Eagles with four runs of 15 yards or more.
• Adams’ 5.7 average is sixth-highest in the NFL among backs with at least 25 carries.
• Even though he’s accounted for only 12 percent of the Eagles’ carries, he has four of the Eagles’ seven-longest runs this year.
• Over the past month, he’s averaging 6.3 yards per carry, second-highest in the NFL during that span behind only Aaron Jones of the Packers (7.5 average).
Clement, the Super Bowl hero last year, has battled a quad injury recently and is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry so far. Smallwood has come back to Earth a bit and is averaging 3.0 yards per carry in his last four games after sitting at 6.0 through five games.
The Eagles don’t run very much. But when they do, Adams has been by far their most productive back.
“I think Corey played with a little more sense of urgency (Sunday),” Pederson said Monday. “I think he’s feeling fresher coming off the break and his body’s feeling healthy. Wendell’s been steady, he’s been consistent there.”
“I think Josh has been the spark the last couple weeks,” he said. “We’ll continue to give him a few more opportunities.”
The Eagles’ 16 carries Sunday were their fewest since a game against the 49ers in 2014 when they ran just 12 times in a 26-21 loss.
They haven’t had a back with 20 carries since Ryan Mathews in 2016, and they haven’t had a RB with back-to-back games with double-digit carries since LeGarrette Blount against the Cowboys and Bears last November.
It sure seems like the Eagles have a weapon in Adams. To what extent Pederson uses him remains to be seen.
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