Jordan Howard reacts to light workload in Eagles debut

Jordan Howard reacts to light workload in Eagles debut

He won’t say it, but I can say it:

Jordan Howard needs more carries.

On the Eagles’ first drive of the second quarter Sunday, Howard got the ball on three straight plays — a pass and two runs — and netted 17 yards.

Then the Eagles ran 44 consecutive plays without Howard touching the football.

Then he got another three straight plays deep in the fourth quarter and ran for 29 more yards.

The Eagles had 10 drives in their 32-27 win over the Redskins Sunday, and Howard touched the ball on just two of them.

It was an odd Eagles debut for Howard, who got only 17 snaps — fewer than Miles Sanders (36) or Darren Sproles (23) — but made the most of them with 6-for-44 rushing and 2-for-11 receiving.

“Everybody gotta eat in the offense," he said.

You get 55 yards from scrimmage on eight touches, that’s a very efficient performance.

Howard had over 250 carries in each of the last three seasons, the first Chicago Bear to do that since Walter Payton.

He ranked third in the NFL during that span in both rushing yards (3,414) and attempts (784).

His six attempts Sunday were the second-fewest of his career. The only time he had fewer was the second game of 2016, when he had three against the Eagles at Soldier Field.

Oddly, he averaged exactly 7.33 yards per carry in both those games.

But back then Howard was an unknown rookie fifth-round pick backing up Jeremy Langford. Now he’s a Pro Bowler, a two-time 1,000-yard rusher.

Six carries isn’t enough.

Howard took the high road after his first game in an Eagles uniform.

Just have to be ready for your moment,” he said. “You never know when your opportunity is going to come, so you’ve just got to be ready, no matter what the situation, and just go out there.

It seems like a huge adjustment going from the 17 carries per game Howard averaged over three years in Chicago to sharing the load like this.

He says no.

“It’s not really an adjustment,” he said. “It’s something I can handle. It’s no problem, really.”

Howard even went so far as to say rotating with the other backs will extend his career.

He’s already got 850 career touches and he doesn’t turn 25 until November.

“Because my first (three) years I got a lot of carries and took a lot of hits,” he said. “Definitely prolong (my career).”

Howard ran decisively and powerfully Sunday but also looked plenty quick on his handful of carries.

While Sanders struggled a bit in his NFL debut — he had four negative runs and another for no yards — Howard moved the sticks every time he touched the ball.

He runs behind his pads, he’s low, he’s a powerful guy,” Doug Pederson said. “And quite frankly he made some catches out of the backfield, some difficult catches that were low and being able to snag the ball. This guy, we’re excited about him, we just have to keep (his carries) coming and keep him in the mix.

Pederson said he’ll continue to mix in all the backs. Corey Clement didn’t have any touches on offense Sunday and got only three snaps. But he could easily be the Eagles’ leading rusher in Atlanta.

So could Howard. So could Sproles. So could Sanders.

“We’re just going to continue to work it that way,” Pederson said. “Sometimes it’s the hot hand but sometimes it’s based on game plan and who’s in at that particular time.”

Howard’s carries will go up if he continues producing. But he sure didn’t seem upset Sunday.

Especially after the Eagles came back from 17 points down to beat the Redskins.

“It felt good,” he said. “Especially because we won. That’s my biggest thing. I wanted to win. I did not want to lose.”

Sounds like he’ll fit right in here.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagles fan Giovanni Hamilton is keeping everyone smiling with new video series

Eagles fan Giovanni Hamilton is keeping everyone smiling with new video series

If you’re avid on Eagles social media, chances are you’ve come across their biggest Eagles fan. That fan is none other than Giovanni Hamilton. 

Giovanni has been stealing hearts of Eagles fans for quite some time with his reaction videos to the team combined with an abundance of positivity, but he has definitely stepped up his game during the offseason. 

Recently, he started a video series breaking down some of his favorite fun facts that are located within the team media guide given out at the start of the season. He was gifted it and wanted to share his new knowledge with the rest of his followers. 

He has already covered some of his favorite players, but don’t fret. If you missed them, they’re below! 

The first video that kicked off his fun series was about his hero, Carson Wentz. There was too much information to pack into a quick post on Twitter, so he had to upload the whole thing to YouTube. What a way to start things off! 

Jalen Mills has always been a favorite for Giovanni. Ever notice how his hair was green in the past? He was inspired by Mills to dye it so he can match the Eagles’ safety. 

Earlier this week, he decided to focus on Zach Ertz in what was probably his most successful video yet. 

Success meaning the tight end himself saw and shared the video with his own message to Giovanni. 

Next, he completed a fun facts video on Jason Kelce. Not only did we learn Kelce’s love for another sport but his passion for Christmas music as well. 

Kelce, if you’re seeing this — make sure to let Giovanni know what your favorite Christmas song is … it’s safe to say we’re all curious about it now. 

Most recently, he went on to talk about the only Dallas that Philadelphia fans like — that’s right, Dallas, Goedert. 

“He just wants to help make this strange time we’re in better for people and hopes to put a smile on their face,” said Shannon, Giovanni’s mom.

The positivity of this series has been doing just that — adding smiles to every Eagles fan who has come across these wonderful videos. 

If you want to stay up to date with Giovanni’s series, you can follow him here

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

2020 NFL mock draft: Eagles secure an elite receiver

Eagles plan at safety in 2020 is even cheaper than we first thought

Eagles plan at safety in 2020 is even cheaper than we first thought

We finally have the details on Rodney McLeod’s two-year contract with the Eagles and it’s much less lucrative than we were first led to believe. 

Initially reported as a $12 million deal, McLeod’s two-year deal is worth just $8.65 million, according to a league source. But it also includes $7.8 million in guaranteed money. So you can count on McLeod being with the Eagles through the 2021 season. 

Now that we have full contract details for McLeod, Jalen Mills and Will Parks, we can see that the Eagles are going to have the entire safety position for a very reasonable price in 2020. Will the experiment work? We’ll find out later this year. 

But it is a cost-effective plan. In 2020, all three combine for a cap hit of $7,134,375 million. To put that into perspective, had the Eagles picked up Malcolm Jenkins’ option (if he were willing to play on it), Jenkins would have counted as a $10.887 million cap hit by himself in 2020. 

(By the way, Jenkins this offseason got a four-year deal with the Saints that might turn into a two-year deal.)

According to Spotrac, the Eagles used over $17 million in cap space at safety in 2019, the second-highest total in the league. They will be much lower on that list in 2020. 

Let’s take a look at each individual Eagles deal: 

Rodney McLeod

The Eagles used one of their favorite tricks with the McLeod deal and it’s one they already used earlier this offseason when they signed Javon Hargrave.

Technically, McLeod’s deal is for five years, but the final three years will void automatically (and are included only) for salary cap purposes. The shortest version of this is that the Eagles can spread out the salary cap hit from his $3 million signing bonus over five years instead of two, saving cap space each season. 

McLeod has base salaries of $1.05 million and $3.75 million over the next two seasons. 

Here are McLeod’s cap hits over the next three seasons: 

2020: $1.65 million 
2021: $5.2 million 
2022: $1.8 million 

Remember, in 2022, he won’t be on the team anymore (at least not with this contract) so that money is just left over dead cap money (prorated salary bonus money) the team wanted to push off its books for the next two seasons. 

So in total, McLeod’s two-year deal is worth $8.65 million with $7.8 million guaranteed. But he also has the chance to earn up to $1.7 million in incentives. 

Jalen Mills 

Mills is back with the Eagles in a new hybrid safety/corner position on a one-year deal worth $4 million, but he has the potential to earn another $1 million in incentives. So this could end up being worth a total of $5 million. 

Mills has a base salary of $2 million and got a signing bonus of $2 million, so both count against the cap this year:

2020: $4 million 

His cap hit in 2020 is the highest of the three safeties, but McLeod has a higher one coming in 2021. 

Mills’ deal guaranteed just $2 million and he got that in the form of his signing bonus. His base salary this season isn’t guaranteed, so the Eagles could theoretically cut him to save $2 million but they didn’t sign him to cut him. 

Will Parks 

The newcomer of the group, Parks signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Eagles. He has a $1M fully guaranteed base salary, a $375K signing bonus and $125K in per-game roster bonuses. 

It’s a little tricker to figure out Parks’ salary cap figure for 2020 so stick with me here. For per-game roster bonus money, the cap figure is calculated based on the amount of games Parks played last season, which was 14. So the full $125K would could toward the cap if he played a full season in 2019 — but because he didn’t, we count just $109,375. This doesn’t mean Parks earns any less money; it’s just for cap purposes. 

So we add the base salary, signing bonus money and per-game roster bonus cap hit for a grand total of … 

2020: $1,484,375

It’s a very team-friendly deal for Parks, who is coming off his rookie contract and has some potential. We know McLeod will be with the Eagles in 2021 and it seems like Mills and Parks will get a chance to earn a contract to join him. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles