Miles Sanders was one of the most explosive players on the Eagles’ offense during his rookie season.
He expects more of that from the guys around him in 2020.
Sanders was a guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday night and said he’s “super excited” about the addition of second-round pick Jalen Hurts and the possibilities that might bring to the offense.
The sky’s through the roof with what we can do with [Carson Wentz and Hurts] and the other guys on the team,” Sanders said.
“We’re faster and we got more depth and more explosive and more aggressive too. That’s what I like too. We’re definitely going to be aggressive. I can see us being aggressive this year with the amount of talent we have. Jalen is definitely going to be a part of that, I feel like.
Once DeSean Jackson went down in 2019, the Eagles definitely lost a lot of their explosiveness. The Eagles still attempted more fourth down conversions than all but one other team in the NFL but they certainly didn’t feel as aggressive in 2020.
According to Sharp Football, the Eagles’ ranked 22nd in the NFL last season in explosive plays — runs of 10+ yards, passes of 15+ yards. Just over 9% of their offensive plays last year were deemed explosive.
On a team that might have lacked explosiveness in 2019, Sanders was a clear exception. He accounted for 30 of the Eagles’ 108 total explosive plays as a rookie, doing it in both the pass and run game. He finished with 1,327 yards from scrimmage, good for a new Eagles rookie record.
But Sanders didn’t really take off until Jordan Howard got hurt. After he became the full-time starter, Sanders became a different player.
He “absolutely” sees that lead role continuing in 2020.
“I believe that’s why they drafted me in the first place,” Sanders said. “It was really just a switch that honestly just turned. All of a sudden, I was the starting running back. I didn’t start at the beginning of the season. I just looked at the opportunity and I just attacked it.”
In the last seven games of his rookie season, after Howard went down, Sanders had 482 rushing yards (4.68 yards per attempt) and 204 receiving yards. He became the focal point of the Eagles’ offense.
Even if the Eagles add another veteran to the mix, Sanders is clearly the lead back going forward.
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