Boston Scott

The football coach who told Boston Scott he can't play

The football coach who told Boston Scott he can't play

He doesn’t remember his name.

All Boston Scott remembers is that a youth football coach took one look at him when he was 11 years old and told him: “Nope, you can’t play.”

Guess what. Scott can play. 

Anybody who watched the Eagles during the stretch run last year knows that.

He may not have been good enough for youth football, but he's good enough for the Eagles.

But at 5-foot-6, he’s always been doubted and questioned. That’s why he was a walk-on at Louisiana Tech, a sixth-round draft pick, cut twice before he finally got a chance in the NFL. 

And as the shortest kid trying out for football as a kid in Zachary, Louisiana, he experienced rejection at a young age.

“All my life, man,” Scott said on a recent Eagle Eye podcast with myself and Dave Zangaro. “All my life. In sixth grade I was turned away because of my stature. [The coach] said you wouldn’t make it.”

No 11-year-old kid should have to deal with that sort of rejection.

“I’ve heard that for a very long time and I don’t let it deter me,” he said. “The mindset that I take whenever I’m attacking things like that is I’m going to find out for myself. I’m not going to submit myself to your label, I’m not going to submit myself to your opinion. Because at the end of the day I’m going to determine [my future]. I’m going to go out here and find out for myself, period. And that’s kind of been what I’ve held true to my heart and that’s just the way that I’ve carried myself ever since then.”

Once Scott got on the football field and started playing, nobody doubted him again.

He became an all-state running back at Zachary High School, a 1,000-yard rusher at Louisiana Tech and over the last four games of last season, in his first significant NFL playing time, he netted 350 yards — 12th most in the league during that span.

Good thing he was strong enough and mentally tough enough as a sixth grader not to doubt himself when a youth football coach did.

“Yeah, man. It was tough,” he said. “But I would say during that time I was able to expand on the things that I was interested in. I got involved in music, I got involved in other extracurriculars and broadened my horizons. Where I am now, you never know how it might have been different. 

“I was introduced to my work ethic. Because I was like, man, once I got over it, at the end of the day, if I continue to work, I don’t know what might happen. So that’s when I started to really work and have that mindset that I’m going to find out for myself.”

Safe to say every Eagles fan is thankful he did.

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John Hightower's secret weapon and more in Roob's random Eagles observations

John Hightower's secret weapon and more in Roob's random Eagles observations

John Hightower's secret weapon, a 1948 statistical absurdity and whatever happened to Juan Castillo?

That's just a small sample of the goodies awaiting you in today's Roob's Random Eagles Observations! 

1. It’s pretty wild that the Eagles have reached the playoffs the last two years despite just 10 interceptions in 2018 and 11 this past year. That made them only the second team in NFL history with back-to-back playoff seasons with 11 or fewer interceptions (along with the 2010 and 2011 Saints). Only four teams had fewer interceptions the last two years than the Eagles, and that’s a tough way to play defense. Amazing that they’ve been as good as they’ve been without those impact plays that shift field position. Darius Slay is supposed to remedy that, but although he led the NFL with eight INTs in 2017, he’s only had five the last two years — tied for 31st-most in the NFL. Now, I understand that opposing quarterbacks weren’t throwing his way that much and I understand that a big part of interceptions is pass pressure. But the Eagles haven’t had a ballhawk in the secondary since Asante Samuel a decade ago. They need interceptions from Slay. Not two or three. Lots of ‘em.

2. It’s hard to imagine Marquise Goodwin making much of an impact. He’s had one year in seven NFL seasons with more than 431 yards, and at his age — he’ll be 30 this fall — you’re almost always already who you’re going to be. He is fast when he’s healthy, but his career season averages are 20 catches for 332 yards. For the sake of comparison, Nelson Agholor’s career averages are 45-for-503. 

3. Boston Scott had the third-most catches of any NFL running back over the last four weeks of this past season with 23. Only Pro Bowlers Christian McCaffrey (41) and Tarik Cohen (25) had more. The only running back in Eagles history with more catches over the last four games of a season is Herschel Walker with 25 in 1993.

4. The Eagles think speedy rookie receiver John Hightower has a shot to develop into a player, and one impressive thing about the fifth-rounder from Boise State is his rushing number. Hightower only had 24 carries in college but averaged a ridiculous 13.2 yards with two TDs. That’s the fourth-highest rushing average in the BCS on more than 20 carries going back to 2000, which is as far back as Sports Reference tracks college stats. So even if he’s not getting a lot of playing time as a receiver, if he can get himself on the game-day roster watch out for Hightower on jet sweeps and reverses.

5. While I was researching the 10 greatest defensive performances in Eagles history, I noticed something really weird: In 1948, the Eagles won three games by identical 45-0 scores in the span of 36 days, two of them in the span of eight days. And there have only been five other 45-0 games in NFL history! No other team has won more than one game by a 45-0 score and the other five have been spread out — 1951, 1976, 1984, 1991 and 1999. But the Eagles, during an eight-game winning streak on their way to their first NFL Championship, won three games by 45-0 in the span of six weeks. So the Eagles accounted for 38 percent of the 45-0 games in NFL history in 36 days.

6. From 1993 through 2006, half of the Eagles’ first-round draft picks — 6 of 12 — started fewer than 40 games in an Eagles uniform: Lester Holmes (38), Freddie Mitchell (17), Bernard Williams (16), Jon Harris (8), Leonard Renfro (2) and Jerome McDougle (0). 

7. Correll Buckhalter is one of the most underrated and underappreciated Eagles of the last 20 years. The dude bounced back from three torn ACLs. He missed the entire 2002, 2004 and 2005 seasons — he played 15 games from the end of the 2001 season until the start of 2006. But the dude could ball. Buck averaged 4.5 yards per carry, fourth-highest in Eagles history by a running back behind LeSean McCoy (4.7), Brian Westbrook (4.6) and Charlie Garner (4.6). Pretty good company. Buck’s knees never allowed him a huge workload, but Andy Reid used him perfectly, giving him enough work to make a difference but never overusing him on those surgically repaired knees. 

8. Andy Reid and Mike Holmgren are the only coaches in NFL history to win 75 games for two teams. Reid won 130 games with the Eagles and 77 with the Chiefs. Holmgren won 75 with the Packers and 86 with the Seahawks. Reid and Holmgren are best friends and were together in Green Bay from 1992 through 1998.

9. Good to see Juan Castillo back coaching in the NFL. He was out of the league last year after 24 years in the NFL and spent the year working at Michigan as an offensive analyst under Jim Harbaugh, whose brother John he worked with on both the Eagles and Ravens. As O-line coach in Chicago, he’s reunited with Matt Nagy, who he was with in Philly. If the only Castillo you remember is from his 22-game tenure here as Reid's defensive coordinator, he’s one of the best O-line coaches in the game. 

10. There have only been five quarterbacks drafted in the first two rounds who never played a regular-season snap in the NFL:

Harry Agganis, 1952, First round, Browns: When the Red Sox outbid the Browns, Agganis decided to play pro baseball in the Red Sox organization instead of pro football.
Eddie Crowder, 1953, Second round, Giants: Because he had a nerve problem in his throwing shoulder, he joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers instead of signing with the Giants. He eventually played in the CFL.
Sandy Stephens, 1962, Second round, Titans: Stephens also played in the CFL before his career was cut short by a very serious car crash, the same one that ended the career of Ted Dean, who scored the winning touchdown for the Eagles in the 1960 NFL Championship Game.
Gene Bradley, 1980, Second round, Bills: Played for the New Jersey Generals of the USFL instead of signing with the Bills.
Christian Hackenberg, 2016, Second round, Jets: The only QB in NFL history drafted in the first two rounds who never played in the NFL or another major sports league.

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Eagles' Boston Scott has lofty goals as he prepares for 2020 season

Eagles' Boston Scott has lofty goals as he prepares for 2020 season

Boston Scott became a fan favorite in 2019 as his performance down the stretch helped propel the Eagles to the playoffs. 

And he’s not done yet. 

Scott joined the Eagle Eye podcast from Louisiana on Thursday afternoon to talk about the chance he’s had to reflect on his breakout performances late last season and some of his lofty goals going into Year 3 of his NFL career. 

“Everything is earned,” Scott said. “I know going into this next year, organizations are going to be able to game plan, organizations are going to be able break down the film. 

“So I know that, by no means, have I arrived. By no means have I made it. I gotta continue to work on my craft, continue to build on the things that I was able to do this past season moving forward and just continuing to build.” 

After beginning the 2019 season on the practice squad, Scott said the best part of last season was being able to show his teammates how much can help them on the field and how much they can rely on him. He wants to continue that in 2020. 

While Scott’s ultimate goal is to help the Eagles win a championship, and that comes first, he also sets personal goals for himself too. 

Yeah, obviously, ultimately, I want to stay healthy. I want to be available,” Scott said. “That’s one of the biggest things. But I have goals for myself. I think it’s important as a player at this level to have that amount of confidence in yourself. I want to be the Offensive MVP. I want to bring that to my team. Those are goals that I want to accomplish. I want to be in the league for 10 years. Those are goals that I set for myself. All the greats they set those goals and then they chop away at it day by day and they see what happens.

Yeah, becoming the Offensive Player of the Year is a pretty lofty goal to set, especially for a player who is coming into the season as RB2. But having confidence — not being cocky — is important and it has gotten Scott this far. 

Scott, 25, joined the Eagles late in the 2018 season after he was signed off the Saints’ practice squad. While he started the 2019 season, he was called up in October and by the end of the season was a huge part of the offense. His three-touchdown performance against the Giants in Week 17 earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. 

As great as that success was, he isn’t resting on it. 

“But like I said, just having that confidence in myself and knowing and trusting in the process, trusting in the coaches, I know that this is just the beginning,” Scott said. “I haven’t reached the standard that I have for myself.”

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