Staley Getting Backs Ready For A Ground Party

Jason Peters recently said that in this offense, there is “a lot of running the ball; the passing is mixed in.”  If you were to describe Andy Reid‘s approach, you would likely say the exact opposite.

The ground game is coming to Philly. Envious, Duce Staley?

“Ahhh, of course I am,” said Staley with a laugh Thursday. “If you’re a running back, you should be excited.”

Staley will have to settle for coaching this group of running backs, who are more important than ever to the success of the Eagles. And he has an intriguing group to work with.

In LeSean McCoy, a Pro Bowl talent that is coming off a down campaign and a rocky offseason. Staley serves as a mentor to the 24-year-old, and believes he is pointed in the right direction.

“LeSean will be the first to own up to the mistakes he’s made. Now he’s trying to move on and get better from those, learning from those so he won’t repeat them,” said Staley. “He’ll tell you first-hand that we’re on the same page when it comes to life and things that come along with life. I think he’s getting a better understanding when I explain certain things to him. By any means necessary he is going to get it and he’s going to correct it and he’s going to move on. He’ll be OK.”

Behind McCoy is Bryce Brown, who is as raw as he is gifted. In order to be a reliable No. 2, he will have to solve his fumbling issues.  Staley said that they are taking measures on the field and in the classroom to clean up that part of Brown’s games.

“The first thing you have to do is show him where the problem is. You have to show him the film over and over again to make sure he undertsands traffic,” said Staley. “That’s one of things that I talk about with Bryce all the time is traffic. When you look at the type of runner Bryce is, Bryce is an aggressive runner, he wants to hit the hole and he wants to break tackles. When you hit the hole and break tackles, it gives a chance for other people to catch up with you. He has to make sure he continues to pull that ball in tight.”

Chris Polk has dropped some weight and is quicker, according to Staley. He said that Felix Jones is looking good as well. Rookie Matthew Tucker rounds out the group.

Last season, Oregon averaged 53 rushes per game. Kenjon Barner finished with 278 rushing attempts. De’Anthony Thomas had 92; Byron Marshall 87.

History suggests that there is a sizeable workload coming for not just McCoy, but several of these Eagles running backs.

“I’m lucky to have some running backs where all those guys bring something to the party. It’s not like one guy has all the tools — if I had to say one had all the tools it would be McCoy right now — but every guy that I have brings something to the party,” said Staley.

“I think you have to add all those guys in the mix because we’re going to need all of them.”

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  • addicted2mula

    Run run run pass

  • usmcnole

    If the birds run the ball well and a lot, its reasonable to assume Mike Vick could thrive

    • EaglesFan

      That would be assuming Vick is going to play

      • BrickSquadMonopoly

        He did throw a could in there…in case you missed it

        • EaglesFan

          No but I guess u did the only thing Vick is going to thrive at is fumbling. He’s done it his whole career. Foles will the starter.

    • Septhinox

      Because he has never had a team that predominately ran the ball? At least use a new excuse. Come on.

      • cliff henny

        it’s fair. his best years in Atl were run heavy offenses. the advantage was it slows the game down for vick. also gets him designed roll outs where if nothing is open, he can take off. reid ran so little, no one cared, they just played the edges and keyed in on vick.

        • usmcnole

          Thank you Cliff. Exactly my point. The Falcons were contenders when their run game was on point. Back then Vick had a lot of issues with accuracy and lack of patience with the ball but the falcons were able to be a very good offensive team. I think now with he’s more mature, patient, and a lot more accurate after working with reid and morny. The combo of a solid run game, speedy downfield recievers, athletic tight ends, and a healthy line will do wonders for him

          • cliff henny

            sure, i get what you are saying, but i think the extra benefit vick needs and gets from a run game, kelly’s scheme is going to take alot of that away. in 2010, reason vick played so well is eagles had run game threat. the play action worked, till teams learned reid wont commit to rungame, and they just keyed on vick.

          • Eagles4Life

            Not saying that Vick would have been a prolific passer in his ATL days, but as far as receiving corps, he never really had much aside from Alge Crumpler. I mean, even when they made a move and got Peerless Price that guy was an underwhelming performer for Vick.

        • DLRJ

          Agree. And those Atl offenses drew a lot of defenders near the LOS, which opened up the long stuff, especially off play action. Say what you will about Vick, but he has always been able to launch it.

    • cliff henny

      every qb gets helped by a good run game, but i’ll agree that it’s helps vick alittle more than most. here’s the difference though with kelly’s vs typical run game, ie steelers, typically a play action will allow vick to roll or sit in pocket, either way, he gets more time. kelly’s offense isnt built around giving qb more time. when he throws, it still needs to be out in 1.5 secs. out of all the issues kelly can fix with vick, this quick, accurate, on-time to the correct read is the part i have most questions.

    • Joe Jones

      You should know by now, any mention of Vick is going to be met with negativity. But you’re right, any QB is going to benefit from a strong ground game. If you look at the top rushing teams last yr, SF, SEA and WASH…. these teams also threw the ball very efficiently. Yes, they have talented, young QBs…..but those QBs benefitted greatly from the ability keep defenses off balance with a strong ground game.

      Sounds simplistic….it is. Somehow Andy Reid failed to grasp this. Instead he insisting on running play action without ever establishing the running game. How’d that work out recently?

      A fresh approach to offense is what I’m most excited about this year. Regardless of who the QB is, no more, “keep firing.”

  • cliff henny

    i know at some point it will wear off and i’ll start caring about w/l’s…but today, i’m just really REALLY anxiously excited to see the eagles RUN THE F’N BALL! days of 2nd and 1’s follwed by 2 incompletes and punt are hopefully over! drove me nuts

  • theycallmerob

    Beautiful timing, what with this offense being established the same year the Eagles have 4 talented RBs on the roster. Most depth I can remember in the last 15-20 years.

    • xlGmanlx

      Exactly, during the “3 headed monster” that was Duce, West, Buck, this group has a chance to be superior. I love 36, but Shady has a higher ceiling. Brown also has a higher ceiling than either Buck or Staley, but has to get there. Hopefully they can find someone else to provide a change of pace or spell Shady/Brown.

      • Run Eagles Run

        felix jones reminds me a little of buckhalter from what I remember, lil bit smaller maybe

      • DLRJ

        I have been tempted to say the same about Shady vs. BWest, but a knowledgeable friend of mine shot me down, and I think he’s right. Shady has a long way to go before he reaches Westbrook’s level. You can make an argument in the straight-up running department, but in the receiving department, it isn’t even close. And BWest was a superior pass blocker despite being small.

  • xlGmanlx

    Running to setup the pass, what a novel concept. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I have always been of the run/stop the run mindset, glad to see we are going to incorporate that more into this club.

  • Richard Colton

    Must be May…Memorial Day, BBQ, and the Eagles promising to run the ball more

    La plus ca change, la plus c’est le meme chose

    • theycallmerob

      Another (undercover) Canadian? Y’all have quite the presence on this blog.

      “24/7: Nouvelles pour Aigles, autre ne veut!”

      • cliff henny

        Jules: What country are you from?

        Brett: What? What? Wh – ?

        Jules: “What” ain’t no country I’ve ever heard of. They speak English in What?

        Brett: What?

        Jules: English, motherf’r, do you speak it?

        Brett: Yes! Yes!

        • Richard Colton

          great scene – midway through it Sam Jackson starts calling “Brett” “Brad.” They left it in anyway.

          • cliff henny

            we’ve had good deates about that…some argue he’s stretching out brett, and it sounds like brad, when he says ‘look at the big brain on brett/brad’. i’m w/ you, think he says brad. best is mr wolff scene and cleaning the car. ‘oh, oh, you’re about to blow’

          • Richard Colton

            If I’m curt with you it’s because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast and I need you guys to act fast. So, pretty please, with sugar on top. Clean the F-ing car.

  • eaglepride

    I’m anxious to see how Duce handles the promotion to RB coach. I was a huge fan of his in his playing days. Hope he can instill his desire to excel in his RBs.