Inside Voices: Brown Stuck In Neutral

Eagles RB Bryce Brown with NFL capAt the beginning of the year, Chip Kelly was feeling so good about his stable of running backs that he said he would put his group up against any in the National Football League. There was talk of creating a  nickname for the trio of LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown and Chris Polk. “Earth, Wind and Fire” was the apparent leader in the clubhouse.

It’s turned into more of a solo show. McCoy is the league’s leading rusher with 1,009 yards through 11 games. He is also second in carries (behind Adrian Peterson) with 213, and is on pace to comfortably set a personal high in that department.

Meanwhile, Brown has failed to get off the ground. He has carried the ball 53 times for 165 yards (3.1 avg.) and has just one run of 10-plus yards on the season — a 32-yarder against Oakland. After back-to-back scintillating performances last season against Carolina and Dallas, when he posted 347 yards and four touchdowns, expectations shot up for the seventh-round pick. This season, though, the images most closely associated with Brown are of him fruitlessly bouncing it to the outside or slipping to the turf before he hits the hole.


What gives?

 "I think the difference between this year and last year is that [McCoy] is healthy so a lot of times where Bryce ran for 170 in one game, well, because LeSean didn't play in that game.  When you've got health, then the guys that are the number two are not going to get as many reps," said Kelly.

"But I think he's had some big plays for us when we've called upon him.  I think when he has a limited amount of carries like he has, when he does slip, I think it's over-amplified.  If he had 20 carries in a game and slipped on one, you don't really talk about the slip.  When he has three carries in the game, and slips on one, you kind of think about the slip.  I think it's more his numbers are not what they were a year ago but I think it's because we are healthy at the other spots."

When asked about those slips, Brown said he doesn't consider it an issue and no changes [different cleats, etc.] were made.

To Kelly's point, the second-year back is averaging under five carries per game. There isn't much of a sample size this season and Brown has had little  time to get warm.

"I think any running back will tell you, when you have more opportunites, when you can feel a game out, get in the flow of things, you can do more," said Brown. "I really haven't had an opportunity to do that. But that's all right. We won our last three games, and we're just looking to win our next five."

On one hand, if McCoy is rolling, who cares how his backups are doing? On the other hand, the mileage is piling up for No. 25 this season, and it would only benefit the Eagles if they could get more production out of the reserves in the name of keeping McCoy fresh.

In that respect, how is Brown viewing the final five games?

"Same as I do every game -- try to take advantage of the opportunities when I get in, and just  leave it at that," said Brown. "Keep it as simple as I can. I don't really get caught up in how many carries he has.  When my number is called, just expect to be ready."

Henery on job security

Alex Henery is fully aware that he is not having his best season, but hasn't allowed himself to think about the possibility that his job might be in danger.

"Once that creeps into your mind, you're on a downward hill," he said. "You don't want that creeping into your mind. If [getting cut] happens, it happens. It's one of those things: do your job, if they replace you they replace you, if they don't just keep your confidence and keep going."

The coaching staff has stuck by Henery despite his shaky 2013 campaign. He says he talks to Kelly as much as any other player on the roster, and has received nothing but encouragement.

"It helps, just from a mental standpoint, to know they are on your side, pushing for you to get better, and that they're not going to just abandon you if you have a bad game or whatever," he said.

The most accurate kicker in NCAA history has converted 17 of his 22 field goal attempts this season (77 percent). He is 5-of-9 on attempts from 40-plus yards. One issue, as identified and corrected by special teams coach Dave Fipp, was that Henery was a beat too quick on his approach, which threw off the timing. Henery mentioned things like not keeping his head down or "falling off to the side" as other reasons for why a few of his kicks have gone astray.

"It hasn't been my...I've been better the last two years, but I feel like I'm hitting my stride," he said. "I feel like I'm hitting a good ball. What's in the past is in the past. You can't really take any of those back so now it's just, be 100 percent these final five games and wherever the playoffs take us."

It might not be the sexiest or most talked-about story line, but the Eagles are going to need an accurate Henery down the stretch in what promises to be a competitive final five games.

Todd who?

There was a pretty funny moment earlier this week when Mychal Kendricks was asked what he remembers about Todd Bowles from last season.

"Todd Bowles...last season," said Kendricks, drawing a blank. "You've got to remind me."

Your defensive coordinator at the end of last year.

"Oh my gosh," said Kendricks, putting his hand on his head. "That's my dude. That's my guy."

See what happens when you have three defensive coordinators over two seasons? His memory was quickly jogged.

"He's an aggressive guy. I mean as far as the pressures, they didn't fall off when we made the change [from Juan Castillo]. If anything, they picked up. He's a good coach. Good guy, good person. And if he sees this [looks into camera], hello, what's up?"

 

  • GEAGLE

    We NEED a big game from Cooper and the TE’s to win tomorrow. Patrick Patterson has been a stud against every route you could throw at him all year. Desean will get his opportunities for a few big plays, but you can’t count on him this game as your go to guy at crucial moments…the good news is Powerrs who will match up with coop if Patterson sticks with Desean is NOT good in coverage. His numbers say he is struggling mightily in coverage this year, We are going to need Cooper to take advantage of him. After Cooper, TEs become crucial. This is a stout defense, that only really has a few areas where they are vulnerable, #2 CB and the TEs…
    ..
    In this game, Chip won’t be able to just stick with what we do. This week will be about using his genius to morph his offense to attack the few week spots on the cardinals defense. For example, Kelly has prefered to run 3WR sets, but that’s not going to help you against the Cardinals because Honeybadger moves into the Nickle and you don’t want to throw at a playmakerl like him, so Chip will have to adjust! dust off the Multi TE sets and do some work!!!

    We will still try to impose our will in the run game, but this defense is too good to just do what we do..this is where Chip will need to tailor his attack!!

    • G_WallyHunter

      you’ve called him Patterson now in a few points, I can’t help but laugh out loud, your enthusiasm is awesome and so are your typos haha
      Wait, is it the mobile?

      • GEAGLE

        In real life, I purposely mispronounce opponents out of disrespect (inside joke between friends)..and I spell guys like I pronounce them

        • G_WallyHunter

          LMAO that’s a great idea actually. I mean we all know who you mean, so that’s hilarious. That disrespect angle hahaha
          Gawd I’ve never been so pumped up for these trench matches, NVM the secondary matchups

          • GEAGLE

            My friends used to hate it, but now it caught on, and we just mispronounce opposing teams best players, you have to do it with the well known guys so that people get who you are talking about…just an old habit been doing since college. Kinda disrespectful, so naturally it feels good lol

          • G_WallyHunter

            Understood now, I think it’s hilarious and might start doing it too.
            Kinda like how I call that LB on GB Clarina Matthews because of his (her) hair, that woman
            Ever since that playoff game, just absolutely despise GB, as much as DAL or Ginas

          • GEAGLE

            We call Matt Schaub, Schwab…lol that’s prob one of my favorites

          • MildEagsFan

            I CALL THE EAGLES THE SCHMIEGELS

          • G_WallyHunter

            LMAO the schmiegels going for the precious?

  • JofreyRice

    I’d either like to see some positive signs from Brown before the end of the season, or more carries for Polk. Lots of good RBs coming out, that should be available in rounds 3, 4, 5, because of the way the position is largely devalued–short shelf-life, RBBC, higher % of pass plays on offense, etc. If neither of those guys shows they have the juice to carry the load a bit for Shady–meaning an average of >4.0 YPC, and some zuzu to break tackles or make guys miss, I think they should seriously consider drafting a RB high-ish. It seems like the running back is the foundation to the Eagles entire O. I don’t want to see what it looks like without a guy capable of performing that task.

    • G_WallyHunter

      What do you think of those FSU ones? Wilder and Joyner right?
      Wilder looks like a horse out there

      • cliff henny

        wilder isnt that fast, and runs so upright. think he’s going to get destroyed by the big boys. joyner is safety…and he is a beast! not huge, but ballhawking playmaker. about 12 guys i’d happily take from fsu, and in 6th-7th, might just take backups, that team is loaded

        • GEAGLE

          That idiot Walters latest mock has us taking Joyner in round two…can’t say I would mind seeing a “Joyner” on an eagles defense running around an blasting people…this weeks update has us going
          1) TCU CB jason Verrett (Vic Beasley was the next pick)
          2) FSU safety Joyner
          3) USC OLB Morgan Breslin,,,I despise USC players
          ..
          Walter has OSU CB Bradley Roby who used to be projected as a top 10 pick falling to round 3. I knew he was having a bad year, but that bad?

          He has the Fresno State underclass men as the 3rd WR off the board, after Evans(10th to Raiders), and Sammy to the steelers…

          I really like Wolff, but I’m desperate for an Erick berry type who I like much more than earl Thomas and Weddle…

          • cliff henny

            no way joyner is 2nd, i’d just stop reading the guy. makes no sense. breslincan play a little. jackson jeffcoat could be interesting in 2nd. after yesterday, i REALLY need landry in philly. that guy is picture perfect for kelly.

          • GEAGLE

            He really is horrible…I just wish their was someone else who updated their mock weekly…

            I would drool over Landry in round 2
            ….
            Really need this team to get Byrd in FA, and adress OLB in round 1, so I can enjoy the rest of the draft in peace without not being able to enjoy pics because we still are missing an OLB.
            Just get Byrd and Van Noy and they can go offense withthe rest of the draft for all I care:
            2)Landry
            3) Moncrief or Odell
            4)TE
            5)OG

          • cliff henny

            http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft
            .
            it’s not weekly, it’s pretty decent and includes underclassmen.
            .
            i agree, joyner would be nice, rather spend money on byrd ward or clemmones. to get an impact wr and olb, these guys almost always need to be drafted.
            .
            wouldnt mind psu’s robinson either, he can play. landry just also returns, and plays slot…solves like 3 issues with 1 pick. need a young corner before that 2nd wr pick, our TE with be 7th, lyoria.

          • GEAGLE

            Yeah check that out but I don’t think it gets updated

          • cliff henny

            it does, every 2 weeks, it’s due for an update soon.

          • GEAGLE

            Oh really? Thanks man!!

          • cliff henny

            last update was 11/13, so…we’ll see.

          • theycallmerob

            ha, I’m posting all over to your response….how about Kelvin Benjamin?!? 9-212-3. carrying tacklers. man, FSU is loaded…with ‘bama down, I’m guessing they take the crystal this year

          • cliff henny

            yeah, he’s a beast too. ACC corners just have no answers for his size. only watched fsu couple of times, not much fun when it’s 35-0 half way thru 2nd. most of his catches i’ve seen are pretty far down field, where his size is just dominates defenders. i’d still perfer landry, since he can slot, return, and he also catches the LOS screnes and can do damage there, plus play out wide. my assumption is d-jax and cooper/maclin (why ot both?) are back.

          • theycallmerob

            Joyner-Landry 2014. I’m with you all the way, amigo. Get started on the bumper stickers tonight.

        • G_WallyHunter

          damn, shows you how much I know of FSU, thanks for better analysis. Ya their recruiting is just beastly it shows, EJ leaves and a Heisman candidate starts freshman

        • theycallmerob

          happen to catch the OSU-Mich game? Devin Gardner looked great (up until the 2pt conversion); may like him better than Logan Thomas at this point. Maybe T-Law was onto something…

          • cliff henny

            caught the 1st half, he must have been much better in 2nd than 1st, and sure he was by score and your response.

          • Andy124

            I definitely like him more than Thomas. And James Franklin.

            I could swear they said he (Franklin) was 6’4″ last year. He’s 6’2″ now. Must have shrunk.

      • JofreyRice

        Can’t say I’ve really seen enough to say for sure. The 2 FSU games I’ve seen, he really doesn’t jump out at me as a pro back. I haven’t watched as much CFB as I usually do, but I really like the kid Carey from U of A–probably won’t be there in the third or 4th, though.

    • Maggie

      Although some say the running back position is devalued in today’s NFL, every time a team with a large percentage of passing plays loses every commentator in the broadcast world states that it is because they don’t have a running game. Just like defenses clog up the box, preventing the RB from getting his yards, hoping to mess up the passer!

      • theycallmerob

        WTF are you even saying with this comment. No one is devaluing the running game, merely the position in the draft.
        Heard of Trent Richardson? That guy who, amazingly, will now be a 1st rd bust for a second time.

        • nicksaenz1

          It’s cute when girls act like they know football.

          • GEAGLE

            It’s always that time of the month in Maggie land

        • Andy124

          That’s a really good distinction (running back vs. running game). I think many people, most announcers, and probably some teams, don’t make that distinction though.

          In the context of the drivel that announcers spew, I think her comment makes sense.

    • Token

      Would like to see a guy that can kind of do it all well. Can be split out at WR and hurt you on those screens Kelly likes to run. I just dont see Bryce fitting, or Polk for that matter. I dont think either are very dangerous. Maybe Bryce will be fine in another scheme, but I find him near worthless in this one.

      • anon

        I don’t I’ve heard you like anyone out of the marquee Eagles — who do you like on this team?

        • Token

          Brown is a marquee Eagle? I thought he was just a subpar backup RB.

    • theycallmerob

      On the flip side of that, I’d say the OL is the foundation to the O. Both G spots need depth, and ideally an upgrade at starting RG.
      I’d rather go OL in rd 3 or 4 (my main man Morgan Moses in the 3rd, aka The Greatest Jersey Ever). RBs, especially one who will never get too many carries with Shady around, can always be found in 6th, 7th, and UDFA. Too many needs at playmaking positions to worry about depth at our best in the first two and a half days of the draft.

      some names to consider: Gaffney (I remember you like him as well, CBS still giving him a 6th rd grade); Damian Williams (plays uptempo at Okla); Fluellen (Toledo, big fan of how he plays the game). Reminds me of poor man’s westbrook- great pass catcher, just not terrific speed and athleticism.

    • anon

      Bryce is probably one of my favorite players on the team — i love the way he runs. He’s got literally no tread on his tires and it seems he’s fixd the fumbling though maybe now he’s got a slipping issue. That said i’d really like him to succeed and think he can in the system if he just got more touches. Frankly i think shady gets too many touches considering we’re about to got deep into the post-season. Bryce’s YPC is pretty low but Shady’s Foles-adjusted YPC is pretty low too. It’d be great if in our next blowout he got a quarter to play.

  • James Hathaway

    Love Kendricks response to Todd. Hilarious.

    • Justin

      I can’t say I blame him. I try to forget as much of last year as I can, too.

  • GEAGLE

    Btw, I was taking a look at CBs and it really made Howie look Brilliant..you got free agent CBs like Derrick Cox and Sean Smith who are having horrific years…our new CBs aren’t elite, but compared to how the other CBs on the market are playing, Bradley and Cary were great signings…who were some of the other CBs on the market that are playing well? How did the kid from the steelers turn out this year? DRC panned out..

    • cliff henny

      Brad for money/length/control…and i follow nfl probaly little more than i should…and i never even heard of him till he was announced…is one of the best FA signings this last off-season Bradley and Logan/wolff are the 3 guys that have swayed me the good-howie side of the fence. see jofrey online today, he always has a good arguement for bad-howie side.

      • GEAGLE

        Barwin!!!!!

        • cliff henny

          barwin’s good signing, but fletch was 1/3 cost. hope bradley’s knees hold out of 3 or 4 more yrs, think he’s a legit #2 cb
          .
          barwin is close 2nd, if for any other reason, dutch hated him so much, wanted go cut him preseason.

          • GEAGLE

            Lol could you imagine what we would look like today if Dutch was our GM?

          • cliff henny

            in fairness…probably only slightly worse than if i was GM. i’d of traded foles and celek b4 season/draft picks.

          • theycallmerob

            As much as I love Berwin, I think Barbre may be tied or even 2a. Incredibly valuable, especially considering (1) Peters injuries (2) Todd, Kelce returning from injury (3) Rookie RT. Barbre can play all those positions well. 2yr/1.5 mil? #howielove

          • cliff henny

            wow, we could have a legit debate over which howie off-season move was the best. wolff 5th looks like a nfl safety…that’s huge value too.

      • Maggie

        Howie and all the scouts who actually identify potential “good” additions.

    • anon

      miami did a good job getting dbs. and our cbs aren’t doing a great job we give up a huge number of yds but we do get stops and tos which i am happy about. but let’s not think we couldn’t have done better if we paid more.

      • Media Mike

        The guy I was banging the table for, Glover Quin, would be a significant upgrade over Chung.

        • anon

          Yeah Brent Grimes, Talib, Sean Smith all would have been nice.

          • GEAGLE

            Sean smith is having the worst year imaginable!!! It just gets covered up on such a good defense, but he absolutely sucks!!! Quinn I adore, he gives Detroit that rare ability to play Dime.
            I woulda loved Talib! but we have enough injuries to make me want to pass on grimes

          • mtn_green

            Love to see dime on eagles, shady all day.

          • JofreyRice

            wtf are you talking about? your homerism has progressed to full-blown. The guy is allowing a passer rating of 76 into his coverage, and regularly matched up against the opponent’s #1 receiver. PFF ranks him as +5.1 on the season, while Cary Williams is representing as the 101st ranked CB out of 111; the guy is an automatic reception under 10 yards, and a shakier tackler than he was billed as.

        • Adam

          Chung isn’t a starter, so of course Quin would be an upgrade.

  • GEAGLE

    Kelce was talking about how this is the best we have been going into December since he has been here, and we have a bunch of players in his same exact shoes
    ..
    You have to think that a guy like Kelce has to be all sorts of jacked up to compete in December and pissed off at the shot Arians took at his coach. Hollis Thomas was just talking about how he liked Arians but what he said this week was flat out stupid, and something you NEVER do going into a game…

    signs all point to us coming out on Sunday with a ton of energy like warriors ready to get physical in battle. If a warm weather Westcoast team who is significantly worse on the road, travels cross country to play a football game that for them starts at 10am and they match our physicality and energy level…then shame on us, and we don’t deserve to win….but I’m ready to kick some monkey ass and I’m confident our boys feel the same…success can be an addictive taste!!,

    • cliff henny

      i want to see red/black/orange speed…whatever hyper speed is…snaps every 10 secs, just go go go!!! be 35-3 at half, see cams pan on kelly, lip read him talking to shady and jax ‘arians can shove that college gimmick sh!t up his @$$!’

      • GEAGLE

        The dream!!!! Even Hollis said he hopes Chip runs up the score on him! I desperately want our offense to score ATleast 30 on this top defense.
        .
        This game will feature some really solid defense..I expect it to be a case of the team that makes the less mistakes and the most big plays should win!!! Their defense takes lots of chances trying to make a big play, while our bend but don’t break is designed to not give up big plays and hold teams to FG’s (although we forced redzone turnovers the last two games)…on offense, I trust FOles more than Carson to be responsible with the rock! take shots without putting the rock in harms way…
        ..
        We have to win this game. people talk about it as a must win, which isn’t the case, but if our young hardworking group can win this one, it would be huge for us going forward..this cardinals defense is by far the best defense we face the rest of the year. Minnesotas secondary is pathetic. the bears can’t stop anyone’s run game and we would have continued chips streak of scoring a ton on Monte kiffin! had FOles accurately hit open WRs…
        ..
        We have a nice win streak going. If our offense can have a big day against the best defense they will face in December, and our defense can shut down a hot offense it will give us all the confidence we need to finish December strong!!

      • Andy124

        I want to hear the announcers say, “They’ve gone to plaid.”

        • PhilliePhanCT .

          Up vote for Spaceballs reference. Nice.

          • Andy124

            Up vote for getting the Spaceballs reference.

          • GEAGLE

            Comb the dessert!!!!

          • Andy124

            We ain’t found sh!t!

    • Maggie

      Arizona is not on the West Coast. It is in the Southwest.

      • GEAGLE

        Hahahahah you are awesome. You never cease to amaze me(hopefully you aren’t so social ackward that you can’t sense the sarcasm and actually think you are awesome lol)

    • Justin

      You know, I was thinking about this game, and I was suddenly reminded of a song I heard a few years ago. I think it had been in a DeSean Jackson highlights video. I’m not normally a fan of rap, but I enjoyed it. Imma shine by Youngbloodz. I went and listened to it today, and I’m fired up. Let’s stomp these pretenders.

      • GEAGLE

        Hooty hoo!!!! Lol

  • GEAGLE

    If the rainmaker leads us to the playoffs with 24TDs and like 2INTs, he has to be in the MVP. Convo right?….and if we get to 9 or 10 wins and he doesn’t throw a single INT, can they actually give it to someone other than him?

    • Justin

      It’s going to Peyton Manning. Foles could throw 20 more TDs and no picks, it’d still go to Peyton.

      • GEAGLE

        No INTs and like a 9-2 record is impressive!!!

        • Justin

          I’m not saying it isn’t. And I personally think Foles should be in the conversation. But it’s gonna be a popularity contest, just like years past. Bet you Foles isn’t voted to the Pro Bowl, either.

          • GEAGLE

            Sadly I wouldn’t be surprised, but what if Peyton doesn’t tear it up the test of the months? The saints are about to lose two games in a row, @seahawks and @Panthers.. Rodgers won’t win it,Brady having a down year

            Everyone says we had no talent and we were destined for a terrible year…well if we make the playoffs, someone has to get some serious credit for this talentless teams success.

            Andy is the greatest thing since Lombardi because he added a QB to a team with 8 probowlers and is being carried by the defense he has no say in….

          • anon

            hard to go undefeated no matter what but he’s no longer in the coty convo. i think it’s probably brees, cam, wilson in the nfc.

          • GEAGLE

            Yeah Cam will definitely get the praise before FOles does…I love Wilson’s brain, it’s up their with FOles so ii won’t ever complain about Wilson getting accolades

  • GEAGLE

    it’s December and we are incredibly healthy. So far so good with the sports science, but now it’s time to find out if the way we been practicing since April will pay dividends for us down the stretch…Now is when you start reaping rewards of conditioning…
    not only are we basically in a playoff hunt for the entire month of December, but we are also about to find out a lot about our new era…what a treat this month can be!!!

  • nicksaenz1

    What are the chances Andy targets one of the Auburn linemen? Those undersized fastballs really showed up today!

  • Media Mike

    I’d much rather see Polk in the game. Brown is a head-case quitter who bounced from school to school and has zero grasp of how to play running back other than trying to run the Bo Jackson sweep from Techmo bowl. Polk is a complete player, can function in both the run and pass games, and more reliable human being than Brown.

    • anon

      haha “a more reliable human being”? Polk would be ahead of brown if he was a better runner.

  • Dominik

    “When asked about those slips, Brown said he doesn’t consider it an issue and no changes [different cleats, etc.] were made.”

    He can say that to the media, but please, don’t think that way. It’s ridiculous how often he slips, so freaking work on that and change something.

  • BlindChow

    Sheil and Tim sleeping in today?

    • GEAGLE

      Right!!! This is when they hit is with 5 threads with one hour til Gametime!!