Checking In On Bryce Brown’s Progress

Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce BrownThe Eagles have an interesting decision to make when it comes to Bryce Brown. Despite a concerning collegiate path, they selected him in the seventh round because of his undeniable talent. His ability to tote the ball has shone through, and his mind appears to be in the right place.

Still, the pass-protection issue lingers. Brown was not used as a blocker at Tennessee or Kansas State, and remains raw in that area.

“I’m still a work in progress because I haven’t done it before,” said Brown. “I’m starting to realize that the more you are able to recognize the blitzes before they come, it’s going to help you a whole lot in picking things up.”

The 6-0, 200-pound rookie said the biggest obstacle for him is getting familiar with the Eagles’ system. The coaches want  him to have a firmer grasp of the offense.

When it comes to the rookies, Brown shows the most flash as a runner. The man he is competing against, though – Chris Polk – is the safer option in pass protection.

“They’re getting better but that is a place that they need work,” said Andy Reid. “If you just took one area, and I remember talking about Brian Westbrook this way and [RB] LeSean [McCoy] this way, I would tell you the same thing with these kids here, that they need work in that area. They need to get going. Polk is probably a little bit ahead in the pass protection area just because he was asked to do more of that in this type of an offense in college. They are both very capable guys but they both need work.”

The question is this: If Brown remains a step behind as a blocker, can the Eagles still find a role for him behind McCoy and Dion Lewis? Or does it make more sense to ride with Polk, who might have less upside but offers more peace of mind?

Brown was asked if he has a sense of how he fits into the equation.

“I have no idea, but hopefully I’ll fit in just fine,” said Brown. “I’m just focusing on getting better every day, showing the coaches that I’m improving, that I’m accountable, that they can rely on me when Dion or McCoy needs a break, that I can go in and fill in for them.”