Doug Pederson wants Darren Sproles to be an Eagle

Gavin Baker - Icon Sportswire

Would you not want him back?

It’s a question Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson posed to the media while answering a question at the NFC Coaches Breakfast Tuesday about whether he’d want the diminutive Darren Sproles back on the team for the 2018 season.

I want him to play, and I want him to be an Eagle.”

The Eagles have reached out to Sproles, according to Pederson.

We’ve reached out to him during the free agency period, and talked to him. He’s expressed that he wants to be back here. He knows we want him back here. Heck yeah. He’s a big part of our team. (He’s a) punt returner, he’s a tremendous back, third down guy. So we’ll see what falls out

Is Sproles really needed in the backfield with Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood and Donnel Pumphrey currently on the roster, maybe not, but where the Eagles could use him is on special teams as a punt returner. Sproles has averaged 9.6 yards per punt return during his career, including a lofty 13.2 yards per boot in 2016. Kenjon Barner, the team’s punt returner for a majority of the 2017 season, averaged just 8.9 yards per punt return.

Sproles’ biggest asset is that of a third-down back, which undrafted Clement improved on as the year went along last season until playing a pivotal role in the Eagles’ win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII when he tallied 100 yards on four receptions. Sproles, however, does offer more versatility due to his effectiveness running routes from the slot and lined out wide as a receiver.

The question then becomes whether or not the 34-year-old Sproles has anything left in the tank after tearing his ACL in Week 3 against the New York Giants.

I’d say the answer is yes.


You can follow Adrian Fedkiw on Twitter (@AdrianFedkiw) and e-mail him at amfedkiw@yahoo.com. Subscribe to The Bitter Birds on YouTube here. Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.

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