Philadelphia Eagles second-round pick Miles Sanders has missed time this spring due to injury. He spent a lot of time during OTAs studying the playbook, doing mental reps, and makings his rounds on various media outlets. During his time on the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, he spoke on his assessment of the competitiveness in the Eagles’ locker room and his belief that the running back by committee trend will continue in 2019.
“It’s definitely going to be competitive,” Sanders said. “That’s what I like about [running backs] rooms likes this. It was like this at Penn State. It was a very talented running back room. But I’m just used to that stuff: competing and making each other better.”
Sanders also stated “nobody is really going to be the starting running back” for the Eagles this season. This structure has been in place since Doug Pederson took over the head coaching job in Philadelphia. Sanders continued by saying, “I think the ball’s going to be spread out a lot. And that’s what I kind of like, too, just everybody getting a touch in the game and then just affecting the game in any type of way. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win.”
In order to keep him up to speed and ensure that his part in the running back rotation would not decline, coach Duce Staley took Sanders under his wing in the spring. Staley believes that Sanders will be ready to go when training camp begins, as he noted, “I think it’s significant for any player that misses time, just as far as getting out there, learning their teammates and being able to understand how they play the game and how they think, but as far as playbook-wise, no, he knows the playbook. That part of it, he’s cool.”
Doug Pederson spoke on NFL Network’s Total Access this weekend live from the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The Eagles coach talked about the additions of Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders.
“Jordan has kind of been one of those running backs in Chicago that was very productive. Then Matt Nagy took over and things changed just a little bit. I’m not going to, I don’t know all the ins and outs there, but we were fortunate enough to pick him up to bring him into Philadelphia. I’ve always liked Jordan Howard and what he’s done in his young career. He’s one of the top running backs, when you look at some of the production numbers. He’s one of the top guys, he’s up there with some of those big-time running backs. So, he’s going to bring stability. He’s a big, powerful back, he’s a downhill runner. I’m excited about his opportunity here in Philadelphia, and then we addressed with Miles Sanders in the draft. We felt real comfortable with him, we liked everything about him, great kid. Again, great production. He sat behind Saquon Barkley there at Penn State and really learned from him, and when he had an opportunity to produce, he did. It really gives us a little more stability now going into this season with those two guys.”
With no need or desire to have a starting back, it appears the coaches and players seem comfortable with the system in place. Regardless of the number of touches or when they come, high confidence in the running backs and their abilities is certainly prevalent in that locker room.