Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson admitted he talked to LeGarrette Blount about his role in the running back-by-committee.
The Eagles signed Blount to be the No.1 running back, but also the short-yardage back…specifically in third-and-fourth and short situations.
Turns out being the third-down back isn’t Blount’s role in the offense. That honor goes to Darren Sproles.
“We know that he’s primarily been a 3rd down guy for us, situational player, and then at times he’s carried the bulk of the load,” Pederson said. “So I don’t go into it putting a number on it. I just kind of keep it more situational with him.”
Based on the game plan, Sproles is used in third-down situations more than Blount. Of course, the Eagles haven’t had too many actual third-and-short situations to use Blount through two games.
Blount averaged 5.4 yards per carry on 3rd/4th-and-3 or less, which led the NFL in 2016. That contributed to his NFL-leading 18 touchdowns.
Of Blount’s 18 touchdowns last season, 11 were from one-yard out. 13 of them were from 5-yards or less.
The Eagles clearly needed help in the short-yardage department. Philadelphia added arguably the best short-yardage back in the NFL with Blount…but need to get the short-yardage situations for that to happen.
“He (LeGarrette) and I talk all the time, quite honestly. We spoke last week, we spoke going into the Redskins game,” Pederson said. “I think it’s important that you define the role for guys, and here’s my expectations for players. I think it’s important.
“And even the position coach, to have that conversation with players at their position, and listen, we only have — we’ve got one football and you try to get everybody involved when you can and if you can. But yeah, I mean, he and I, we’ve had conversations, and just defining the role.”
Until the Eagles manage those third-and-short situations, Sproles is the guy on third down. That’s the current role Pederson has for both players.
“Again, he’s the bulk of our third-down offense,” Pederson said of Sproles. “Any of our hurry-up, two-minute tempo stuff, he’s also available there, and he primarily will get his touches in those situations.
“Obviously, I do what’s best for the football team, and sometimes you get into a game, there could be an injury or it could be the hot hand at that time. Maybe the running scheme because we do have several schemes that we go into a game with, and designed for all our backs. But I don’t necessarily put a percentage on Darren.”