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It's Time For The Eagles To Unwrap Sproles

Posted Sep 4, 2014

LeSean McCoy gained 1,607 yards rushing on 314 carries in 2013. Both numbers were league highs.

Could McCoy be just as productive with even fewer touches in 2014? The All-Pro certainly thinks so.

"I think that I will be the guy with most of the load with the offense, but I don’t think that 300-plus carries is really needed," McCoy said on Wednesday.

Why? The presence of Darren Sproles.

"I think with Sproles here it might change a little bit," McCoy said. "Now, I’m sure that if the game gets tight and you need to ride me, yeah I’m the guy for it, but I think with just a mix up with Sproles doing different things, sometimes a 5-yard carry can be the same as 5-yard route with Sproles. And I’m learning that it doesn’t take a lot of reps or a lot of lot of touches to get or be more productive or get what you want done, and you can do it with less."

Sproles was acquired in a trade with New Orleans this offseason. His role in the offense has been kept under wraps, but the Eagles have shown glimpses. Sproles has been deadly on the wheel route in Training Camp and nearly scored a touchdown on it in the preseason versus the Steelers except quarterback Nick Foles' pass was just out of Sproles' reach. Since 2007, Sproles has more receptions, yards receiving and touchdown catches than any running back in the league. However, the Eagles have stressed that Sproles is a running back - first and foremost.

"You're going to see me in a lot of space. That's as much as I can tell you," Sproles said. "I'm just ready to go out there and play. We're just ready to go out there and show what we can do."

One question is how often McCoy and Sproles will line up at the same time. According to NFL GSIS, the Eagles did not utilize both of them on the field together in the preseason. Last season, the Eagles had McCoy with Bryce Brown on the field for five snaps. It was McCoy and Chris Polk for all of two snaps.

"You just have to wait until Sunday," Sproles said.

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