Ronnie Brown has been a part of talented backfields in the past. At Auburn, he and Cadillac Williams terrorized opposing defenses en route to an undefeated season. Brown and Williams would both be selected in the top five picks of the 2005 NFL Draft. During his tenure with the Dolphins, Brown was mostly paired with another top-five draft pick, Ricky Williams. In four of Brown's six seasons in Miami, both Brown and Williams topped 600 rushing yards.
It is, of course, a good thing for the Eagles that Brown is experienced when it comes to sharing carries, because he now finds himself alongside one of the best young running backs in the league in LeSean McCoy.
"He does a great job," Brown said of his new teammate. "He has a lot of talent. He's young and he enjoys the game of football so that's always good because from a mental standpoint he's always willing to learn. From Auburn, being able to share a backfield with Cadillac, he had things that he was able to do. And Ricky, that was a little bit different because he was kind of a bigger guy and we could lean on teams a little bit more. Shady offers a little bit more as far as being able to catch the ball and get involved in the passing game. So it's all been different, but I think this is going to go just as well as the rest of them because Shady offers a lot from an athletic standpoint. He does a great job and I just feel good to be able to come in and be a piece of that."
Meanwhile, Brown offers the Eagles plenty of his own. His 13-yard touchdown run to open the scoring during Thursday night's 24-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns was an example of the kind of decisive, hard-hitting runner the Eagles sought in free agency. Brown is also a capable receiver and a very good pass protector, skills valued in the team's offense.
"Just to be a part of this offense is big because they have so many guys that are capable of making plays, from the quarterback position to the receivers to the tight end and obviously Shady," said Brown. "They have a lot of different guys, so just to be a part of that and not have to worry about having to do too much, being able to play your game and relax, that's always good."
The Eagles' No. 2 running back has gotten plenty of work this preseason, with 21 carries for 88 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and four catches for 22 yards. While the Eagles haven't unveiled too many looks in the preseason, they did employ Brown and McCoy in the backfield together Thursday night - flexing McCoy out wide at one point. With the likes of Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Steve Smith on board, there's a lot for opposing defenses to account for.
"I think that's the good thing about this offense, the different guys that are capable of making plays," said Brown. "I think we still have some things that we still have to brush up on as an offense. I don't think it was efficient as we like, obviously we still made some mistakes, had a couple turnovers and from the sense of being able to protect Mike, make sure he doesn't get it. So we have a little ways to go, but I think all those things are correctable, which is good, something that's a positive."
For his part, Brown is still acclimating himself into a new system. After all, this is the first time he's played anywhere in the NFL other than Miami. But even though Brown said learning in such a condensed period of time is akin to "learning French in two weeks from start to bottom," it's a transition he's enjoying.
"I feel like a rookie again, trying to come in and learn the offense, learn where I'm supposed to be and when I need to be there," he said. "It's been fun though and that's the good part about it. When you're able to enjoy what you're doing, it makes it easy to come to work every day and look forward to it."