Making plays in a preseason finale is nothing new for running back Eldra Buckley. This time around, Buckley is hoping for a different end result.
Buckley had 36 rushing yards on nine carries in Thursday night's preseason finale against the New York Jets. He finished the exhibition schedule with 77 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown rushing and another receiving. With Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy entrenched as the first two running backs, Buckley is hoping to win a spot as the third running back.
"I went out, played hard and we just have to see where the chips fall," Buckley said. "I play hard every time I touch the field and try to leave no doubt that I'm a good runner."
Buckley scored a 2-yard touchdown reception in San Diego's preseason finale against the 49ers last year. But with LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles on the roster, Buckley spent a second year on the practice squad. Claimed off waivers this past off-season, the former Tennessee-Chattanooga product has made his most convincing case to belong on the final roster.
"I wanted to let myself know that I gave it all I got and I did everything I could in my power, so I could go in there with the mindset that if I go in there and do my best then I can't ask for anything more," Buckley said.
It's not just as a running back where Buckley has impressed. Special teams coordinator Ted Daisher said that Buckley's play in coverage has been "excellent." Special teams is usually the tiebreaker for the final spots on the roster. Buckley wasted no time helping out on special teams Thursday night. On the Eagles' first kickoff, following a McCoy rushing touchdown, Buckley brought down returner Aundrae Allison with a hard-nosed tackle.
Fans have embraced Buckley because of his no-nonsense, north-south running style and tough work ethic.
"It's always good (to have fan support). Philly has some great fans," Buckley said.
It just seems fitting that in the same off-season when one Buck leaves the team - Correll Buckhalter signed with Denver after eight seasons as an Eagle - that another Buck makes it on the roster.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 2:55 p.m., September 4