When the Eagles released Dwayne Wright earlier today, that left Leonard Weaver as the only fullback on the roster. Throughout the long days of training camp with reps to go around for three offensive teams, someone had to step up to fill the void of second-team fullback. So up stepped rookie sixth-round pick Charles Scott.
"Coach just asked me 'Do you mind playing fullback?' And I said, 'No, not at all," said Scott. "I'll do anything. I'm trying to find where I can help the Eagles win so wherever that may be, that's what I'm going to do."
To be fair, it's not an unfamiliar position to Scott. The 5-foot-11, 238-pound Scott spent significant time at fullback early in his collegiate career at LSU when he was part of a loaded backfield that included players like Justin Vincent and Jacob Hester. Not until his junior year did Scott become a featured running back, earning first-team all SEC accolades when he topped 1,000 rushing yards and scored 18 touchdowns in only 13 games.
"I've always been kind of a hybrid, able to do both," Scott said. "So it was nothing new, just a different level, different terminology."
It's also a chance for Scott to prove his value to the team when competition is stiff. Most years, the Eagles carry three running backs. LeSean McCoy is entrenched as the starter right now and Mike Bell is penciled in as the No. 2, though he did leave today's practice with a hamstring injury and is still being evaluated. So the competition for what would be the final running back spot is between Scott, holdover Eldra Buckley, Martell Mallett and J.J. Arrington, who was acquired via trade only a few days ago. If Scott can prove that he can contribute to the team in several ways, that could give him a leg up.
"A lot of people say the more you can do, the better off you are," he said, "so I'm just trying to do all I can and to show them that I have the versatility and that I have a lot of different skills."
Scott has had limited reps in live periods so far working with the third team, but when he has gotten the ball, he's looked like a punishing runner and has been able to consistently get yards after contact. And while he has had a few drops over the past few days, the rookie has still been a factor in the pass game. But for a rookie who's trying to pick up an NFL offense for the first time, learning two positions at once can be intimidated. Not for Scott.
"When you're learning running back, you have no choice but to kind of learn fullback in a sense," Scott said. "When you actually get in the full learning of (fullback), it's almost like you're hearing it for the third time. It's nothing new. It's all the same thing, just a different position. The play's flipped, just a different route. So you have to just kind of focus in and realize when you're at running back or you're at fullback. That's the biggest thing, trying not to get confused between the different positions.
"I love being able to play both. It's a great move."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 9:23 p.m., August 1