by Jason Butt
April 06, 02014
When he was the head coach at Oregon, Chip Kelly's offenses were known for possessing a great deal of speed at each position.
He and the Eagles continued that trend by signing Darren Sproles to a contract this offseason. LeSean McCoy's backup was Bryce Brown this past season, which left McCoy in the game for a lot longer than most starting running backs around the NFL.
With Sproles on board, McCoy believes he'll be able to conserve more energy for later in games.
“Signing Sproles helps me out as a running back,” McCoy told FOX Sports. “I can go in a game even more fresh because I’m getting less carries and less attempts. I had 366 touches [in 2013], which is a lot. I think me having less attempts can help me be more productive and more deadly. Being fresh in the fourth quarter, things that you don’t think matter really do make a big difference.
“Now defenses have another guy that they have to prepare for. They have to watch out for so many different things, and it’s hard. They only get a week to prepare for us.”
Sproles has been more of a receiving threat out of the backfield during his nine-year NFL career. His most productive year as a runner came in 2011 with the Saints, when he totaled 603 rushing yards and two touchdowns. But that same season, he had 710 reciving yards with seven touchdowns.
In the past four years, Sproles has totaled at least 500 receiving yards in each season.
Kelly will look for creative ways to get Sproles the ball, certainly. It could be with the zone-read or as a receiver.
Given his offensive accumen, it's safe to say Sproles will not only be McCoy's backup, but that he will find a solid role within the Eagles' offensive scheme.
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