Is Eagles RB Corey Clement destined for a resurgence in year three?

USATSI_11802011_168382939_lowres

Year Two

Preparing for a season without LeGarrette Blount and facing a battle for carries behind Jay Ajayi, Clement added some weight, tipping the scales at 220 lbs. From a simple sight test, he also looked bigger, filling out his frame after spending a full year in an NFL weight room. The on-field results followed in tow. He seemed to pack a bigger punch behind his runs and was less affected by arm tackles and traffic. He also looked slower.

The entire offense seemed a little less threatening when rounding the edge and Clement was no exception. This was especially true with Jay Ajayi watching from the sidelines, unable to keep defenses honest with his physical play style. Outside zone runs and stretch plays are essential for Pederson’s spacing based scheme. While the unit had some fleeting success with a rotation of Clement and Wendell Smallwood hitting the edge, they were also forced to use uncharacteristic sweeps to varied results. Clearly, Coach P was expecting a bit more explosion from the second year back.

Corey Clement Week 3 Carry Chart

When passing the football against the Colts, the Eagles were forced to find spaces behind linebackers with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert instead of in between them. Accordingly, the opposing defense was stretched vertically, but not horizontally. The Eagles didn’t have much success running the football up the middle until late in the second half. The passing game and the running game require this stretching and tightening to function. This is paramount for understanding Clement’s troubles moving forward in the season. Evident in both charts, the speedster is at his best when moving laterally. Who knows if the added weight had anything to do with the loss of speed or his eventual injuries — the fact of the matter is Corey seemed to have lost a step.

More from our Sister Sites