May 8th, 2002. That’s when 6’0″ (probably a little shorter) 76ers guard Allen Iverson made the now infamous quote.
Fast forward 6,450 days and we’re still talking about practice with an under 6’0″ Philadelphia athlete, except in a different tone.
Former practice squad player Boston Scott has been electric when given the chance this season. Standing at 5’6″, you wouldn’t think a player of that stature would have the impact he’s had.
I understand that everything he’s done this season is in an extremely small sample size, but he’s made some history.
Do it all
There are currently two players in the entire NFL with 200 rushing yards, 200 receiving yards, and 200 kick return yards. Those players are Miles Sanders and Boston Scott.
He is one of 13 running backs in the entire NFL to average over 4 yards per carry and over 8 yards per reception, among players with over 200 rushing yards and 200 receiving yards. He’s been showing Doug Pederson that he can be trusted in all facets of the offensive game plan.
There are only four running backs on an active streak of four games or more with at least four receptions and three rush attempts:
- Christian McCaffrey (8 games)
- Austin Ekeler (6 games)
- Boston Scott (4 games)
- Melvin Gordon (4 games)
In those games, McCaffrey is averaging 143.5 total yards, Ekeler is averaging 108.5 total yards, Scott is averaging 87.5 total yards, and Gordon is averaging 79.3 total yards.
Even with these numbers, the four game win streak the Eagles are on would be farfetched without Scott’s production during those games.
Stepping up when it counts
After the 37-31 loss to the Dolphins, almost all hope was lost for the season. That was until a 5’6″ spark lit the Eagles offense’s flame in the next game.
10 carries for 59 yards, 6 receptions for 69 (nice) yards for Scott versus the Giants. This would be his coming out party.
Over the next three games, Scott’s production would put him seventh in the league over the last four games of the season in all purpose yards. Teammate, and fellow do it all running back, Miles Sanders in tenth over those four games. He is also one of six players in the NFL over the last four games to have over 450 all purpose yards and four touchdowns.
He is the only player this season with over 200 rushing yards with a 4.0 YPC and over 200 receiving yards with over a 90% catch rate. Historically, he is one of eight players in NFL history with that stat line.
Heir apparent to Sproles?
On March 13, 2014 the Eagles sent a fifth round pick to the New Orleans Saints for a do-it-all 5’6″ running back. On December 11, 2018 the Eagles signed a do-it-all 5’6″ running back off the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad.
Other than height and the team from which they came, both Scott and Sproles are extremely similar. When you watch Scott play, he immediately reminds you of the dynamic player Darren Sproles was.
In Sproles’ first season of his career, he was primarily a returner. Out of his 1,696 all purpose yards, only 60 came from rushing and receiving. Scott has been more versatile in his first season, but his play making on all three facets are Sproles-esque.
In his six seasons with Philadelphia, Sproles had 4,194 all purpose yards. So far Scott has 817, 721 this season. Scott would have to average 676 all purpose yards over the next five seasons to surpass Sproles’ total with the Eagles. If Scott has really found his niche with the Eagles, is it too farfetched to say they found their new all purpose back?
We’re talking about practice, man. How silly is that?
On October 11th, 2019 the Eagles made their seventh promotion from the practice squad, a number that would end at 16 by the week 17. That promotion was Boston Scott.
It’s interesting to think about where this Eagles team would be without his production. Sure Miles Sanders has been fantastic, making his own history by being the first player since 1985 with 800 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards, and 300 kick return yards in a season. But with Jordan Howard being hurt the latter part of the season and Jay Ajayi not doing much in his return to the Eagles, a backfield without Scott probably wouldn’t be a productive backfield.
From being drafted in the sixth round, to being cut and then signed to New Orleans’ practice squad, to being signed by the Eagles, and then finally getting his shot, Boston Scott has put a new meaning on “practice?”.
So when someone makes fun of practice:
Make sure they know it can lead to a player like this:
Who can make Iverson’s spin moves go from this:
And who can turn Iverson’s dance moves from this:
While he might not make the impact on Philadelphia like Allen Iverson has, the city is definitely embracing their new sub-6 foot dynamic player. Look for him to continue his lighting strikes on Sunday.
*Stats about players obtained from pro-football-reference.com
Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports