don’t have another scheduled practice until the end of July, free agency seems to have ended for the club, and barring any unforeseen shocking news, we won’t hear from the team for at least a month. So while we have some down-time, it’s time to grade out the best Eagles at each position over the last two decades.
The Philadelphia Eagles have been one of the winningest teams in football over the last 20 years with two Super Bowl appearances, one title, and six conference championship appearances. Perhaps no position group has seen as electric a group as the running-backs in Philadelphia,
so let’s look at the best of the best ball-carriers.
5. Correll Buckhalter
Much like with the Jalen Hurts
ruling, I refuse to use any current Eagles on this list. So while Miles Sanders could be used here, I think it’s fair to use only past Eagles on this list.
While people can talk about how Duce Staley and Brian Westbrook were overrated, I truly believe Buckhalter was one of the more underrated backs in football when he played.
In five seasons with the Eagles, Buckhalter recorded 2,155 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns
. He also ran for over 4.5 yads a carry.
A former fourth round pick, Buckhalter set a rookie rushing record for the Eagles with 586 yards. That record was later broken by Miles Sanders.
While injuries certainly plagued Buckhalter’s NFL career, he was a massive piece to a triple threat rushing attack in 2003, and came up with huge moments in the later part of his Eagles career.
While some Eagle fans may forget him, I won’t. Buckhalter was a very solid Eagle rusher.
4. LeGarratte Blount
Blount played just one season for the Philadelphia Eagles. What a season it was.
2017 saw the Eagles rushing attack lead the league in rushing.
While it certainly was a running-back-by-committee approach, Blount was the true bell-cow through the season. A team high, 766 yards on the season, Blount was the first true power back the Eagles have had since Wilbert Montgomery.
Blount’s physical power matched very well with Jay Ajayi’s shiftiness and Corey Clement’s speed.
But what puts Blount on this list is his performance in Super Bowl LII.
14 rushes, 90 yards and a touchdown. Blount was a driving force that gashed the Patriots defense and set the tone early with his bruising running style. The Eagles may never see that combination of physicality and shiftiness again in their running-back room while staying healthy for a full season.
Blount may have only been here for one year, but that year was so magical he deserves this spot.
3. Duce Staley
Staley could very well be on this list for the sole reason of the job he did as a running-back coach.
His development of LeSean McCoy, the 2017 trio of backs, and Miles Sanders was highly impressive.
His work as a running-back though, was more than deserving.
Seven years in Philadelphia with over 4,800 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns. Staley wasn’t the fastest, or strongest, but he ran with so much heart
he ended up carving out an excellent NFL career. Staley had three 1,000 yard rushing seasons in Philadelphia which was, at the time, tied for the most 1,000 yard rushing seasons by an Eagle ever.
He’s not the most talented on this list, but Staley is more than deserving.
2. Brian Westbrook
For the record, I REALLY wanted to put Westbrook at the #1 spot. Objectively though, I can’t. That doesn’t take away from what “Sea Biscuit” did in Philadelphia.
The most underrated running-back in NFL history, Westbrook put over 2,000 yards from scrimmage in 2007 and had two 1,000 yard seasons.
But as we all know, that doesn’t tell the whole story. The lone true offensive weapon for most of his career in Philly, Westbrook was even more lethal as a pass catcher than as a runner. He was also incredible as a punt returner.
A first team All-Pro, 2x Pro-Bowler, Westbrook was part of the “holy trinity” in Philadelphia
(McNabb, Westbrook, Dawkins) due to his speed and shiftiness.
I love Westbrook. He’s in my top five of favorite Eagles I’ve ever seen. I just can’t put him above the man at #1.
1. LeSean McCoy
The Eagles all-time leading rusher, LeSean McCoy is the obvious choice as the top running-back of the 2000’s.
In six years with Philadelphia, McCoy 6,792 yards and 44 touchdowns. He holds the Eagles record for touchdowns in a single season,
rushing yards in a season, total scrimmage yards in a single season, and yards run in a single game.
His ability to make people miss was one of the most unique traits of McCoy’s arsenal. Analysts and players compared to him s the only runner close to the style
of Hall of Famer, Barry Sanders, and rightfully so.
McCoy, like Westbrook, is an all-time great Eagle. But McCoy’s extensive dominance in Philadelphia, his ability to run both outside and between the tackles is something rare in the modern back.
When you own almost every single rushing record in Eagle history, you deserve the #1 spot.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire