The Philadelphia Eagles added running backs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews via free agency, but head coach Chip Kelly still expects Darren Sproles to play a bigger role in 2015.
Sproles, who often contributes as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, has been lining up at receiver during practice. According to Zach Berman of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Kelly wants his best offensive weapons on the field, even if it’s technically not at their listed position.
“It’s year two for him, so I think he feels really comfortable in terms of what our running backs are doing. So we are just kind of cross-training him like we do some other guys in terms of how do we get our best players on the field and put them in different situations.”
Last season, Sproles tallied 329 yards and six touchdowns on the ground and caught 40 passes for 387 yards. He added a league-leading 506 yards and two scores as a punt returner.
However, Jeremy Maclin—the Eagles’ top receiver in 2014—signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, so Philly needs to replace his production. The team drafted USC standout Nelson Agholor, but Sproles can use his versatility to ease the pressure on the rookie.
Sproles is tremendously difficult to cover, and showcasing the shifty back all over the field should only pay dividends for the Eagles.
Photo: USA Today Sports