Duce Staley is thrilled the Philadelphia Eagles can finally get back to pounding the ball between the tackles now that LeGarrette Blount is on board.
Staley, a former Eagles running back (1997-2003), has been the team’s running back coach since 2011. He’s seen the Eagles feature plenty of smaller backs who don’t necessarily exude power. But that’s all changing now.
“He brings that power,” Staley said of Blount on Monday, when the Eagles made position coaches available to the media (h/t Aaron Kazinitz of Penn Live). “He’s a big human being … and he’s coming downhill. That’s something we haven’t had here in a long time.”
The ability to move the chains on the ground with a power running game is a facet of the offense Staley hopes will benefit the Eagles late in the year.
“It’s being able to impose your will,” Staley said. “That’s what you want to do, you want to be able to run the ball in those late cold months and hopefully you’ll have a chance to move on.”
That Blount is a downhill runner with power is an undeniable truth. A truth many NFL defenders can attest to, given their failed run-ins with the 6-foot, 250-pound locomotive (like this). Last year with the New England Patriots, Blount rushed for 1,161 yards and a league-leading 18 touchdowns.
In addition to what Blount brings on the field, he’s been a positive influence in the running back meeting room.
“He’s been great,” Staley said. “He’s been great for the room, he’s been great for the younger guys. And when you got an old savvy vet in the room … he’s easy to follow. Those guys listen to him.”
If Blount can maintain the pace he established last season as the lead back for the Patriots, then the Eagles will be able to do some big things offensively. In addition to Blount, they added receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith to give Carson Wentz a couple of reliable vets in the passing game.
It’s going to be interesting to see how it all comes together.