BRINGING in Byron Marshall and Donnel Pumphrey was a mistake. In the last two years, the Eagles have brought in two players, who’s specific purpose (ostensibly), is to replace RB Darren Sproles when he leaves the Eagles. The mistake wasn’t the Front Office adding Marshall or Pumphrey. The mistake was the mission to replace Sproles in the first place. Everything we add to that mission only makes it worse.
Let’s start with the question that only I seem to be asking:
“Why do we need to replace Darren Sproles?”
When Sproles leaves, we’ll need another RB. One who can catch and make you miss in the open field, isn’t a bad thing to have at all. However, why is it that when we look for a replacement, we look at WR/RB tweeners and not genuine RB’s? Is there some rule that says that a 3rd down back must be slight of frame? Is there some rule that says that a 3rd down back is barred from being a dependable option at RB, should the starter go down? That seems to be the type of guy the Eagles want replacing Sproles.
How about a 3rd down RB like C.J. Prosise, or T.J. Yeldon, or Duke Johnson? Is there some reason that Corey Clement can’t be our 3rd down back? He would certainly offer schematic versatility. Seriously, what’s wrong with being THREE legit RB’s deep? Considering the abuse that RB’s take, real depth (not specialists) at the position would be a major asset.
What really irritates me about the entire process of replacing Sproles, is that it probably can’t be done. Darren Sproles is an anomaly. Think of another 190 pound RB who can contribute on offense, and scare an opponent every time a punt touches his gloves, while playing at 30+ years of age. Go ahead. I’ll wait….
Sproles is rare from the get-go, but that never seems to get acknowledged. Spending a draft pick on trying to replace him, is like blowing a paycheck on water, to practice turning it into wine. Trying to duplicate a miracle through mundane means, is the worst indication that you don’t know what you have. For the Front Office to not realize such specialness in a player, it is nothing short of a football tragedy.
There is ONE Darren Sproles. Just one. He isn’t duplicable. He isn’t replaceable. Further attempts at trying to do either, will likely just result in more disappointment. Let’s appreciate Sproles while we still have him here, and when he leaves, let’s focus on adding a good football player and not an after-market part.