WHEN the Detroit Lions released RB Kerryon Johnson, Eagles fans on social media started asking if we should sign him. I immediately bellowed “NO! That guy gets injured too much! Why should we stick our necks our for blah blah blah, yadda, blah blah blah…”
And I was wrong.
I was ignorant, loud, and wrong. I didn’t know quite as much about Johnson as I thought I did, and initially I didn’t do any further research. I was sloppy. I was lazy. I didn’t give my full effort, which is not who I am. I’m sorry, and I’m ashamed. No excuses.
The national sports media has given the Eagles up for dead. I watched a segment on ‘Undisputed’ where the NFC East was discussed, and only three teams were talked about. Rich Eisen held a similar discussion on the NFL network. Again, apparently just three teams play in the NFC East.
Desperate to read about the Eagles, sheer boredom is what got me looking further into the Eagles roster. Starting with Johnson.
I loved his interview. Especially the part where he discussed his reputation as being one of the league’s best RB’s at pass protection. (Which I didn’t know.) His prowess for pass pro, is extremely important. It makes him a genuine three-down back. It also means whether situationally or due to injury, when Johnson is on the field, the Eagles can use their entire playbook.
There are a couple of things he’ll want to work on here. Things like hitting the hole with more immediacy, and holding the ball tight to his body. That of course ,is why the coaching staff gets paid. While Johnson isn’t a genuine home run hitter, he can gash a defense for serious yards, runs with some pop, and can finish runs falling forward.
Some ask if his presence means that RB Boston Scott is out. Others say that he’s a threat to RB Jordan Howard.
I beg to differ. Having a stable of players like RB Miles Sanders, Howard and Johnson, gives the Eagles loads of high level insurance against injury. When all three are healthy, they can be shuttled in and out, or lined up in different combinations to create horrifying mismatches.
As for Boston Scott, I happen to think his biggest threat, is rookie RB Kenneth Gainswell.
Scott has proven that he can be a quality role player, but Gainswell has way more wiggle in his run, and is also a superior route runner. While I wouldn’t project him as a long-term starter, Gainswell seems to have way more upside than Scott has shown, when pressed into the role.
With Sanders, Howard, Johnson and Gainswell, the Eagles have three, possibly four quality starters on the roster. That’s amazing depth! This was a well-rounded group before the Draft. Since then the Eagles have added just two players, but are exponentially better at this position.
The best part of all this? This sort of commitment to loading up the RB position, indicates that the Eagles are going to lean pretty heavy on the position. Think about it. They haven’t loaded up like this at WR or TE, have they? Nope. Not at all. By the way, this guy is still the starter:
Running the ball more, should really help the starting (Jalen) QB, whomever (Hurts) he turns out (Jalen) to be. After all (Hurts), the coach did say (Jalen) that it would be (Hurts) a completely (Jalen) open competition. I’m excited to see how the competition shakes out. I expect that QB Jalen Hurts and the other one, will make it hard for the coaches to decide on who our Jalen QB will be.
But the RB’s though! Very excited about this group, and I’m happy to be wrong about Kerryon Johnson. As for being lazy, I will give my standard effort in the future.
Flacco! The other QB is named Flacco. Wow. What a weird first name.