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The last time a fullback got this much attention in Philadelphia, it was because blood was spewing from his forehead.
But unlike former Eagles fullback Jon Ritchie, current fullback Stanley Havili has been turning heads recently with his play. So much so that some in the Eagles locker room feel Havili might be worthy of a Pro-Bowl trip at the end of this season.
“To be honest with you, last year he didn’t really have a chance to really play; didn’t get too many reps so we didn’t see what he could do. This year, he’s blowing people up. I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but it’s opening holes up. His energy [is great]; the will to want to block, the will to want to blow guys up and be successful. He’s blocking well. He’s having an excellent season. He should definitely get a chance to go to the Pro Bowl, for sure. I mean that. Well, us together.”
That was LeSean McCoy talking about Havili after practice today, and it's easy to see why after the game Havili had against the New York Giants.
Havili did a great job on Sunday of creating space for McCoy, allowing him to get to the 2nd level and get those big runs in the 2nd half. He is maybe the most athletic fullback the Eagles have had in some time, and it is helping him keep in front of McCoy and open holes.
Havili has had a strong season thus far, but blocking never really gets the fans talking (except of course here on BGN). Havili got the attention of the casual fan when he made a nice cut during an 8 yard run int he 4th quarter as the Eagles were driving. It was his first flash this season of what he can be as a runner, but those who made the trip up to Lehigh this past summer knows how quick the former USC fullback is.
Havili had a great training camp running the ball and catching it. Watching him in training camp, I thought he could really be this team's 3rd running back if they needed him to be. Still, some thought the Eagles might not even keep a fullback coming out of camp- but the Eagles sure are happy they did.
At practice today, Andy Reid talked about the improvement Havili has made since he arrived as a rookie.
“Stanley’s done a nice job. He worked very hard in the offseason; put himself in a position where he can be the starting fullback in the National Football League. When he first came here, he wasn’t as strong; not quite as big. He was more of a utility-type back in college where he did a little blocking but not much and did a lot of catching and running. He still maintains those skills, but he’s added into it being a solid blocker and a good special teams player.”
To make Havili's week even better, his first daughter Holiday was born on Monday.
Will Havili make it to the Pro-Bowl? He might not have a big enough name yet to get in, but if he keeps playing this way, it's not out of the question.
Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks