With LeSean McCoy likely on the shelf for this week, rookie Bryce Brown is in line for his first NFL start
If I told you prior to the season that a 7th round pick who barely played football in the last couple years would be starting at RB for the Eagles this weekend, you would probably have assumed disaster had struck and they had no other options.
You'd certainly be right about disaster, but Brown doesn't look like a last resort. From the start of training camp, the former #1 high school recruit turned big college bust has looked like he's finally delivering on his talent. With LeSean McCoy likely sidelined this week with a concussion, Brown is in line for his first NFL start.
"It looks like he's more comfortable in the offense every week," Reid said. "He's doing a nice job in pass protection. That wasn't his thing when he first came here. He's doing better there. Better recognition of the blitzes. Then he's a patient runner and then when he goes, he goes and he goes hard. He's a big body. A physical player."
Brown really hasn't looked like a rookie back. He's shown a decisiveness that you don't often see from young guys and his top end speed is surprising for a kid his size. I don't know that he has the short area quickness that McCoy has, but I'd bet he would beat LeSean in a 40 yard foot race.
But more than his running ability, the way he's picked up pass protection has been a surprise. That is rare in young backs because for the most part, none of them ever been asked to do it before. As feature backs in college, they're out of the game or running patterns on pass plays. Brown's teammates have taken notice of how quickly he's picked up the skill.
"I think he's picked up the offense well," said Jeremy Maclin. "I think that's one of the guys you can actually really see a development of over the course of the season. He's a phenomenal pass-protector."
Brown admitted this week that after washing out of 2 different college programs, he didn't really see himself ever getting a starting job in the NFL.
"Not a starter, but I definitely knew that I had the ability and the talent to play, but I did not see [myself] being a starter or anything," Brown told reporters. "It's exciting and I'm looking forward to everything."
Brown seems to be thriving as a guy who no longer has hype. At one point, he was seen as one of the top high school recruits in the country, even ahead of guys like Trent Richardson. Our pals at the SBN Jets site did a great writeup on Brown's past if you don't already know, it's worth a read if you haven't heard about it before.
Given all that, Brown says he's not taking this chance lightly.
"I'm definitely grateful for it and thankful for it. I've had a tough road, I've worked hard and I've continued to work. Like I said, I'm excited and I can't wait to go."