In some ways, Doug Pederson isn’t all that different from the average Eagles fan. He goes back and watches highlights of the team’s newly acquired offensive players. At least that’s what he does in the case of new Eagles lead running back LeGarrette Blount.
“Well, I think just knowing and kind of watching him last year, what he did with New England on their Super Bowl run, just the impact that he had in the red zone,” said Pederson when asked about the value Blount brings to Philadelphia. “I constantly find myself going back and watching those touchdown runs that he had.”
“He's a big, physical, downhill runner. I saw that yesterday in some of that inside-run period, the explosiveness. He's got great vision, great vision to make the jump cuts and read defensive linemen. But just that big body in the backfield I think can, for a defender, present a big problem, from a one-on-one tackling standpoint. Exciting to see him as we get going now in these games.”
You can be like Pederson and watch all 18 of Blount’s touchdown last season in the following video.
It’s hard to not get excited about adding Blount to the Eagles’ offense. After closely examining his tape, there’s no question he provides value in short-yardage and red zone situations.
Blount has looked good in camp so far. Not only does he look fast while running the ball; he also looks like an effective pass catcher. Blount isn’t going to suddenly catch a ton of passes this year but he can keep the defense honest if he’s at least an occasional receiving target.
“You don't want to be predictable by personnel,” said Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich. “If all of a sudden LeGarrette comes in, you don't want [the defense] just to think run. But we actually like that predicament because we try to use it to our advantage. So [if] LeGarrette comes in the game, he's a workhorse runner. We know teams fear him running the football, so play-action … Are we going to run many drop-back passes with him in the game? Probably not.”
“And it doesn't matter -- you can tell every team in the league that we're going to run the football and we're going to run play-action, that in itself. All you've got to do is run a handful of play-action to keep them honest because the play-action plays tend to produce -- you get those linebackers stepping up to stop him, it creates huge holes in the secondary.”
“A lot of the stuff about us last year with the yards attempt and all that stuff being low, [if] you get a good running game like that and those linebackers start stepping up, all of a sudden, we get a lot of 20- yard completions by those guys. We'll take that problem.”
The Eagles desperately needed help at running back this offseason. Carson Wentz was burdened with throwing the second most passes of any rookie quarterback ever in 2016. Philadelphia wasn’t able to find a long-term lead back solution but they signed a good short-term option in Blount.
Pederson surely isn’t the only one excited to see LG in action. It’ll be fun to watch him run behind an Eagles offensive line that has a chance to be one of the better blocking units in the NFL.
Check out Doug Pederson’s press conference via the Bleeding Green Nation Facebook page (Click here or watch below.)
Eagles HC Doug Pederson speaking before practice!Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Sunday, July 30, 2017