Friday, March 27, 2015

Do Eagles need to add a RB?

Even before tonight's news broke that Brian Westbrook will have ankle surgery, some of you felt like the Eagles needed to add a veteran running back to the mix.

Do Eagles need to add a RB?

Even before tonight's news broke that Brian Westbrook will have ankle surgery, some of you felt like the Eagles needed to add a veteran running back to the mix.

Now I'm assuming that cry will grow a little bit louder.

For those of you just getting caught up, reports have surfaced from CSN and ESPN that Westbrook will be undergoing a clean-up procedure on his ankle.

How much time will he miss? That's not immediately clear. CSN's report said he should be ready for the start of the season. Westbrook's agent Todd France would not provide a timetable, but a source told ESPN the surgery would sideline him well into training camp.

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Whatever the case, the Eagles have encountered a bump in the road. Other than the Sheldon Brown situation, things had been going just a little too smoothly.

In Brown's case, the Birds acted swiftly once the cornerback sounded off, acquiring Ellis Hobbs on draft weekend.

So the obvious question here is: Will the Eagles make a roster move at running back?

Let's take a look at the guys they currently have.

If you're a fan of MTC, you know I have big expectations for LeSean McCoy. I said after the draft that the success of the '09 class would fall on his shoulders. Now he'll be counted on even more quickly.

There's Lorenzo Booker, but anything he gives the Birds would be a surprise at this point. The coaches obviously didn't feel like he could contribute last season.

If the Eagles feel like they need to add another back, what are their options?

The name that seems to be tossed around most often in the comments section and on sports-talk radio is Edgerrin James.

The 30 year old is a free agent. He suffered through the least productive season of his career in 2008, averaging 3.9 yards per carry and totaling 514 yards on the ground.

But James thinks he's still got a lot left.

"Of course I've still got it," he told The Sporting News recently. "I was in a bad situation. Just look at my track record. I averaged 4.5 yards a game the last five, six games. Trust me, there's nothing wrong with me. It was a passing team. You're not gonna find a top two or three passing team with a top running game. Choose one or the other. Show me a team that's No. 1 passing and No. 1 running. You ain't got enough time."

Obiously the Eagles are a passing team also. There's hope that given the offseason roster moves, the running game has a chance to be much-improved, but let's not get carried away.

The addition of James wouldn't do much for me. He's not a difference-maker at this point in his career, and I'm not sure the upgrade in experience would be worth it. He was a headache last season when he received the fewest touches of his career. Doesn't exactly fit the profile of the guys the Birds usually go after.

And other than James, there's not much out there.

So what do you think? Given today's news, do the Eagles need to make a roster move? Are there names I'm forgetting?

Or do you sit tight and hope that McCoy picks up the offense, and Westbrook is fine once the real games begin?

Sheil Kapadia
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at or by clicking here

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