Eagles HC Chip Kelly insists Darren Sproles is a running back and not just a receiver out of the backfield. Sproles has had more receptions than rushes in three of the past four seasons. He said that’s the way the coaches want to use him in New Orleans’ offense. He has never been a primary running back in his career, which has also helped extend his career. Sproles operates best in space, away from big bodies. The Eagles don’t want Sproles to siphon carries away from McCoy, so don’t expect Sproles to become a major rusher in Philadelphia, but he will still be used in the running game.
Sproles is another option for Kelly, and he can become a weapon in man-to-man coverage in the hurry-up offense. Kelly emphasized that he wanted to take advantage of one-on-one coverage; a matchup with Sproles against a linebacker will be an advantage for the Eagles. The key in the offense is to have versatile players who can fill different roles, and Sproles does that. He will also be valuable as a returner. Sproles turned 30, and the Saints were aggressive in moving him, so he needs to prove that he’s not about to take a sharp decline.
Bryce Brown (75 carries, 8 catches) was traded to the Bills, so someone will need to carry the ball to give LeSean McCoy a breather. Sproles is a better runner than people think, as evidenced by his career 5.1 YPC, but he's not a player the Eagles want running inside. It sounds as if Kelly has big plans for Sproles in the two-minute drill and in the passing game.