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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
I'll do a mailblog later this week, but I wanted to pull this question out because, well, I asked the same question to Jeff Jagodzinski Monday and wanted to share his answer with you. Jerome, in East Boston, asked me this:
Well, Jerome, apparently Jagodzinski has changed his mind since we last talked in the spring -- depending on one freshman running back will do that to you.
You mention Brian Toal's presence on defense in your recent linebacker rankings, but how about his rushing? The dude is an absolute tank inside the 5 yard line. In Coach Jags' first year with Toal on the sidelines (due to Toal's medical redshirt last year), do you think Jags will utilize Toal as much as Tom O'Brien did?
"I may," Jagodzinski said. "I may not have a choice not to because of our running back situation. He wants to do it. He's subtly getting word to me that he wants to do it. He hasn't asked me yet, but he tells other guys, 'Hey let him know what I want to do this.' He's a talented guy. If it's going to help us win a football game, I'll do it. Always have the best 11 on the field."
It certainly couldn't hurt to have Toal used in short yardage situations again. In 2006, Toal carried the ball 19 times for 35 yards and a team-high six touchdowns as a running back. He missed the 2007 season with a shoulder injury, but should be one of the Eagles' top linebackers this season.
Who knows? Maybe he'll be one of their best ball-carriers, too.