Position series: Eagles running backs

June, 19, 2012
6/19/12
4:43
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We've been doing running backs today as part of our occasional position-by-position series on the four NFC East teams, and we'll wrap up the day with a look at the backfield of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Projected starters: RB LeSean McCoy, FB Stanley Havili

Reserves: RB Dion Lewis, RB Bryce Brown, RB Chris Polk, FB Jeremy Stewart

[+] EnlargeLeSean McCoy
Dale Zanine/US PresswireLeSean McCoy could be the workhorse running back the Eagles lean on to carry the offense.
Potential strength: McCoy is good enough to be the potential strength of the entire team, not just of the running back corps. He makes a strong case right now for the title of best running back in the league. He's shown the ability to run between the tackles, to operate in space, to catch passes and to deliver at the goal line. Coming off a 20-touchdown season and beginning a new long-term contract, McCoy should be leaned on more than ever as the Eagles go into the season with the highest possible hopes.

Potential weakness: Lewis didn't show much in limited time as McCoy's fill-in last year. Brown is a seventh-round pick and Polk was undrafted. While all three offer reasons to believe they're capable of big things, each also offers reasons to believe he could bust out. The Eagles don't have an obvious backup about which they could feel great if McCoy went down for a significant period of time. If that happened, they'd likely just pass more. Lewis is the top backup right now, but the Eagles would love to see someone from this group make big strides in training camp so they could feel better about their depth at the position.

Keep an eye on: Polk. He was a second-round talent who fell all the way out of the draft due to shoulder injuries, and the Eagles believe they may have gotten a steal. As discussed in the last paragraph, he'll have the chance to prove what he can do, and if he's healthy, he could move up the depth chart quickly and force the team to find ways to use him behind McCoy. He'll be among the most closely watched Eagles in training camp.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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