Rookie running back Bryce Brown has been a real and rare bright spot during this lost Philadelphia Eagles season. Filling in while starter LeSean McCoy recovers from a concussion, Brown has rushed for 178 and 169 yards, respectively in the past two games. He's a speed/size combination that's been tough for teams to stop, and there is chatter in Philadelphia about the need for Brown to retain a significant role in the offense even once McCoy returns.
There is a fly in the proverbial ointment, and it is Brown's unfortunate tendency to... well, to drop the ball. You can see when he runs that he's carrying the ball carelessly, away from his body and without fear that anyone could knock it out. And at critical, game-deciding times each of the past two weeks, he has fumbled. Twice against Carolina, once against Dallas. The one against Dallas was returned for a game-sealing touchdown. It's not a good thing.
So Brown is working on it. As Zach Berman reports, the Eagles have the scout team assigned to try to knock the ball out of Brown's hands during practice this week. Brown says they didn't get him Wednesday:
Brown has 347 yards in two starts, the second most of any player in Eagles history in two games. The blemish has been the ball security, and Brown refused to use the huge increase in carries as the reason.
"There's no excuses there," Brown said. "I wouldn't point at fatigue as being an issue with that."
No, because he's carrying the ball just as loosely in the first quarter as he is in the fourth. It's just that, as the carries pile up, so do your statistical chances of losing a ball you insist on holding with just two fingers. I am constantly amazed that players -- running backs especially -- can arrive in the NFL without having already fixed this problem. But you do see it from time to time. The extent to which Brown can expect to have a long and successful NFL career likely hinges on whether he can get this issue corrected.