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Friday, July 18, 2014
Eagles pleased Sproles on their side now

By Andy Jasner

In a short time, Darren Sproles has become one of the most beloved players on the Philadelphia Eagles.

Especially by the defensive players and coaches.

Sproles
"I know when we played the Saints every year, I was worried about where he would be," Eagles general manager Howie Roseman told Phillymag.com. "When we made that trade, the first person to come to my office was [defensive coordinator] Billy Davis, and he said, 'I know every time we play Darren Sproles, I have to figure out where he is on the field.'"

Sproles has the ability to play in the backfield, in the slot or out wide. In any case, he's a tough player to cover.

"A lot like [coach] Chip [Kelly], the Saints make you defend the width and the depth of the field," Davis told Phillymag.com. "The width is a big part of their offense. So when you put Sproles in that role of coming out of the backfield on linebackers, you've gotta get help in there somewhere. You've gotta have some numbers in there low especially when you're dealing with [Jimmy] Graham and him. So just the fact that he comes into the game and is such a receiving threat and open-field threat. You put him in the box between the tackles, he'll do OK. You put him in space against some of our defensive backs, he stops and starts extremely fast. So we're excited to be playing with him and not against him."

Sproles is now 31, but he's still a dangerous player. When the Eagles had the chance to acquire him in the offseason, they didn't hesitate.

"First thing that sticks out is just how well he trains," Kelly told reporters during organized team activities (OTAs). "He's one of the guys that you point out to the younger guys on film as that is what it's supposed to look like. That's the effort, and that's what we're looking for on a daily basis from him. Very, very intelligent football player. He's got a great knowledge of the game, and I think he's really shared that with [running backs coach] Duce [Staley] and myself kind of how he sees things and has helped out some of the younger running backs at that position."