By Michael Bennett

Wendell Smallwood had a useful rookie season for the Eagles.

Against the Steelers in Week 3 (above), Smallwood carried the ball 17 times, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. He also scored a touchdown in the game. Now entering his second season, Smallwood feels the game is moving at a better pace.

“This year, I am seeing it faster, and I am picking it up faster,” Smallwood said during June’s minicamp. “My technique has gotten better, and I have gotten stronger.”

Smallwood feels the running back group is ready to more than hold their own for the offense.

“Our room is going to be the best room on the field no matter who we play against,” Smallwood said. “That competition in that room, our will to be better and make this team lean on us to be those dogs for the offense is going to push this team far.”

“We looked at the film of Wendell at West Virginia, and we saw him lining up in the slot, they were throwing the ball out of the backfield,” running backs coach Duce Staley said before minicamp. “He has natural hands and is able to snag the ball out of the air. I am very happy with Wendell. He’s come a long way. That’s what you look for in a second year back. You look for a jump. He’s made that jump.”