By Sarah Berkowitz
Much of the focus on the Eagles offense during training camp has been on quarterback Sam Bradford, running backs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews and rookie wide receiver Nelson Agholor:
All of whom are in their first year with the team.
But coach Chip Kelly has big plans for hybrid back/receiver Darren Sproles, who made big plays last season, his first year in Philly but also disappeared at times, and had five or fewer offensive touches in most of the games he played.
Kelly says that he’s giving Sproles more practice time with the wide receivers so that Sproles will be ready to play there even if he doesn’t get a lot of snaps at running back, where he’s third on the depth chart behind Murray and Mathews.
“It’s year two for him, so I think he feels really comfortable in terms of what our running backs are doing,” Kelly said. “So we are just kind of cross-training him like we do some other guys in terms of how do we get our best players on the field and put them in different situations.”
Sproles said he’ll line up at receiver this season, and not just in the slot.
“We’re just trying to get more stuff for me to do,” Sproles said. “We’re going to get me out wide and stuff like that.”
Kelly is a creative offensive coach, and Sproles has the kind of talent Kelly can use in a variety of positions. The 32-year-old Sproles is at an age when most running backs are slowing down, but don’t be surprised if he has a bigger season in Year 2 with the Eagles.