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May 13, 2017

What they’re saying: The Eagles don’t need a ‘big’ running back

In our practice notes yesterday, we wrote about how small Donnel Pumphrey is and also how every Pumphrey question faced was about how small he is. With Pumphrey, Darren Sproles, and 5-10, 208-pound Wendell Smallwood in the fold, the Eagles backfield doesn’t have a ton of size.

Over at CSN Philly, Reuben Frank makes the point that the idea of a larger back that can make you tweet BEAST MODE after a big run is a concept of the past:

I get a lot of tweets asking who the Eagles' "big back" is going to be. Their goal-line back. I just think that's an antiquated concept, that you give the football to some 245-pound dude on 3rd-and-inches or on the goal line. You give the football to your best back, not your biggest back. If the offensive line is doing its job, he's going to get the yard. Who are the biggest backs in Eagles history? Keith Byars, Stanley Pritchett, Thomas Tapeh, Leonard Weaver, Emil Igwenagu, Ronnie Brown and Tony Hunt? You want those guys with the football on the goal line? Out of that group, Byars was a terrific pass catcher and Weaver had a nice half season, but neither was a short-yardage back. It's not about how big you are. It's about how good you are and how much push your O-line gets.

When draft scenarios were being kicked around, I loved imagining the idea of Leonard Fournette truck-sticking Sean Lee or Landon Collins as The Linc went wild as much as anyone, but I agree with Roob here. If the Eagles were going to be weak at a position, power running back isn’t a terrible choice.

Now, cornerback on the other hand…

In case you missed it at PhillyVoice

1.    Way too early: I’m a fan of any piece of content with those three words in the title, and Jimmy took a stab what the Eagles 53-man roster could look like.

2.    Rookie jersey analysis: Poor Donnel Pumphrey: “This is a bad number for a 5’9, 169-pound pipsqueak.” I tend to agree.

3.    Excused absence? Well, not really, but Doug Pederson seems to be somewhat confident about Brandon Graham’s eventual return.

4.    Practice notes: Weston Steelhammer needs to be on this team whenever he can actually play.

5.    One step at a time: It sure doesn’t sound like Sidney Jones is going to make an October return.

Other Eagles news, notes and analysis from around the web

Air Force safety Weston Steelhammer gets tryout with Eagles before active duty begins: Tim McManus, ESPN

McManus focused on the greatest name in the history of the Eagles, and the unlucky situation he finds himself in:

"It all came at once like a fire hose," said Steelhammer, who discovered his fate by reading a newspaper article.

"I think I found out about it the same time you guys did," Steelhammer said. "Maybe that was a miscommunication, misinterpretation, I don't know, but it went down the way it did and we've got to make the most of it."

Corey Clement will get his chance to make the Eagles: Jeff McLane, Philadelphia Inquirer

Hey, a big back! Corey Clement didn’t get drafted, but he did get the opportunity to choose to play for his favorite team as a kid:

The Glassboro native grew up an Eagles fan. He had a long-standing relationship with the team's vice president of team security, Dom DiSandro, and was his guest at the Eagles' practice facility numerous times. He met Duce Staley as a child, wore No. 22 in his honor during youth football, and would later work out in front of the now-Eagles assistant before the draft.

The Eagles were one of 32 teams that passed on Clement. But one of the benefits of not getting selected is that you have more autonomy over where you may play. The Wisconsin product told himself that if the Eagles made an offer, he would accept.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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