The Facts: Are we going from a coach who doesn’t use any running backs to a coach who uses two? Pat Shurmur, Chip Kelly’s new OC, said Monday that he plans to give both LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown a generous number of carries moving forward and said he thinks in general, offenses are more effective with two running backs in the mix.
Diehards Line:McCoy managed only 840 yards in 12 games in a concussion-shortened 2012 season. Brown had games of 178 and 169 rushing yards when McCoy was hurt but lost three fumbles in those two games. Can they co-exist? Shurmur says no question about it. “I think it’s important that you use more than one running back,” Shurmur said. “It’s a long season, and a guy can run out of gas quickly. ..." The Eagles last year were one of only two NFL teams to have two running backs with 500 or more yards and a 4.2 or higher average. The Super Bowl-champion Ravens were the other, with Ray Rice and Temple’s Bernard Pierce. McCoy is clearly the lead back because, as CSNPhilly.com's Reuben Frank points out, the veteran's body work speaks for itself. He led the NFL with 20 touchdowns in 2011, when he rushed for 1,309 yards and caught 48 passes, and despite a concussion that sidelined him for four games last year, he still ran for 840 yards in 12 games. Since he entered the league in 2009, McCoy is one of only three backs – with Ray Rice and Matt Forte – with 200 or more catches (220) and 3,500 rushing yards. Brown, just 21, ran for 561 yards with a 4.9 average last year despite starting just four games. And there's no doubt a healthy, effective McCoy with a more sure-handed but still explosive Brown would be quite a challenge for opposing defenses.