The Facts: Howard arrived in Philadelphia as a former Pro Bowler with 48 games, 788 carries, and 1,876 offensive snaps over three seasons for the Eagles to evaluate. His 3,370 rushing yards in the regular season are the third most in the NFL during the span. Forget what happened in Chicago. After two weeks of practicing in the Eagles’ offense, Howard believes he’ll look different in this system than what observers witnessed since he came into the NFL as a fifth-round pick in 2016. “I feel like they’re allowing me to do more, show my game off more instead of just being one-dimensional like Chicago had me,” Howard said after practice Monday.
Diehards Line: Howard was referring to catching the ball out of the backfield. He has 72 career receptions, and the volume declined in each of his three seasons. But Howard insisted that he can help in the passing game and that he didn’t in Chicago “because they had a [certain] view of me.” He’s tried to put in work behind the scenes, including catching “as many balls” as possible and working with tennis balls to improve hand-eye coordination. It’s still too early to know whether the Eagles will throw the ball to Howard more than in Chicago, but it’s a part of Howard’s game that the Eagles have evaluated this spring. “He’s caught the ball when we’ve thrown it to him, so that’s what I’m going to go [off] right now, his production with us,” OC Mike Groh said. When the Eagles acquired Howard, he appeared to be the unquestioned top running back. Barring injury, he’ll be the first-team running back to begin the season. But the depth chart changed since the March trade for Howard. The Eagles drafted Miles Sanders in the second round, and they didn’t make their most notable draft investment in the position in a decade to keep Sanders on the sideline. So potential division of workload is something we'll be watching closely in coming weeks.