Eagles RB Jordan Howard Working on Catching the Football
Earlier this week, Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh said running back Jordan Howard is doing a nice job in the passing game.
"He's done a really nice job, both in catching the ball and in the protection," Groh said on Monday. "He's been all over his protections, done a really good job of that, been sound and firm in protection, allowing our quarterbacks to be able to step up in the pocket and make the throws down the field and when we throw it to him, we think he's done a nice job of catching it."
Last year, the 24-year-old Howard had just 20 receptions and 145 receiving yards and has just 72 grabs over his three NFL seasons in Chicago.
“I think he's done a good job in catching the ball on the screens and running back check-throughs and check-downs and those kinds of things," Groh explained during the teams mini-camp back in May. "It looks like he has worked really hard at it, and he's catching the ball well.”
While there’s certainly plans to have him more involved as a receiver, Howard continues to look like the powerful runner he was billed to be.
"He's a bigger back, so he's able to kind of pad level down and -- he's powerful," said Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. "He can push a pile, things like that that kind of -- it's hard to see sometimes on tape. But just standing back there watching, he has a good feel for the running back spot."
In Thursday’s preseason opener he had just three carries and eight yards, an average of just 2.7 yards per carry.
The running game didn't look good as a while, the team rushed just 17 times for 37 yards, led by Donnel Pumphrey who had just three carries for 11 yards.
"Yeah, it's great to see them live, not only running the football, but pass protection, catching the ball," Pederson said about the running backs as a while. "We have a lot of running backs right now, so it gives everybody an opportunity early, in this first preseason game to give everybody opportunities and touches to show us where they are and what they can do."