Reich to Blount: ‘Keep Doing What You’re Doing’
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — LeGarrette Blount has been as advertised for the Eagles, a battering ram of a back on pace to run for over 900 yards on the NFL's best team at the midway point of the season.
Yet, the Eagles went out and traded for a potential bell-cow back on Tuesday morning only hours before the NFL's trading deadline was set to expire, sending a fourth-round pick to Miami for 2016 Pro Bowl selection Jay Ajayi.
The man who made the deal -- Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman -- spun the decision as a rare opportunity to add a talented piece of the puzzle instead of any declaration toward the current running-back-by-committee setup, something Blount has spearheaded so far with 467 yards on 100 carries.
“We like our running back group," Roseman claimed while speaking at the NovaCare Complex. "This is an opportunity that came to us where we thought we could add a good, young player that is under contract for a couple years to our team. Everyone has seen the way LeGarrette has run. This just adds to the group."
Roseman even went so far to say that the 30-year-old Blount would remain the starter although he later amended that and said it would be coaching decision.
One of the coaches making that decision, offensive coordinator Frank Reich, demurred at his weekly press conference when asked about Ajayi's potential role, preferring instead to let head coach Doug Pederson take the reins, something the head coach will do on Wednesday morning.
Reich did, however, did offer some advice to Blount.
"Keep doing what you're doing," the OC said. "You're a big reason why we are 7-1."
As for the chemistry aspect of this story and the reports out of South Florida painting Ajayi as a bit of a malcontent prone to complaining about his number of touches, Roseman seem nonplused.
“We do research on players before we trade for them," Roseman insisted. "We have a good understanding of what went on with Ajayi in Miami. We weren’t going to bring anyone here that would disrupt team chemistry.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen