At Eagles practice, Miles Sanders is settling in as running back

Ed Benkin
August 05, 2019 - 8:11 pm
May 10, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (26) runs drills during rookie minicamp at NovaCare Complex.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The cutback was on display for all to see Sunday night.

Eagles running back Miles Sanders was heading toward the right side of the line when he ran into traffic. Sanders put on a cutback move that froze the oncoming defender and raced into the right corner of the end zone for a touchdown.  

It's a scene many Eagles fans are hoping to see more of during the season. After missing time in the spring due to a hamstring injury, Sanders is opening eyes at practice with an array of dazzling moves.  

He is looking more and more like a running back who is ready to make an immediate impact in 2019.

"It's all about reaction," said Sanders. "Its about making quick cuts and making guys be able to miss and making it hard for them to catch me. Doing stuff like that and showing the coaches I can do something like that is going to help me."

The Eagles desperately needed running back help last season after losing Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement to knee injuries. Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams tried to do their part as replacements, but the Eagles decided they needed an upgrade at the position during the off-season.  

The Eagles traded for former Bears back Jordan Howard and also drafted Sanders in the second round. 

Offensive coordinator Mike Groh says Sanders has been doing all the right things in his first NFL training camp.

"Miles is doing a great job every day," Groh said. "He's coming out and knows what we want to get better at each and every day. He's really just kind of started, being able to get out there and be involved in the huddle, and be part of the play call, get out, be able to decipher what the defense is doing, react to it. We think that he's really making good progress."

Sanders suffered a setback during the spring workouts as a hamstring injury kept him on the sidelines. For many rookies, catching up in the summer after missing minicamp and OTAs would be difficult.  
However, Sanders kept himself in the best physical shape possible and drew praise from Doug Pederson on the subject of his conditioning. Sanders was also keeping his eyes on the playbook.

"I think I took some good mental reps," said Sanders. "I was staying in my playbook. I've still got to study the playbook more. As far as physically, I feel good. I was training in the off-season, getting in shape and getting to the weight that I wanted to, but I feel good."

Sanders does not yet know how much playing time he will receive during the preseason. The Eagles begin the preseason on Thursday night when they host the Titans at the Lincoln Financial Field.  

Sanders says he will be ready regardless of the amount of playing time he is given and tried to compare his first NFL preseason game to his first game at Pennsylvania State University. 

"It's kind of the same," Sanders said. "Just not knowing what to expect really is kind of the only thing. I'm just curious how I'm going to be and how I'm going to play. When it comes down to it, it's just football at the end of the day. I've been working hard all of my life for this moment, so it's going to be exciting."