Josh Adams is the featured back on the Philadelphia Eagles, becoming the workhorse running back in the offense. Adams was the first running back since Ryan Mathews in Week 1 of the 2016 season to have 22 carries in a game, which was the first game Doug Pederson was a head coach.
Part of the being the featured back on the Eagles is being able to catch passes, which is what made Mathews, Corey Clement, and Darren Sproles so valuable over the past few years. The Eagles appear ready to give Adams that chance to make an impact in the passing game.
“We think he’s got good hands,” said Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh. “We keep giving him a little bit more each week and he’s been able to handle it so far. He’s done a really good job.”
The Eagles like their running backs to be pass catchers out of the backfield, which Adams didn’t do a lot of at Notre Dame. Adams only had 13 catches for 101 yards in his final season with the Fighting Irish and only 41 catches for 336 yards in his three seasons there.
“They didn’t throw the ball to me much my last two years (at Notre Dame),” Adams said during training camp (via Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News). “But my freshman year, they put us out empty and wide and threw to us. I’m just trying to recall that and use that to my advantage.”
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The Eagles have a specialist in pass-catching amongst the running backs in Corey Clement, who has 19 catches for 145 yards on the season….averaging 7.6 yards per carry. Clement had two catches for 31 yards in Sunday’s win over the Giants, so more opportunities should come his way.
The Eagles know they have a running back that can handle the workload in Adams, who had 22 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Giants, also having a 52-yard run taken away on a holding penalty that kept him from having his first 100-yard game of his career.
Adams has 56 carries for 291 yards and two touchdowns on the season, becoming the leading rusher on the Eagles after 11 games. Over his last four games, Adams has 45 carries for 245 yards, averaging 5.4 yards per carry.
“He’s just been coming on and making really good progress each and every week and I think earning everybody’s trust with the way he’s handled everything that he’s been asked to do,” Groh said. “We’ve gotten a lot of production out of him when he’s been in there. He’s done a good job.
“He’s got good vision and anticipation and can kind of feel things I think. [He is an] instinctive runner and was able to bounce out of the hole and get out to the edge and create even more.”