Miles Sanders is the best runner in the Eagles and this particular race is not really close.
Other aspects of the return position are still a work in progress for the explosive third-year defender, something that has prompted Nick Sirianni and assistant coach / supporter Jemal Singleton to move towards a committee as the regular 2021 season approaches.
Although he was not asked to catch so much football in college at Penn State, Sanders showed a natural inclination towards him as a rookie, collecting 50 receptions and three meetings in 2019.
However, those numbers dropped last season, and Sanders has again struggled as a receiver at training camp, dropping at least five passes according to unofficial SI.com count Eagle Maven.
Sanders’s problems, which Sirianni has confirmed, have opened the door for others to be third defenders, most notably Boston Scott and rookie Kenny Gainwell, the latter being a miracle host during his one season at the University of Memphis .
“He’s working on it because he knows he has to keep improving there,” Sirianni said when discussing Sanders’ tough problem when he captures football. “So I like the fact that he’m doing this. We’ve seen Miles fall a couple. The off-corner roads are really where we saw him, and he’m turning around and looking at the center-back and the corner he’s going through. “So we’re just trying to simulate it as much as possible.”
Sanders is often seen on the wings working with the Jugs car or having an assistant throw the bad balls on purpose, but tracking corner roads seems to be a hindrance.
“I’m just trying to get better at it,” Sanders said earlier in the camp. “Go back to how I was my initial year, just be consistent and confident in catching the ball.”
Sanders admitted on Sunday that taking is part of the game that comes most naturally to Gainwell.
“He probably has the best hands in the room, I’m not afraid to say that,” Sanders said. “He has very natural hands. He practices without gloves, only to make it easier for him when putting on gloves. I like her. It just makes me work 10 times harder. ”
After 15 internships at the training camp, the committee appears to be led by Sanders with the confrontation option Jordan Howard, along with Scott and / or Gainwell involved.
From a talent perspective, having Sanders as first and second runners with Gainwell as third and downhill options for Sirianni, Short yard specialist Howard and Scott the filler of all trades look like the model the Philadelphia coaching staff wants to follow.
Whether Gainwell, who left the 2020 college season due to COVID-19, is accelerating early in the season to gain considerable playing time remains to be seen, but progress had been steady in camp.
“I love his game,” Sanders told Gainwell when he spoke to reporters ahead of Sunday’s internal training session affected by Henry. “You guys have seen that he fits in perfectly with this offense. These are the types of defenders who (have) long careers in this league right now, being able to catch the ball anywhere, whether it is off the back field, at the gate, and he is doing both.
“His ability to run the ball is also very good. I’m definitely impressed with him and I like the approach he has taken, just keeping his head down, picking everyone’s brain, standing up for himself, “And just working every day and trying to get better. He even makes me better.”
Having complementary parts is important for Sirianni, who wants an Austin Ekeler- or Nyheim Hines like with Eagles.
“I think I’ve always been – and especially in that room, piece-by-piece together,” the coach said.
Sanders is open to allowing Gainwell to help with the workload.
“He’s ready to get better every day,” Sanders said of the beginner. “Like, he always writes notes, he always asks questions, he’s not afraid to ask questions and so I was [as a rookie]with
“I was still calm, but I was also trying to make sure I was doing my job in the best way I could. I said, ‘When you have a question, brother, just ask, because the worst thing. is if you’re going out there and you’re just getting confused and you have no idea what to do. “”