How Swift, Penny will elevate Eagles RBs
Mike Florio and Myles Simmons discuss how the Eagles have strengthened their RB room by adding D’Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny, despite losing Miles Sanders.
MIKE FLORIO: A guy who landed impossibly a great spot for him in a contract year. D'Andre Swift, the former Lions running back traded to the Eagles after the Lions traded down and got Jahmyr Gibbs, they've got David Montgomery. D'Andre Swift was the odd man out. The Eagles pounced. Here's D'Andre Swift explaining that he was still surprised when he ultimately was traded from Detroit to Philly.
D'ANDRE SWIFT: It was a surprise. There was no really an explanation. Everything kind of went through my agent. Like I said, there's a lot of different emotions going up and down. Like, I'm excited to be here, but first and foremost, I thank Detroit for everything. The city of Detroit will forever have a place in my heart. I love them for the opportunity that they gave me to just go out there and live out my dreams. But like I said, I'm excited for this new chapter.
MIKE FLORIO: And hey, the Eagles are excited to have him. They saw D'Andre Swift week one last year. He gained 144 yards on 15 carries against the Eagles. That's when Howie Roseman, the GM of the team, had the idea that maybe one of these days down the road we'll have an opportunity to get Swift, and it worked out perfectly. It was the first thing he thought of when they got Jahmyr Gibbs, and it worked out well.
So, will the Eagles running backs this year, with Miles Sanders gone, but D'Andre Swift in, also Rashaad Penny, former first round pick of the Seahawks, signed as a free agent, will they be better, worse, or the same in your opinion, Myles?
MYLES SIMMONS: I think they have a chance to be better. And part of the reason is just the excellence of that offensive line, but you add in somebody like a D'Andre Swift who has such ability. And it's not just running it out of the backfield, it's also catching it, man. I mean, he really is a kind of dual threat guy, but for whatever reason, just didn't quite put it together with that coaching staff in Detroit.
I think we saw some of that during "Hard Knocks," kind of what that dynamic was between him and now the former running backs coach and assistant head coach Duce Staley, who I believe is now with the Carolina Panthers, right? So, there is some of that, that may have gone into it, but I think if you are a running back, you can't really land in a much better spot than going to the Philadelphia Eagles based on the way that offense works.
They've got the threats on the outside with AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith. They have a tight end, Dallas Goedert, who can catch it. You have a run threat in Jalen Hurts, who makes it that much more dynamic. So, with Swift and with Penny, if Penny can stay healthy, man, he can be dynamic too. They should be better.
MIKE FLORIO: Miles Sanders and his 259 carries completely and totally up for grabs among Swift, Penny, Gainwell, Boston Scott. I think they're going to continue to do what they've done. They don't go all-in with one running back. They use different guys in different circumstances. It avoids ever developing that star tailback that you have to pay a bunch of money to.
You go a bunch of different ways and you have Swift motivated in a contract year, and you see what happens. I think the Eagles will probably be better. They made the conscious decision not to get in the bidding for Miles Sanders. 6.25 million is what his average salary is.
And you can get good running backs for less than that, and they did with D'Andre Swift and the trade that brings him from Detroit to Philadelphia. By the way, this segment is better, worse, or same? I didn't set it up very well, so I'm worse than I am on other days, or some would say, same.