There has been a lot of talk about whether the Eagles will add a veteran running back this offseason. Thus far, that has not happened. Both Miles Sanders and Boston Scott are locked into their roles. It’s a matter of who else will make the roster. Corey Clement, Elijah Holyfield, Michael Warren, and Adrian Killins are the other backs on the roster. One of those players is getting some preseason hype.
Running backs coach Duce Staley is a big fan of Elijah Holyfield:
“I like where he is,” Staley said. “He’s hungry. He’s out to prove to everybody, all the doubters at least, he’s out to prove to them that he can play.”
“I tip my hat off to him because once he came in, he basically learned 80 to 85 percent of our offense in that short period of time,” Staley said. “So the kid is a smart kid and he works hard.”
“I think he plays fast,” Duce said. “I think he plays faster than what his 40 represents. Hey, that 40 is a nerve-wrecking deal, man. You have to get up there, do everything right. Sometimes you don’t run the time that you want to run initially and then you go back and run slower. It’s a lot of pressure that’s involved vs. getting out there and just telling him to pin your ears back and run, and you see a lot of guys like that even play faster.”
“He’s a physical specimen,” Staley said. “He’s going to get in there and knock you around with protection. Special teams, he’s going to run down and he’s going to knock you around a little bit.”
Elijah Holyfield is the son of former heavyweight champion, Evander Holyfield. I’ll be the first to admit, I was a big fan of Holyfield when he played at Georgia. I thought he was a really good prospect. That was until he ran a 4.78 at the Combine. It pretty much killed his draft stock and Holyfield later went undrafted.
Holyfield might lack speed but I do think he has some potential. Holyfield is a physically imposing back that rushed for over 1,000 yards (6.4 per carry) his final year at Georgia. Speed isn’t everything. If he can carve out a Jordan Howard role in this offense, Holyfield will become a very useful asset in Philadelphia.