Why Miles Sanders studies offensive line practice


One thing Miles Sanders wanted to do this year was achieve a deeper understanding of what the Eagles’ offensive linemen were doing on each play.

What are they looking for? What are they seeing? What’s their assignment? 

One way to find out.

“When we have special teams periods, I’m over there with the offensive line, just trying to listen to Stout (Jeff Stoutland),” Sanders said. “He’s yelling, of course. But I just try to listen to him and see what he’s teaching them to try to make the run game even better to understand what they’re trying to do.

“Just trying to be in tune with the line. Doing my best to try and understand what their job is to do and just trying to marry it with what I’m trying to do, and just trying to be the best run team possible.”

Seems to be working.

The Eagles go into Arizona Sunday as the No. 5 rushing team in the league with 165 yards per game, and Sanders is off to the best start of his four-year career with 89 rushing yards per game – 3rd-best in the league – and three TDs – 4th-best in the league.

With 13 carries against the Cards Sunday – and they’re 28th in the league in rush defense – Sanders would have 13 carries five straight weeks for the first time in his career. The last Eagles back to do that was LeGarrette Blount in 2017.

Sanders spoke in training camp about how he changed his offseason training regimen to try and finally stay healthy, and so far so good.

Whatever he did – and he didn’t want to get into specifics – is working.

“I’m doing a great job of just trying to take care of my body as much as possible, just trying to take it one day at a time really,” he said. “It just comes with experience, I guess. Just more sharp on a lot of things. I could be even sharper. Trying to get better every day. 

“The thing about this year, I don’t know, I just want to put on a good display of who I really can be. What I really could be this whole time and that’s what I’m going to keep doing.”

Sanders said the one thing he keeps working on the most is catching the football. He hasn’t been a big factor in the passing game since his rookie year, when he had over 500 yards and three TDs. He has just 390 receiving yards since, although he did have a big 16-yard catch-and-run against the Jaguars Sunday.

“Just keeping that going because we pass the ball a lot so you never know if I can stay in there for a third down and get the rock and just try to be ready for anything,” he said.

Sanders has never had a 1,000-yard season, but he’s on pace for over 1,500 right now. And he’s never had 200 carries in a season, but he’s on pace for over 300 right now.

It’s early, but so far so good.

“We’re 4-0 and that’s all I care about right now,” he said. “Forget my numbers. This is the most excited I’ve ever been since I’ve been here. It’s a great start, I just hope we can keep it going.”

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