Originally posted on Buzz On Broad  |  Last updated 10/19/11


It was not a veteran linebacker, help in the secondary, or a big name trade involving Asante Samuel.

But the Eagles did make a move yesterday, swapping back up running backs with the Detroit Lions. When the dust from the hardly earth shattering deal had settled, the Eagles now have Jerome Harrison in the fold, as well as a late round pick in the 2013 draft.

Regardless of whether you think the Eagles should have done more, the fact is that Harrison does provide an upgrade from Ronnie Brown, and could help this team in the coming weeks.

One area that Harrison could help this team in is kick returns. Dion Lewis is currently handling kick off duties for the Eagles, but he has looked unimpressive. Lewis has returned 14 kicks this season for a total of 296 yards, with a long of 30. But it is the poor judgement that he has shown in bringing out kicks that should have been downed in the endzone that could lead the team to insert Harrison into that role.

Harrison does not have extensive experience returning kicks- only 7 career returns- but he is a veteran he presumably could do a better job knowing what kicks to take out, and which ones to just take a knee on. Harrison showed in the running game last season that he still has the ability to take one long if he is given the space, and that could translate to the return game if given the chance.

By making Harrison the man in kick returns, the Eagles could give Lewis more chances to carry the ball on offense. Lewis looked impressive last week against Washington, and in limited action this season has averaged 4.4 yards per carry. Taking the kick returning duties away from him could allow him to contribute more on offense, and give LeSean McCoy more rest.

It is unlikely Harrison will see a ton of action carrying the ball, as McCoy is a three down back and hardly takes a play off. In fact, of the Eagles 130 run plays this season, 105 have gone to McCoy. Harrison showed last season that he could carry the load if needed, and would likely become the lead back if McCoy were to go down.

It could be that the Eagles intend to give Harrison the ball more then they did Brown, which is why they made the move.

But assuming that is not the case, look for Harrison to help this team in kickoff returns, and provide more a burst then Brown in the limited carries he will see.

Follow Buzz on Broad Eagles Beat Reporter Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks

 

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