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Is there room for Boston Scott in crowded Eagles' running back room?


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Is there room for Boston Scott in crowded Eagles' running back room?

Scott's future with the Eagles appears uncertain.

By Reuben Frank, Eagles Insider  Published August 2, 2023


It’s easy to wonder where Boston Scott fits in these days.

Or if he fits in.

He’s been the Eagles’ No. 2 running back behind Miles Sanders the last three years and has been terrific at it.

But even with Sanders gone, the Eagles’ running back room is awfully crowded these days. Along with Kenny Gainwell, Rashaad Penny, D’Andre Swift and Trey Sermon, Scott is one of five backs getting 1st-team reps.

Scott has been here longer than any skill player other than Dallas Goedert, but with this kind of talent in camp? His future for the first time in a long time is uncertain.

"I don’t worry about it,” Scott said after practice Monday with his ever-present smile. "I feel like, honestly, this year I’ve been my best from a mental standpoint. 

"I’m always going to show up every day, I’m going to give it my best, I’m going to compete the best I can, but as far as expectations? I’m going to leave all that stuff to the guys that are in charge of it. 

"I’m not worried about it. I’m just focused on being the best player that I can be. That’s the way it’s been my whole career. I’m competing against myself. Everything else? Let the cards fall where they may.”

Scott, the Saints’ 6th-round pick in 2018, arrived in Philly late in his rookie year, when the Eagles signed him off the Saints’ practice squad. It was a typical Howie Roseman move. Barely moved the needle when it happened, but Scott has been terrific since he joined the rotation in 2019.

He has 1,723 scrimmage yards and 17 touchdowns over the last four years as a backup, plus three more TDs in the postseason. Wilbert Montgomery is the only RB in Eagles history with more postseason rushing touchdowns.

But despite all of it – despite being a Giant killer, despite a 34-yard TD run in the Tampa playoff game in 2021 and a 10-yard TD run in the NFC Championship Game, despite averaging a touchdown every 16 rushing attempts – Scott is not a roster lock.

Which not surprisingly only motivates him more than ever.

"I have a lot of confidence in myself and if anything that brings out the best in me,” he said. "I’m never going to back down from a challenge, I’m never going to back down, regardless. 

"I don’t care when you were drafted, I don’t care what round, I don’t care what pick. That don’t matter to me. We’re all out here competing. But at the same time I love those guys. They’re all great dudes. I tell them all the time, ‘Let me be a resource for you. If there’s something you don’t understand in the playbook.’ Because I want everybody to be their best.”

Gainwell is coming off a big postseason, where he supplanted Sanders as the Eagles’ lead back. Penny is oft-injured but has the highest rushing average in NFL history by a running back with at least 300 carries. Swift is one of the NFL’s more accomplished receiving backs. Sermon was a 3rd-round pick just two years ago.

Scott knows what he’s up against.

"It’s a joy to watch them boys go to work every day,” Scott said. "Lotta, lotta talent. You can definitely see guys that have been able to produce in this league, and it’s cool because the standard is high, the competition is high, so we’re all going to get better as a result of it. It’s been really fun watching all them guys. Really great guys too.”

Scott has been told as long as he can remember he’s too short and too small. He was a walk-on at Louisiana Tech. He was a sixth-round pick. He’s been released five times by two teams. He's spent time on the Eagles' and Saints' practice squads.

Only six running backs in NFL history – including former teammate Darren Sproles – have had more scrimmage yards at 5-foot-6 or shorter.

It’s all shaped his approach to football and his incredibly positive attitude no matter what happens.

"I don’t think I’ve ever made it,” he said. "I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been a walk-on, but it’s like a blessing and a curse. I’ll always have that anxiety and that stress of, ‘I haven’t made it.’ I always think of it like I’m on the outside looking in. That’s how it’s always been. 

"It’s definitely driven me. A lot of it is positive intrinsic motivation, but there’s obviously that part of it that follows me every time I go into a training camp.”

Scott, 28, is a vested veteran now, and he’s made over $4 million in his career. His $1.85 million salary and $1.98 million cap figure for 2023 are highest among all Eagles running backs and add to the equation when figuring out which backs the Eagles will keep.

Scott doesn’t worry about any of it.

"If you’re showing up every day committed to your preparation and exhausting all options, whenever you’re done, you don’t really have a lot of regrets,” he said. 

"Yeah, you’ll miss it. You’ll miss the love of competition. You’ll miss the love of playing every Sunday. But at the end of the day, when you give all you got? I’m ready for whatever.”


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