Eagle Profile: Ryan Moats

Posted Feb 16, 2006

Ryan Moats got an opportunity to prove himself when Brian Westbrook went down with an injury. Moats was impressive and showed that he has a future in the NFL. Is he ready to be a featured back for the Eagles? That may be a little premature.

Perhaps the most encouraging thing about Ryan Moats is that he knows he can be better and he's not afraid to do the hard work that it will take to be better. When watching Moats, words like "explosive" and "surprising" were thrown around quite a bit.

It could be that Moats is the player that benefitted the most from the rash of injuries to the Eagles offense. He showed that he can deliver, even though he needs more size and does still have those lessons to learn. When the season ended, Moats acknowledged his shortcomings and said that he would be doing a lot of work to get bigger and stronger, without losing that explosive burst that he delivers out of the backfield. He'll also work on learning the system better and it's likely that the Eagles will incorporate some plays into the offense to use Moats to the best of his abilities.

So, could Moats just step in as a replacement for Brian Westbrook? Let's not get too hasty. For now, Moats can help though by lessening the load on the injury prone Westbrook and picking up a chunk of his workload. Not since Correll Buckhalter in 2001, has an Eagles rookie rushed for over 100 yards in a game and there is no reason to think that Moats won't build on his rookie season. Odds are that the Eagles are best suited to have Westbrook and Moats working together in the backfield for at least a season and gauge where Moats is then.

One downfall of Moats' success is that he's likely to see less time on special teams in 2006. Special teams coordinator John Harbaugh loved having Moats on his unit because of his speed and his ability to make plays. Harbaugh may have to look elsewhere for help in that area.

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