Now the clear-cut third running back on the Eagles roster, Chris Polk is changing his body to take advantage of his opportunity to win a role in Chip Kelly’s new offense. Kelly said he was fond of Polk’s running style while the two were in the Pac-10, and Polk is excited to play for Kelly.
Last offseason, the Eagles entertained the idea of putting Polk at fullback, and he looked very, very thick at training camp. According to Comcast SportsNet Eagles Insider Geoff Mosher, Polk has gotten his weight to 210 pounds, down from the 220s he played in last year.
Polk is a bruising between-the-tackles runner who seeks out contact. He can catch the ball out of the backfield and has the ability to make people miss. He doesn’t have enough straight-line speed to be a home run threat, but he could be effective running Kelly’s infamous inside zone read play.
If the Eagles draft another runner in two weeks, expect Polk to play sparingly. If, however, he remains the third back, he could carry the ball more than expected. Bryce Brown’s fumbling issues could lead him to the doghouse, and while LeSean McCoy has done an excellent job of avoiding the injury bug in his career, running backs go down often in the NFL. Expect Chip Kelly to get at least two backs heavily involved in the offense, so Polk could play an expanded role from last year, especially if he keeps his body in tip-top shape.