Eagles’ Jeff Stoutland deserves a ton of credit for historic rushing streak
The Eagles made history Tuesday night, becoming the first team since the Chicago Bears in 1985 to accumulate 175 yards or more in seven straight games.
The Bears had Walter Payton.
The Eagles have Jeff Stoutland.
That doesn’t diminish the contributions of Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell or any of the Eagles’ starting offensive linemen during that streak. They are the ones in the field, after all.
But more than any of them – and there are some good players out there – Stoutland is the star of the operation. And the fact that such a statement would bother him tells you everything you need to know.
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There’s a reason the 59-year-old offensive line coach has now served for three different head coaches in Philadelphia and continues to be held up. There’s a reason he wears the title of Running Match Coordinator in addition to his work as an offensive line coach. There’s a reason his players racked up six All-Pros and 17 Pro Bowl deals during his years at Philly.
There’s a reason Nick Sirianni earlier this month called Stoutland “the best offensive line coach I’ve ever been around.”
It’s because Stoutland is such a great coach. And the Eagles are so lucky to have him.
He was already one of the best coaches in the history of the Eagles before this historic race and he still cemented his legacy with it. In the last seven games the Eagles have suffered injuries to Sanders and Howard, they are on their third option at left guard and their fourth option at right guard.
Through it all, the way it works has not changed. The Eagles continue to race at will against their competition.
Tuesday night against Washington, after only a few days notice and without any training, the Eagles were forced to throw Sua Opeta to the left guard post in place of Landon Dickerson. That meant the Eagles used their seventh combination of different offensive lines this season to face the fifth-ranked NFL running defense.
It didn’t matter.
The Eagles still managed to run all over Washington, accumulating 238 yards on the ground.
Earlier in the season, the Eagles were a heavy passing offense until Sirianni realized running the ball was really the formula. Since then, no one can stop them. The Eagles lead the NFL with over 200 rushing yards this season with five and all five have come in that incredible seven-game streak.
When Sirianni was still in Indianapolis, he heard of the legend of Stoutland. Sirianni jokes that he thought he was Frank Reich’s favorite trainer until he heard him talk about Stout. So when Sirianni got hired in Philly it was obvious to keep him on staff.
And in the months that followed, Sirianni got a close, personal view to watch a master at work.
âNo detail is being overlooked,â Sirianni said last month. “For me Coach Stout is as advertised.”
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Stoutland is too passionate about his job and that’s why these details mean so much to him. That’s why he doesn’t just train Eagles newbies, but develops everyone from former giant rugby players to army graduates. Everyone gets better because everyone might need to play.
Ahead of the Jets game on December 5, Stoutland was not feeling well and had to be taken to a local North Jersey hospital for an assessment. But a little later he was there, back on the sidelines, leading the Eagles to another win behind an impressive floor performance.
âHe’s really important to this coaching staff and this team,â Sirianni said. âHe’s the best offensive line coach I’ve ever been around and he’s just excited that he’s here, that he’s healthy and that he’s on this staff.