They shared a backfield at Penn State for the last four years, now Miles Sanders and Trace McSorley have gone their separate ways.
The different paths they are now on, however, collided Monday and will do so again Tuesday as the Eagles and Baltimore Ravens practice together leading up to their preseason game on Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
Sanders is about to become one of the Eagles’ go-to-players out of the backfield as a running back. McSorley is trying to become the top backup to Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, but must beat out Joe Callahan and Robert Griffin, III, to do it.
PHOTO: Ravens QB Trace McSorley (left) and Eagles RB Miles Sanders
“It’s crazy,” said Sanders after the two teams went at it on a scorching hot day in South Philly. “I mean we were just teammates in college doing RPO plays and now we’re in the NFL doing all these plays that’s like a sentence long.
“But it’s a blessing all over for all the Penn State players on different teams seeing them ball out. Guys like (Eagles defensive end) Shareef (Miller), he’s doing good on this team. Trace is doing good, (cornerback) Amani (Oruwariye) is in Detroit, all those guys. It’s just a blessing. It’s really a blessing.”
VIDEO: Miles Sanders talks about the potential to start at RB
Sanders could end up the as the Eagles' starting tailback, if not Week One, then at some point during the season. He has that kind of ability.
“I’m coming here every day to work,” he said. “And if I get blessed enough to be the starter then I’m going to take full advantage of it and help this team to the best of my ability. Right now I’m just focused on getting better every day in this preseason.”
McSorley, for one, believes Sanders will eventually not only start, but construct a successful pro career.
“I don’t think people realize how strong the kid is,” said McSorley. “I saw a clip he was able to bounce it outside last week against the Jags, put his head forward and get an extra five, six yards. It’s those kinds of things that people don’t really realize how valuable that is for a team, how special that is. I think he’s an all-around back and people will fall in love with him for it.”
As for McSorley’s blossoming pro career, Sanders said nobody should count him out, even though he was drafted 197th overall by Baltimore.
“I don’t think it’s a secret but the guy’s a competitor, man,” said Sanders. “When he’s got something in front of him, I mean people have been doubting him all his life since Penn State. He’s going to work through that and he’s going to find a way to prove everybody wrong. That’s the thing about Trace that I love. That’s what made me comfortable in that backfield with him.”
Ronald Darby took part in 11-on-11 drills, a positive step as he makes his way back from ACL surgery last fall.
“I’m getting there,” said the cornerback. “I’m feeling a little stiff sometimes and that brace feels a little awkward, but I feel good.”
Darby is still practicing with a knee brace on. He doesn’t want to use it in games, however, when he does return.
“I’m not playing in it,” he said, “but now they want to play with it for a few weeks for safety reasons.”
Quote of the day
“These fans love you. They remind me of Penn State. A little crazier, but they remind me of Penn State. They’re diehard fans. They’re rough on you but they tell me as long as I show I’ve got heart then they’ll love me forever. But I love these fans.” – Eagles rookie running back Miles Sanders on Eagles fans.
- The Eagles added linebacker Chris Worley a day after they released veteran linebacker Paul Worrilow. Worley is 23 and played at Ohio State. He entered the league as an undrafted free agent, earning a spot on the Cincinnati Bengals’ practice squad. He was promoted for the Bengals’ final two games last year and made two tackles.
- Receiver Charles Johnson is day to day (ankle).