New Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles is making a big impact in his first year with the team.
Darren Sproles is making a big impact with the Philadelphia Eagles.
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Sproles, who is in his first year with the team, is only 5'6", but has a penchant for coming up big in timely moments, per a Sept. 22 article by The Philadelphia Inquirer's Zach Berman:
"After each of Darren Sproles' two touchdowns with the Eagles this season, he pointed to the back of his jersey. Sproles wanted to send a message to those who undervalued him or underappreciated him: He turned his back on whoever turned their backs on him.
"'I'm just telling people that I still have it,' Sproles said. 'It's still me. That's the reason I do it.'
"The message is not just to the New Orleans Saints, who traded Sproles to the Eagles during the offseason. It's been a theme for much of Sproles' life as a football player.
"He never grew past 5-foot-6. A speech impediment made him reluctant to embrace public accolades. At 31, he's at an age that often sees a player begin to decline.
"Sproles has gained more all-purpose yards than any player since he entered the NFL in 2005. Every other player in the top 10 has been to at least two Pro Bowls, and the nine players have averaged 3.9 bids. Sproles has never been to one.
"'Someone like Darren, you can't put a value on what they bring to the team,' said former Pro Bowl running back LaDanian Tomlinson, an NFL Network analyst who was Sproles' teammate in San Diego. 'Think about it: What's New Orleans' record right now? They're 0-2. And don't say they're unfortunate. No. They miss that guy out of the backfield that presents matchup problems to the defenses...You can't value what he brings to the team because he's a jack-of-all-trades.'
"...When Sproles was asked about his time in the Big Easy, he smiled and said only that he still has a lot of friends there. But he was delighted to come to Philadelphia, where Kelly immediately praised Sproles' rushing ability.
"'In the (NFL), we like to categorize what players are,' Tomlinson said. 'But a guy like Darren Sproles? We can't value what he brings to the team. Because it's a little more than a running back, it's a little more than a receiver. Albeit differently, it's still a playmaker.'
"In the last two weeks, Sproles set a career record for receiving yards in a game and recorded his fifth-highest single-game rushing total. He has averaged 17 touches per game and led the NFL in all-purpose yards during the first two weeks. He was the NFC player of the week in Week 2, the first time he has won that award.
"'I'm back again having fun playing,' Sproles said.
"What more can he do? Safety Malcolm Jenkins, a teammate in New Orleans, said Sproles' only limit is the coach's creativity. Kelly's offense fits Sproles' skills, and Kelly is not worried about overuse because of the way Sproles is built. That means he could be pointing at the back of his jersey often in Philadelphia.
"'In this offense with Chip Kelly, if Darren Sproles is in space,' Tomlinson said, 'he's going to play like this a number of years to come.'"
In another development, Sproles is selling his selling his home in San Diego for $2.78 million, notes The San Diego Union-Tribune's Jonathan Horn:
"Former (San Diego) Chargers running back Darren Sproles has listed his Santaluz estate for $2.78 million.
"Sproles, who played for San Diego from 2005 to 2010, bought the 5,957 square-foot home in 2012 for $2.5 million. The property, listed Friday, has four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, a game room, pool, outdoor kitchen and courtyard with a fireplace.
"Sproles now plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, but he keeps his permanent home in San Diego. Listing agent Daniel Beer, who co-represented LaDanian Tomlinson for the recent sale of his Poway home, said Sproles and his wife Michel figured the regular season would be a good time to try to sell the 1.56-acre property.
"'It's their primary residence,' he said. 'Their main concern is just to get something out of it and moe on to the next thing and just make sure that they're able to get to where they want to be.'
"When he played for the Chargers, Sproles lived in a 5,600-square-foot home in the StoneBridge community of Scripps Ranch. He bought the property in Santaluz while he played for the New Orleans Saints.
"Earlier this year, the Saints traded Sproles to the Eagles. Soon after, Sproles listed his Metairie, La. home for $595,000 in September 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported."
The 31-year-old Sproles is in his 10th NFL season. He has amassed 5,915 all-purpose yards and 40 touchdowns in 125 career regular-season games through Sept. 22, per ESPN stats.
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