Aug 102010

August 10 Camden Courier-Post

“At 5-foot-9, 207 pounds, Eldra Buckley is the smallest of the seven running backs at Eagles‘ training camp.

But the second-year player out of Tennessee-Chattanooga continued to demonstrate the hybrid skills — a hard up-the-middle runner with open-field ability, too — that make him a potentially valuable Eagle. Buckley is also viewed as a special teams weapon.

He left an impression, and perhaps several indentations as well, in practice at Lehigh University during a steamy Monday morning.

“Very, very competitive, tough guy,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said of Buckley. “He has good feet and good vision when he’s asked to carry the football.”

Buckley had a busy session, stepping in for No. 1 running back LeSean McCoy when McCoy had trouble with the morning’s stifling heat.

“In this offense you have to be versatile,” Buckley said. “You have to be able to do everything.”

During one-on-one pass drills, Buckley, his dreadlocks flying from out beneath the back of his helmet, juked linebacker Jamar Chaney to spring free. Fans in the bleachers roared their approval.

In a different drill soon after, he leaped to catch a pass and was drilled by LB Ernie Sims. Buckley landed flat on his back but held onto the football. He was slow getting up.

“That’s the way we’re going to look!” one Eagle defender shouted as the defense celebrated Sims’ hit.

But a couple offensive linemen approached the defense, feeling they’d gone overboard. They made the motion of a referee throwing a penalty flag as they walked back toward the line of scrimmage.

“I was all right,” Buckley said. “I’ve been hit worse than that. I wasn’t mad about that. That’s how we play the game. You’ve got to practice hard. I didn’t mind.””

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