Buckhalter back and ready for action

Ladies and Gentlemen, Correll Buckhalter is back in action. After his rookie season, many were expecting Buck to wrest the starting running back spot from Duce Staley, fairly high expectations for a 24 year old entering his second NFL season. But with the combination of power and speed that he showed in his rookie campaign, along with superb field vision, it seemed as if the sky was the limit for his potential. But those expectations all came to a halt on a dark day last spring.

That was when Buck tore his anterior cruciate ligament during a mini-camp, in which the drills were non-contact. This was a devastating blow to the entire Eagles organization and their fans, as a potential star in the making would be out for a potentially long time. That potentially long time turned out to be 15 months. He recovered quicker than people expected however, and was back practicing with the Eagles during their stretch run. Those practices did many things for Buckhalter, including get him back in playing shape and helping him learn the complex West Coast Offense even more. But the most valuable experience he could have gained in those practices was just getting his confidence to where it was in his rookie season, when he was looked upon as The Next Great Thing.

After over a year of rehabilitating his injury, Buck is back, and hopefully better than we have ever seen him. And if that is true, then we can also expect an increase upon his record-setting rookie season numbers (586 yards was an Eagles rookie rushing record). And maybe, just maybe, we can expect to see Buckhalter in the starting lineup. It may be too much to ask of him at this early stage in his career, taking over as the starter, because he hasn't been number one on the depth chart since high school. In college at the University of Nebraska, he was behind Ahman Green as well as Dan Alexander, both of whom are in the NFL now.

However, that doesn't mean he is not and won't be as good as either of them. In fact, if Buck were truly back to full strength, his numbers would put Alexander's (Dan, not Shaun) to shame. And with more experience under his belt, maybe Correll will even perform on the level that Ahman Green is performing on right now. But who knows? In fact, we are not even sure that Buck will be as good as before, and if history has any indication, we won't see Buck at his best until next year. But with the confidence given to him by Andy Reid, and the plethora of talent around him to make his job easier, it is likely that the true Buck will be back this year.


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