Former Packer Levens content in Philly

Dorsey Levens has been on this stage before. This time, though, Levens isn't a marquee player.

Levens is a backup running back on the Philadelphia Eagles, who play the New England Patriots in Sunday's Super Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. Unlike his first two Super Bowls with the Packers, Levens isn't being asked to carry the load, or even move the chains on a consistent basis.

"No matter what, I can get you 2 yards. ... If you need 1, I'll get you 2. If you need 2, I'll get you 2. If you need 3, I'll get you 2. But I'm guaranteed to get you 2 no matter what," Levens told New Jersey's Newsday.

Levens is being modest. Still, it's a far cry from when Levens was a dominant force in the backfield, paired with Edgar Bennett during the Packers' first Super Bowl run and then running the show during the Packers' second consecutive trip to the championship game.

During the 1996 season while Bennett's backup, Levens rushed 121 times for 566 yards, averaged 4.7 yards per rush and scored five touchdowns. The next year, with Bennett on injured reserve, Levens started all 16 games and put together one of the finest seasons in team history. He rushed 329 yards for 1,435 yards, averaged 4.4 yards per rush and scored seven touchdowns. He added 53 catches and scored another five touchdowns.

That would be the pinnacle for Levens, though. He played in just seven games in 1998, rushed for 1,034 yards in 1999, and played in five games in 2000. Ahman Green burst onto the scene for the Packers during the 2000 season, and by 2002, Levens landed in Philadelphia for a season.

After a bitter 2003 season in the doghouse of former Giants coach Jim Fassel — Levens was No. 4 on the depth chart and wanted to be released, but Fassel held onto him — Levens was released by new Giants coach Tom Coughlin during the 2004 training camp when Coughlin decided to go with Ron Dayne as the primary backup to Tiki Barber.

He latched on with the Eagles again after Correll Buckhalter was injured during training camp, and has thrived in his part-time role behind explosive Brian Westbrook. He has rushed 94 times for 410 yards and has scored four touchdowns. He added another score against the Falcons in the NFC championship game when he bulled his way into the end zone from 4 yards for the game's first touchdown.

After years of being the focal point of the running game, Levens said he's content playing second fiddle to Westbrook.

"I'm cool with it," Levens said. "You have to be realistic. I'm 34. I'm probably not even supposed here."

He may not be there in 2005. Levens is concluding his 11th season in the league. He says retirement is an option if the Eagles win the championship Sunday.

"I think 12 is a nice, even number, but if we win, it would be a lot easier to walk away," Levens said.


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