Evander Holyfield’s son, Elijah, looking to make a name for himself at Eagles training camp
It’s in every NFL coach’s best interest to avoid making Elijah Holyfield’s father angry, but in terms of the former Georgia running back’s chances of making the Eagles’ roster for Week 1, Philadelphia RB coach Duce Staley likes his chances.
Staley is one of the more respected offensive coaches in the league, so when he praises a potential bell-cow, the organization listens. The longtime Eagles running back can tell Holyfield has what it takes to make the jump to the next level, even though he was undervalued in his draft class.
Can Elijah Holyfield make the Eagles roster?
“I like where he is. He’s hungry. He’s out to prove to everybody, all the doubters at least, he’s out to prove to them that he can play,” Staley said.
Holyfield went undrafted after a brutal NFL Combine, and spent all of last season on the Carolina Panthers practice squad. Now without a chance to prove himself in any preseason games, Holyfield needs to defy the odds, finally stepping out of the shadows as he did at Georgia when he backed up both Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.
“One of the things that we’ve seen from many players, and those of you that study this game for a very long time, you have guys that run slow with the 40, but then you have guys that play fast,” Staley said. “So you have to look a little deeper. Does he play fast or does he play like the 40 he ran? That’s how I started studying these players and I’ve been doing that for a while and that’s how he see some of these players.”
Holyfield’s 4.79 40-yard dash time has followed him early in his NFL career, but as Staley said, if given the opportunity the son of a heavyweight champion will get a chance to prove if he’s more than just a slow running back prospect, and if he’s due a chance to finally step out from the background.