PHILADELPHIA - For years coaches would say the same thing when outsiders questioned Darren Sproles' size.
'He's short, not small,' the response would be.
Boston Scott tried to capture that same sentiment when speaking about his own journey to the NFL on Wednesday.
"People say little, not small," Scott smiled when asked about his Olympic-style powerlifting background by SI.com's Eagle Maven and how it translates to the football field.
Anyone who met Sproles over the years understood the 'short but not small' narrative.
Pound for pound, Sproles was one of the most powerful players in the Eagles' weight room, arguably the most powerful and it showed in legs that best-resembled tree trunks, albeit stubby ones if you wanted to crack the obvious joke.
That power was the main reason Sproles turned into a borderline Hall of Famer as one of the NFL's best pass-catchers out of the backfield and return men over a 15-year career despite being just 5-foot-6.
Fast forward to the Eagles' current RB room and you have Scott, also listed at 5-6 but purportedly 5-7 according to a recent doctor's visit.
Scott, like Sproles before him and for a bit of an overlap in 2018 and 2019, is one of the most powerful Eagles' players.
Once a walk-on at Lousiana Tech, Scott understood he would have to bulk up from 175 pounds or so and he found refuge in the weight room, ultimately topping out as a guy who can squat 625 pounds, power clean 365 and bench press 425, numbers that few of the massive people trying to tackle him each week can match.
"The explosiveness of the lift itself is what translates to the game," said Scott. "It's all about fast-twitch fibers. How fast can you explode whether it's through the line, through a cut, laterally, whatever it may be? Whenever you're doing the lifts you have to engage your core, you have to engage all the lower extremities. Everything in your body that works."
Scott understood he would have to find a way to stand out.
"How explosive can you be?" he asked rhetorically. "I feel like [weightlifting has] really helped me. ... I knew when I came on as a walk-on [at Louisiana Tech] I was going to have to be exceptionally good in some areas - quickness, speed - and I was gonna do what I could to push that weight."
While Nick Sirianni's competition mantra is a bit overblown at many positions heading into the summer, RB2 isn't one of them as Howie Roseman has stocked the offseason roster with low-cost competition for Scott, which includes veterans like Jordan Howard and Kerryon Johnson, as well as fifth-round pick Kenny Gainwell.
The problem for Scott is the complement he provided for Miles Sanders isn't necessarily a yin and yang.
Like the Eagles' top RB, Scott was fine as an actual runner in 2020 but pass protection has been shaky and the receiving aspect could use improvement as well although Scott was certainly better than Sanders at that part of the game last season.
A long-shot coming into the league as an undersized sixth-round pick by New Orleans, Scott is already used to competing and pushing away competition much in the same way he pushes 400-or-so pounds off his chest.
"We're all competitive," Scott said of the RB room. "I mean we're concerned with one thing and that's being great, We all think of ourselves as starters. That's the kind of swagger that we have in that room and a work ethic that matches it.
"So each and every one of those guys, they show up every single day, ready to work, you know, and that only helps everybody in the room. With elite talent in the room, the standard is brought up for everybody so there's nothing but good things are gonna happen from competition."
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.