A look at a handful of running backs (beyond the obvious ones) to decide whether they make me want to say: Really??? Or, really!!!
I don’t know why there’s been any buzz around Jackson’s move to Atlanta. Pick a reason. The steady decline in his numbers (his rushing yards have decreased by an average of more than 100 yards per year since 2009), joining a pass-happy team with multiple elite receivers, or the younger option in
Jacquizz Rodgers lurking in the background hungry for carries. Not to mention the fact that the team has come out and said that we won’t see him much in the preseason so we don’t know fully the extent that they will use him once the regular season rolls around.
Steven Jackson. Really???
The Cleveland Browns took a chance on Richardson last year. The rookie had arthroscopic surgery in his knee in February of 2012 then having the same surgery in August in the same knee for “unrelated” reasons. Two knee surgeries, albeit minor, before ever playing a down in the NFL. As such, I steered clear of him last year because knee surgery for a running back makes me say “no thank you” (unless you’re superhuman, see
Adrian Peterson). He proved me wrong, totaling 1,317 all-purpose yards last year, missing only the last game of the year when others were sitting out. This year, they fear that his shin bruise could turn into a stress fracture (remember Kevin Ware’s gruesome injury from a stress fracture in the NCAA tournament last year?). So, yeah.
Trent Richardson. Really???
Any running back in Denver
Coach John Fox apparently needs running back rehab, because he has an addiction to collecting them. Last year, I had high hopes for
Ronnie Hillman, even as a rookie in yet another pass-heavy offense. Leave it to Fox to be schizophrenic when it comes to the position, weaving a tangled web with a running back by committee situation. It’s great if you’re a Broncos fan, whichever back gets in there will have fresh legs. It’s nerve racking for fantasy football. Take a look at the Carolina Panthers. They still don’t know what to do with all the guys he collected when he was there. When there are way too many guys, I’ll look elsewhere first. A sure fire starter, even a lower tier one, will at least offer some consistency.
The New England Patriots as a whole are a mess.
Wes Welker and
Brandon Lloyd are gone,
Julian Edelman is questionable to start the season, Rob Gronkowski is recovering from yet another surgery, and, in case you live under a rock, there’s that other tight end they cut. They do still have Stevan Ridley, but I think Vereen has the potential to benefit the most from the uncertainty of their personnel this year. They did add
Danny Amendola, but I equate playing in New England to being in a high school click. You almost have to earn your way in. And if you say anything negative or cause any kind of commotion, they stop throwing you the ball to teach you a lesson – see
Chad Johnson (okay they weren’t throwing him the ball anyway, but see what I mean, he didn’t make it into the click).
Shane Vereen. Really!!!
Mendenhall is reunited this year with his old offensive coordinator in Bruce Arians as the new head coach. He has had some injury woes in the past, but I think that’s behind him. He’s also the clear starter. Who’s going to challenge him,
Ryan Williams or a carousel of rookies? The Arizona Cardinals have a shot this year of having multiple players worth drafting. With the acquisition of
Carson Palmer, they are a legitimate force in the passing game, and, with Mendenhall in the mix, they are no longer one-dimensional (see,
Rashard Mendenhall. Really!!!
This has the potential to become another running back by committee situation, but I don’t think so. I think someone will emerge as the clear starter and that person could easily be
Daryl Richardson is, for some reason, the front runner so far, even though he was only used in a situational setting last year.
Isaiah Pead is next in line, but he fumbled twice on only 10 carries last year and is suspended for the first game of the season. I’ve absolutely been wrong before, but Stacy is the kind of guy I like because I just feel it in my gut (as a later-round pick).
Zac Stacy. Really!!!