I was going to post this in other places but didn't want to hijack so I just started a thread on it. I don't understand everyone's preoccupation with having two similar backs on the same team. Seriously, if it works well for you to have one guy that runs a certain way, why wouldn't it work just as well if you have two? You just keep the same offense with two guys that remain fresher throughout the game. I understand there might be an added dimension with a speed guy and a bulldozer, but if it ain't broke don't fix it.
Sixxgunn wrote:I was going to post this in other places but didn't want to hijack so I just started a thread on it. I don't understand everyone's preoccupation with having two similar backs on the same team. Seriously, if it works well for you to have one guy that runs a certain way, why wouldn't it work just as well if you have two? You just keep the same offense with two guys that remain fresher throughout the game. I understand there might be an added dimension with a speed guy and a bulldozer, but if it ain't broke don't fix it.
Well the problem for some backs it takes quite a few carries to get into a groove and do well. They slowly break down the defense until they bust a big run to even out their stats. Plus, most RBs are unhappy splitting times with another back, and why spend twice the money if they are the same runner?
I think many coaches train their players to be conditioned so that they don't tire so easily. Also, I imagine many coaches like having different styles of RBs, because different RBs work better in different packages, different plays, etc. Being able to substitute your speedster RB for a bulldozer when you go into spread formation, and the defense will be in nickle or dime makes an audible for a RB dive a lot better looking. That sort of stuff.
If you are going to spend the money on 2 backs, why would you want two guys who are good in the same areas, and flawed in the same areas?
Isn't it better to cover all of your bases, by having guys who's abilities compliment each other, rather than overlap each other?
Dunn and Alstott worked very well together, because Warrick was able to stretch defenses, and catch screen passes out of the backfield, and Alstott was able to pick up the tough yards inside the 10... If you were to pair Alstott and Bettis, you would end up with two big guys who wore out by the end of the game, and did not cause defenses to respect the pass out of the backfield... And if you paired Dunn with Brian Westbrook, you'd end up in a lot of trouble inside the redzone... But pairing Dunn with Alstott, meant you were covered no matter what the defense threw at you....
I think that it allows for better performances by the backup RB when you have 2 RBs with different styles of running. This is mainly because teams prepare to defend the starter and so when the backup comes in and runs completely different, it allows him to do better than he might otherwise do. If you have the same type of RB, teams can prepare to play defense against only that type of runner and be effective against both. I think Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell were the perfect example this past year....Bell was best when he had limited carries because defenses got accustomed to defending Anderson and then Bell would come in and they would be caught off guard.
With two varying backs, you can go at the weakness of the defense no matter who you're playing. If you're playing a team who's solid between the tackles but lacks overall speed... you throw in your Warrick Dunn type to get outside. But if you're playing a speedster team with quick LBs then pound it inside with a Jerome Bettis type.
With the similar back approach, one week it may work if you have Warrick Dunn and Tiki Barber against that slow team that's solid between the tackles but the next week when you face the team with that quick defense, you're more likely to get shutdown than with the other approach.
I'm a fan of the same back/2 similiar backs because I think it makes it much, much easier for the OL. They get the timing down for one back, if you throw in another I think it throws that off and hurts the running game.
I definitely agree with the if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it principle. However, I do think that the chances of an RB combination not being broke are somewhat better if you have backs with different styles. Versatility is a good thing (although umphrey's point about the OL certainly is valid as well).