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Running Backs Dime A Dozen...

Postby madaslives911 » Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:55 am

Here's an interesting commentary...

Running Backs Dime A Dozen
Rushers Switching Teams Very Comparable, Not Among Elite

By Don Pierson
Chicago Tribune


CHICAGO - Running backs are scurrying from city to city in free agency's game of musical chairs.

The Broncos have decided they like Travis Henry better than Tatum Bell. The Ravens got Willis McGahee to replace Jamal
Lewis. The Bears seemed as pleased to subtract Thomas Jones
as the Jets were to add him.

The Packers didn't seem any more worried about losing Ahman
Green than the Bills were about losing McGahee, even though
neither team has much of a clue yet about who its next feature
back will be.

The question is whether it will make any difference.
The aforementioned six backs gained between 990
and 1,211 yards last season, a difference of 14 yards a game.
They averaged between 3.6 and 4.5 yards per carry.
They scored between two and nine touchdowns.
They range in age from 26 to 30.

Basically they are a dime a dozen, or in this case
a nickel a half dozen, even though their multimillion-dollar
signing bonuses in the first week of free agency don't reflect it.

None of them is among the elite category of runners:
LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry Johnson, Frank Gore, Tiki Barber,
Steven Jackson, all 1,500-yards-plus producers.
Gore, Tomlinson and Barber averaged more than
five yards per carry.

Barber retired, leaving the Giants with only Brandon Jacobs,
so they joined the initial rush of rushers Friday by acquiring
journeyman Reuben Droughns from Cleveland,
who two days earlier signed ex-Raven Lewis.

The Patriots released Corey Dillon and thus joined the Bills,
Packers, Titans and Bears as teams that lost their No. 1 rusher
and have not yet added a replacement, although the Patriots
have Laurence Maroney and the Bears have Cedric Benson
already on their rosters.

The Super Bowl champion Colts watched Dominic Rhodes leave
for Oakland, breaking up the effective Super Bowl duo of Rhodes
and Joseph Addai that ran over the Bears. The Colts got along
just fine without star running back Edgerrin James last season,
so they don't seem concerned even with a below-average crop
of running backs expected out of the April 28-29 draft.

What looked like a developing NFL trend toward shared running duties is at least temporarily sidetracked with Jones leaving the
Bears, Rhodes leaving the Colts and Dillon leaving the Patriots.

Jones and Benson didn't like sharing the load, and no team can
afford top dollar for two runners. But rookie Leon Washington led
the Jets in rushing with 650 yards in 151 carries, almost identical
to Benson's 647 in 157, so it's probable that Jones will be asked
to share duties again. His new $12 million signing bonus will help
him accept it.

Only 10 backs in the league carried more than 300 times last
year: the five 1,500-yarders plus Pittsburgh's Willie Parker,
Cincinnati's Rudi Johnson, Arizona's James, Baltimore's Lewis
and Minnesota's Chester Taylor.
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Postby mattb47 » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:24 am

Am I the only one who finds this logic faulty:

But rookie Leon Washington led
the Jets in rushing with 650 yards in 151 carries, almost identical
to Benson's 647 in 157, so it's probable that Jones will be asked
to share duties again.


So because Leon Washington had similar numbers to Benson from last season....it means that it's now probable that Jones will split with Washington? :-?
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Postby Flux » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:13 pm

mattb47 wrote:Am I the only one who finds this logic faulty:

But rookie Leon Washington led
the Jets in rushing with 650 yards in 151 carries, almost identical
to Benson's 647 in 157, so it's probable that Jones will be asked
to share duties again.


So because Leon Washington had similar numbers to Benson from last season....it means that it's now probable that Jones will split with Washington? :-?


Yeah that made no sense...

Washington LED his team in rushing yds, Benson did not, TJ did.

What is this dude talking about? ;-7
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Postby deerayfan072 » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:17 pm

mattb47 wrote:Am I the only one who finds this logic faulty:

But rookie Leon Washington led
the Jets in rushing with 650 yards in 151 carries, almost identical
to Benson's 647 in 157, so it's probable that Jones will be asked
to share duties again.


So because Leon Washington had similar numbers to Benson from last season....it means that it's now probable that Jones will split with Washington? :-?


He is using flawed logic, sadly it happens all the time in these types of articles and people believe it :-/
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Postby Kilroy » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:36 pm

deerayfan072 wrote:
mattb47 wrote:Am I the only one who finds this logic faulty:

But rookie Leon Washington led
the Jets in rushing with 650 yards in 151 carries, almost identical
to Benson's 647 in 157, so it's probable that Jones will be asked
to share duties again.


So because Leon Washington had similar numbers to Benson from last season....it means that it's now probable that Jones will split with Washington? :-?


He is using flawed logic, sadly it happens all the time in these types of articles and people believe it :-/


You can find a stat to "support" any half-a**ed theory if you look hard enough.
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Postby Santacruzer » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:10 pm

I don't think his theory is that flawed.

What I think he was trying to say is that Leon was quite productive with the amount of action he saw last year, and should be able to repeat those same numbers if given the same (average) number of carries.

On the other side, the Jets should expect to see similar numbers from Jones if his backup is effective with about 10 touches a game.

I don't think it would be out of the question to see Leon do better than he did last year, and Jones should be just as good as he was, so why wouldn't it be a "shared duty" situation?
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Postby mattb47 » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:17 pm

Santacruzer wrote:I don't think his theory is that flawed.

What I think he was trying to say is that Leon was quite productive with the amount of action he saw last year, and should be able to repeat those same numbers if given the same (average) number of carries.

On the other side, the Jets should expect to see similar numbers from Jones if his backup is effective with about 10 touches a game.

I don't think it would be out of the question to see Leon do better than he did last year, and Jones should be just as good as he was, so why wouldn't it be a "shared duty" situation?


The only reason they used multiple backs last year is because they didn't have a back they felt could handle the load and produce well on a consistent basis. They now have that back in Thomas Jones and I don't think you'll see any back take any more carries than a normal backup would to spell the starter.

You cannot backup the logic that because two guys had similar stats that the same back will be used in the same way with both of them. They aren't even the same kind of RB, Benson is a big powerful runner while Washington is more of a speed guy and doesn't compliment Jones quite so well. I could see Houston getting some work possibly because he compliments Jones better, but I really don't see Washington factoring in as much as people think.
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Postby Santacruzer » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:58 pm

I do think that Jones will be the guy in NY, but with Leon being slightly more than the occasional spell-back.

But I feel that if Leon is given the opportunity to get about 8-10 carries a game (which is not out of the question) could thrive given his explosiveness.

I can't see Leon being any threat to Jones' starting job, but a very good addition that could find a way to get into the game more often than not.
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