Indianapolis Colts Football

IN THIS DAY AND AGE OF THE NFL, MORE THAN ONE RUNNING BACK IS NEEDED

Posted by Kevin Bowen on May 24, 2013 – 7:40 am

The NFL is an ever-changing league.

New offensive and defensive schemes are implemented every year with trends and fads making for endless nights for coaches around the NFL.

One of those tendencies has caused for deeper and deeper backfields in the recent years.

Personnel departments all over the NFL know the need for more than one reliable threat in the running game and position coaches echo the same notion

“Most people are going to use two, if not three (running backs), unless you are fortunate enough to coach in Minnesota where you give one guy (Adrian Peterson) the ball the majority of the time,” Colts running backs coach David Walker said earlier this week.

Last season the Colts utilized a trio of backs who carried the ball at least 32 times.

Player Carries Yards YPC Touchdowns
Vick Ballard 211 814 3.9 2
Donald Brown 108 417 3.9 1
Delone Carter 32 122 3.8 3

Injuries late in the season forced Walker to rely heavily on Vick Ballard and while the rookie was extremely productive, his running backs coach knows that for long-term success a stable of runners is needed.

“We’ve got a group of guys that have different skill sets but within the realm of offense, they all can be solid contributors,” Walker said.

“So whenever your number is called, be ready to contribute and play to a high standard. We don’t really look to what guys can’t do, we look to what guys can do and put them into situations where they can have success.”

In 2012, Brown began the season as the starter but a knee injury forced Ballard into the No. 1 role, where he thrived.

Walker knows that the guy who is getting 20+ carries in September might not be in the fold later in the season.

It’s life in the NFL and to prepare for that Walker feels the Colts have a trio of established backs that will each hear their number called in 2013.

“We’ve got a good group and really we’ve got to continue to develop the third guy because just like last year and the season before, at some point, whoever is third on our depth chart is going to be starting a football game and helping us have to win,” Walker said.

“What we realize is we’re going to need three very capable backs to get us through the season.”


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