On an afternoon that will be remembered more for what the Colts did through the air rather than on the ground, 11 different players had a carry on Sunday against the Rams including five getting their first ever NFL rush.
Throughout training camp, the Colts have stressed the importance of establishing the run and keeping a balanced attack.
With 30 pass attempts and 32 rushes that is the type of balance the Colts will be looking for during the regular season.
The Colts have rotated six different running backs in training camp and for a rookie quarterback like Andrew Luck, a ground game you can count on can be your best friend.
“(The running backs) have been great all camp. They’ve showed they have a lot of juice during the game so they’ve been a lot of fun to play with,” Luck said.
In late June, the Colts added some much needed experience to the running back position by signing nine-year veteran Mewelde Moore.
The experience Moore brings to the running back position comes from his last four years of playing under current offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
It was that familiarity with Arians that brought Moore to Indianapolis.
“I think I have a good idea of what it is he wants to do and what he wants from me. The beauty of it is, it’s a variety of everything,” Moore said. “Being able to do a lot of jobs, a lot of tasks that he asks me to do. I’m more than equipped to be able to provide that. It’s just all about me going out there and doing what I’m being asked to do and execute.”
Moore had a solid first two weeks of training camp but he, along with running back Delone Carter, suffered a rib injury against the Rams on Sunday.
It is unsure how much time the two running backs will miss but that opens the door for more carries among the other backs.
“I mean you kind of hate to get (more reps) like that,” running back Darren Evans said. “Delone (Carter) is one of my good friends on the team and Mewelde’s (Moore) been a big help for me so I hate to see them go down like that. But it does open up opportunity.”
The NFL experience between the other five running backs on the Colts roster adds up to 10 years, just one more than Moore.
Along with his knowledge of Arians’ offense, it’s the other nuances of the running back position that Moore is trying to share with his younger teammates.
“I’ve been playing football for a while and the experience factor is a big key, especially in the third-down packaging, blitzes and recognizing what is going on, being able to give assistance in that type of thing,” Moore said.
Rookie running back Vick Ballard is the youngest player of the group, but he had a solid opener with six carries for 25 yards.
Ballard was a sixth round pick of the Colts in April’s NFL Draft and knows that even though his touches might not be what he had in college, he needs to be the same player that was a 1,000 yard rusher in the Southeastern Conference.
“I want to get the ball and I want to do well but at the same time I don’t want to play outside myself because that’s when you start making mistakes and stuff. Just try and do what got me here,” Ballard said.
Tags: Andrew Luck, Darren Evans, Delone Carter, Mewelde Moore, vick ballard
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