Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

13 Jul 2006

FO Ranks All 32 Teams on FOX: Running Backs

We continue our unit-by-unit ranking of all 32 NFL teams with a look at the running back position. The top two teams will surprise nobody, but the third could spur some debate. Good information in here from the FO game charting project regarding which teams use their fullbacks most in the running game.

Posted by: Tim Gerheim on 13 Jul 2006

72 comments, Last at 29 Aug 2006, 11:00am by zlionsfan

Comments

1
by Phil (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 1:07pm

RE: Pitt.
Is Parker going to be the starter once the season begins? I figured that honor would go to a healthy Duce.

2
by centrifuge (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 1:19pm

2 completely average backs and one back of uncertain ability gets you...#28 of 32? Did the definition of "average" change when I wasn't looking? Or are we assuming that LenDale White will, in fact, be bad?

3
by PackMan (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 1:35pm

Why did the Packers resign Ahman Green? He is average at best, now that their all-pro O-line is gone, and is hurt more than Steve McNair. I believe they just gave him a 1 year deal, to provide depth. But why not draft someone?

4
by Rob Z. (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 1:48pm

Charger fans still feel San Diego has the best backfield in the game, but #2 aint all that bad.

This year will prove who the better back is when the Seahawks play the Chargers!

5
by Drew (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 1:49pm

Re 3

That's not a fair assessment. No one is hurt more than Steve McNair.

6
by Moses (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 1:57pm

I think you did a fairly good job on this article. But there are some quibbles that make me wonder.

Your Top-10 pick of the Ravens is mystifying as Lewis clearly doesn't run like he used to run. This is a "shying from contact" issue, a serious problem for a bruiser like Lewis, and not just the fault of the Ravens o-line (which isn't that great). And Anderson is more of a system product than a talent than, let's say a Portis who was a talent in a good system.

Another quibble is giving the Cards credit for being able to run with a line as bad as thiers. There is not a player on their o-line I'd take on my team. Even their new draftee Latui shouldn't give anyone any confidence that he's going to fix it. Latui was strong for a college guard, but highly limited as an athlete, even for a guard, and reminds me a lot of the Bills flop at OT - Williams - big, fat, stiff, poor feet. Honestly, I'm getting sick and tired of the Cardinals getting credit until they actually accomplish anything but look good in the swimsuit competition.

I also think you're really slamming the Colts unjustly. They're a much better run blocking line than people give them credit for. Also, as we know, James managed to come right in and start as a rookie and was #1 back in rushing in the NFL his rookie year and 2nd in the NFL in DPAR according to your own site in the second. I think this helps show that you're being excessively skeptical for Addai's/Indy's chances.

7
by Drew630 (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 1:58pm

First, if the Ravens were unable to shelf an ineefective Jamal lewis for taylor, then is there really any indicator that Anderson will get the majority of the carries, barring a Lewis injury? Billick seems loyal to a fault to Lewis.
Second, while an injury to westbrook would really suck, using Ryan moats behind a healthy o-line with McNabb as QB wouldn't be that big of a drop. Yes Westbrook is talented, but Moats did Ok as a rookie, especailly when half of the offense had similar amounts fo experience. I think of Moats as maybe Westbrook-lite.

8
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 2:03pm

Re: 2

It depends on whether the average is of 'all RBs' or the subset of 'starting RBs'. Think of a typical team having three RBs, a starter (above average), a primary reserve (average), and secondary reserve (below average). If your starter (getting the bulk of work) is only average, then your group of RBs is probably going to be worse than the 'typical' team.

9
by John A (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 2:09pm

No one is hurt more than Steve McNair...

Kellen Winslow?

10
by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 2:14pm

Please send a copy of this to Marvin Lewis before both Steelers games. In three games last year against the Steelers Rudi Johnson carried the ball 12, 21 and 13 times. Coincidentally, the middle game on my list was the one that the Bengals won. (and no, he wasn't getting stuffed in the other two games. yds/carry average of 5.42 and 4.31 in those games)

11
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 2:22pm

Another quibble is giving the Cards credit for being able to run with a line as bad as thiers.

The article is rating RBs, not running offenses.

12
by Israel (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 2:39pm

Don't third down backs count in this analysis?

13
by NedNederlander (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 2:48pm

Correll Buckhalter will never play a full NFL season unless the nymph Thetis dips him in the river Styx — and even then he would probably still hurt his ankle.

Actually, Buckhalter would have to injure his heel ...

14
by PackMan (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 2:53pm

9. Corey Dillon last year?
But I guess it just seemed like it since he was on my fantasy team, and was listed as probable every game, but wouldn't ever play.

15
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 2:56pm

Nice Colbert reference...

16
by Drew (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 2:58pm

Re 9

OK, I'll give you that one, on a percentage basis. But on an aggregate basis, McNair still wins.

17
by Jason (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 3:00pm

Don't agree with the criticism of Ryan Moats on the Eagles. What they did learn last year is that he was slow in picking up the system, as evidenced by a few painful missed blocks last season. However, he did show quite a bit of talent and they do plan on relying on him heavily this year, probably in a 3-headed role of Westbrook-Moats-Perry/Buckhalter. The hard part about giving up on Buckhalter was demonstrated by what happened with Derrick Burgess. He was another player plagued by multiple season ending injuries that they let go and then he exploded elsewhere.

18
by Wes (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 3:12pm

RE4:

When SD and Seattle play, it will not decide who has the better RB. You can't judge backs based on one game, except for maybe huge playoff games. If anything, it will show who has the better run defense, seeing as both backs are phenomenal.

19
by Andy (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 3:20pm

re 1,

Parker is the starter. Don't forget he had 1400 all-purpose yards and a near 5 ypc his first year as a starter.

20
by Daniel (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 3:39pm

I have to agree with these rankings, and I understand that this is a list of RB corps. But it seems that the common denominator for most of the high ranking teams is a solid o-line. I just wonder if the Colts are ranked lower than they should be, and if the Seahawks rushing attack might drop a notch with the loss of Hutchinson?

21
by Rob Z. (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 3:55pm

#18 seahawks went to the Superbowl, had a potential DROY in Lofa, and added more to their defense this year. I think it would be a great match-up and the better back will carry his team to victory.

22
by Nate (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 4:12pm

[Adrian Peterson] led all backs with at least 75 carries in rushing DVOA.
Sweet, I'm convinced the guy should be starting somewhere - maybe my favorite player. I feel almost bad for him that he he signed a 3 year deal at the league minimum with only a $1M signing bonus.

23
by Oswlek (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 4:32pm

I think that article is about as close to a "correct" listing as I've ever seen. That said, I do have a few minor quibbles:

* I have a higher opinion of Greg Jones than you do. I personally would have Jacksonville's RBs no lower than 20, maybe even as high as 15.

* I know that brevity is important to an article like that, but I think you go over Davenport and Gado's comtributions to GB last year a little too quickly. Davenport broke his leg in a game that he was dominant and Gado was decent. Having a #3 that was decent as a starter when the offense is missing half it's receivers and a few OLs is pretty good. I would rate them higher, even if we assume Green is nearly done.

* I don't see at all how TNs RBs are any worse than Indy's. In fact I would have TN above Indy; Brown and Henry IMO are better than Rhodes and Mungro and both rookies are potential at this point.

* I would drop NE just a few slots. I'm not too sure that Dillon's breakdown isn't going to continue to be a problem.

24
by matt r (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 5:22pm

again, not to harp on a bad team at the bottom of the rankings, but...

first of all, you guys thought kevin jones was the second coming of billy sims last season, but he had an off year and you flush him. is he as terrific as he looked in the second half of 2004? maybe not. is he as average as he looked last season? i say no (and i think you would, too, to be honest). he's somewhere between, but that's certainly better than near the bottom of the league.

as you point out, however, the key at rb is depth - and i thought the lions backups last year were pretty good. not great, but you didn't feel like they had no chance to move the ball if they were in there...

and most egregiously, you don't even mention brian calhoun! this guy was GOOD last season - good speed, terrific out of the backfield - exactly the kind of guy that mike martz likes. is he marshall faulk? well, duh. but write it down - he's going to be very productive in this offense.

25
by admin :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 5:36pm

Just to make it clear, there's no big deal if anyone quibbles with a few of these rankings. So do each of us.

Each of these lists was drawn up by the author of the specific article, then circulated around to the staff. Everyone made comments, which the author used to revise the list, but the final order and comments are the opinion of the author of each specific position. (For my QB article, for example, there were arguments both to make the Eagles higher and to make them lower, and the final ranking was up to me.)

For those curious, the articles will come two a week throughout July and early August in this order:

WR/TE: Ned Macey
OL: Doug Farrar
DL: Michael David Smith
LB: Mike Tanier
SEC: Bill Moore
ST: Mike Tanier
Coaching Staff: Michael David Smith

By the way, the list of similar two-year RB to Kevin Jones is awful, full of guys who never matched their rookie years, like Anthony Thomas and John Stephens. It seriously made me depressed.

26
by Are-Tee (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 5:51pm

"Derrick Blaylock failed to accomplish much of anything in his first year with the team, and rookie Cedric Houston was mediocre"

Well, in all fairness, Blaylock might have accomplished more if he hadn't missed 9 games with a broken foot and if Edwards had given him more than 2 carries a game. And Houston looked OK considering the decimated offensive line he had in front of him.

27
by ben (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 6:18pm

21:

It will be a good matchup for sure. One reason is that both teams (according to DVOA) are above average against the run but below average against the pass. Unfortunately (as a Chargers fan), this would seem to indicate a game going to be decided by the qbs, and right now I'd definitely take Hasselbeck over Rivers. Hopefully if this happens the media doesn't take it as conclusive proof that Alexander is better than Tomlinson.

28
by Dave (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 6:32pm

The Seahawks offense as a whole may have done well against Washington, but I thought this was RB rankings??? Before he got knocked out, Alexander had 9 yards on 6 carries. Morris, "playing the lions share," had 2.7 yards per carry. Sure...one 32 yard run by Strong, but that game was nothing to crow about for the Seattle running backs.

29
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 6:41pm

Why always with the NFC north jokes, it has been going on for years despite the fact that they are usually 5 or 6 of 8 under traditional ranking schemes and about the same in DVOA past two years from what I remember. Yes DET is a joke, but every division has their joke team almost.

30
by Marr (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 6:41pm

That was a superlative article. The combination of Football Outsiders and Fox is simply superlative.

Superlative, superlative, superlative.

That is all.

31
by emcee fleshy (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 6:46pm

The Jets' B.J. Askew is lucky to be in New York instead of, say, Atlanta . . .

because I think B.J. Askew is, technically, still illegal in Georgia.

32
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 6:54pm

I'd take LT, Turner, and Sproles over Shaun, Morris, and some guy (who is their third RB anyway?) any day of the week.

LT and Shaun have both been starters for five seasons, and both have rushed for 1500 yards a season. Shaun's been a little better lately at running (partly because Tomlinson played through some injuries in 2004). On the other hand, LT's always been far, far superior as a receiver. Additionally, Shaun has had the best consensus T and G in the game. To me, LT's still the better back.

Furthermore, the Chargers' backups are great. I like Turner a whole lot. He's always been really good, not just in that game against the Colts. Then there's Sproles, who's incredibly explosive, a decent receiver, and an awesome kick returner.

I think LT is slightly better than Shaun, and the Chargers' backups are clearly superior. Maybe that's just me.

33
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 7:20pm

Re #4: This year will prove who the better back is when the Seahawks play the Chargers!
Why, are the other 52 players taking the day off?

Re #6: And Anderson is more of a system product than a talent than, let’s say a Portis who was a talent in a good system.

I've watched a lot of Denver football, and I definitely DO NOT think that Anderson was a "system back". Droughns and Gary were system backs. Droughns and Gary, not coincidentally, both had negative DVOAs when they were the starters. Mike Anderson, in his two seasons as a starter, ranked 8th and 5th in DVOA. Portis, in his 2 years, ranked 6th and 5th in DVOA. While age is definitely a concern with Mike Anderson, talent most certainly is not.

34
by Insancipitory (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 8:07pm

Re Dave, 28,
Mo had better stats than Clinton Portis. In fact, as long as we're using that game as the yardstick, you should feel comfortable declaring Maurice Morris better than Portis. I'm not so sure I'd personally make that claim, but as a Seahawks homer, I don't think I'd object to it. :)

Re Yaguar, 32,
Marquis Weeks is the 3rd Running back, followed by Josh Scobey follwed by Jimmy Dixion (not of LA Stallions fame). But it should be noted one of Mack Strongs' heir apparents Leonard Weaver (as well as Weeks) busted a few defender ankles in the 2005 pre-seasion. As for Shaun's recieving numbers, that appears to be more a result of the improvement in line play, they don't have to use the screen to spring him like they once did. He's just not used as a reciever as much, and I seriously doubt it has to do with him being ineffective in that capacity particularly given his earlier numbers.

Overall, they seem almost interchangable, particularly if one drops Shaun's 2000 season. The difference is a modest advantage to Tomlinson as a reciever, and QB, with a slightly more modest advantage to Alexander running, and then TDs.

Back to back 1,600+ yard 20+ TD seasons, 5 straight 15+ TD seaons. LaDainian is obviously quite the talent, but until Shaun missteps, LaDanian will be following in those footsteps.

35
by Michael (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 9:15pm

The niners should at least be in the top 20 frank gore if he doesnt get hurt will be a 1,000 yard runner. Kevan Barlow could run for at least 500 yards so could Maurice Hicks. Any of these running backs could be starters and for them to be #29 thats absurd....

36
by Sean D. (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 9:32pm

Re: 24

I was also going to mention that Calhoun got no love despite being a day 1 pick. Maurice Drew of Jacksonville gets no love either, although somehow Jerius Norwood got mentioned despite being picked 5 picks after Calhoun and 19 picks after Drew.

37
by Sean D. (not verified) :: Thu, 07/13/2006 - 9:35pm

Re: 34
What are these "yards" and "TDs" you speak of. Could you please translate into DPAR and DVOA? Thanks :)

38
by usedbread (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 12:09am

#25 - thanks for making me remember john stephens, star of tecmo super bowl for nes. *wipes a tear from eye*

39
by mattman (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 5:05am

Re: 17

I have high hopes for Moats, but he's got a whole lot to prove before he's the equal of Brian Westbrook. It's easy to ignore that Westbrook is outstanding at blitz pickup, never fumbles, and of course is the premiere pass-catching back in the NFL. Moats showed some real promise running the football last season, but he fumbled I believe 3 times in only 55 carries - that's going to have to improve. He also caught only four passes for seven yards - is that even possible for a running back in an Andy Reid offense? He's got a long ways to go before becoming a complete back. Personally, I expect a breakout for Moats akin to Westbrook's second year, but he's a major question mark for now.

40
by James, London (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 7:23am

"No one is hurt more than Steve McNair…

Kellen Winslow? "

Ladies and Gentlemen, you winner is....

Bennie Joppru.

And just how high is KUBIAK on Ronnie Brown? 18th seems high for a team with a 2nd year back who split time in his rookie season and who is backed up by a group of who-dats. If Brown is injured, it'll get ugly fast in Miami. Remember 2004?

41
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 11:22am

Kudos on the design update.

42
by Jason (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 11:46am

Yeah, the snarkiness about Manning was really professional. His "chicken dance" has done more to make the Colts' offense go than anything else.

But I guess it's easier to make the same shallow stupid "commentary" than it is to praise him in any way, eh?

43
by Todd S. (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 12:06pm

#42 Good call. If you hang around this site long enough you'll see nothing but constant dissing of Manning by the authors. Do you realize they didn't even rate his 2004 season as the best ever?! They obviously hate the Colts!

44
by turbohappy (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 12:47pm

I agree that the Colts' rating seems kind of low. I am worried about them letting James go, but I was worried when they got rid of Faulk and I was worried when James was out for 2 years. It's somehow worked out in the past so I'm going to try to give the Colts staff the benefit of the doubt on this one till proven otherwise.

45
by the peepshow (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 1:48pm

RE #42

I thought Football was about having fun, but I must be wrong. I guess I’ll have to learn how to play chess now …

I’m hopping someday Colts fans will remove their collectively inflated domes from their dookie depositories and wake up to the fact that the whole world isn’t sold on the Peyton Demagoguery. Yes he had one of the best QB seasons of all time (and Kobe scored 81 pts in a game), and yes he is in the top tier of passers in the league, but that doesn’t mean he’s above criticism. The rest of us know that Peyton crumples under pressure like Ben’s face on a windshield.

I, like many others thought it was funny when Peyton called out his O-line last year. If he had better footwork, he probably would have had an extra second or two to find his open receivers. And in this league, sometimes that all you need or get.

46
by Tim Gerheim :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 2:20pm

Having thought about it some more, I would probably move the 49ers up. Not too far, maybe up around 25, but I think I didn't give enough credit to Gore's potential.

The reason I mentioned Jerious Norwood and not Brian Calhoun or Maurice Drew is that there have been reports of Norwood really impressing in camp and pushing his way up the depth chart. I haven't heard anything about the other two (not to say that it's not there). Drew, at least, being 5-7, will probably be Darren Sproles East, which means he'll matter a lot more as a special teamer than as a running back.

47
by thad (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 2:49pm

I do not think the authors here are constantly dissing Manning. Quite the opposite.
If you go back and read the Colts playoff previews they are more than fair.

48
by Eric (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 2:53pm

42 - Even the comment about Manning's "chicken dance" (which term I believe was first used by TMQ) was not derogatory. The author was just restating his earlier point that the Colts run a complicated offense, which might make it difficult for a rookie to be effective.

49
by morganja (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 7:45pm

Why does Deshaun Foster get no love? He was running and picking up yards when everyone in the stadium knew it was a run. A more balanced offense with Keyshaun and Deshaun will find a whole lot more space to run.

I agree that the authors here are just a little too in love with their statistical modeling. DVOA, as pretty as it is, still is a gross oversimplification of what happens in football games. There is way too much extrapolation beyond the bounderies of the statistical model. But it sure is fun to talk football, anyhow.

50
by seamus (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 8:31pm

I think we all would have known Mack Strong's name even if he were mediocre. Naming your boy "Mack Strong" is like naming him "Jeeves": his future is already decided.

51
by morganja (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 9:09pm

Explain Dick Trickle's parents.....

52
by Daniel (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 11:07pm

Didn't the 2005 Prospectus say that Bert Jones' '76 season was the greatest ever? Didn't Bert Jones play for the Colts? Isn't this a RB discussion?

DeShaun Foster gets no love because DeShaun is always hurt. I have had him on a fantasy team two out of the last three seasons. Never again!

53
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Fri, 07/14/2006 - 11:28pm

49: Foster gets no love because

1. He's often injured.
2. He has never posted a positive DVOA. If you like conventional stats, he's got a mediocre 4.1 yards/carry.
3. He tends to break long runs which make people forget about all the stalled drives where he ran for 2 yard gains.

And that's despite having a good line. Mike Wahle is one of the great run-blocking guards of my lifetime.

I think there's a reason the Panthers spent a first round pick on a halfback.

54
by morganja (not verified) :: Sat, 07/15/2006 - 2:30am

Good line? The Panthers? I heard it here first. Definitely a good guard in Wahle. Who else from that great line is back?

That line was not good last year and if you watched the Panther games you would know that there were almost always 8 men in the box, so even if the line was good, you wouldn't be able to tell. There were definitely very few holes.

Doesn't matter though. Statisticians make terrible football analysts. I think perhaps because they have never payed the game they think it is a lot more dependent on statistics than it really is.
I love this site though, not only because of the football talk, often served with a healthy dose of pompous certainty not indicitive of the strength of the underlying models, but also as an almost perfect forum for the exploration of common statistical errors. It is amazing how deep a discussion can get, how involved and convoluted, without a healthy skepticism of the underlying models.

55
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Sat, 07/15/2006 - 4:12am

"Almost always" eight men in the box? The Panthers had Steve Smith. To cover him decently, most teams have needed at least two good defensive backs in his area. That leaves one man to cover the other four eligible receivers. I don't think so.

If a team ever "almost always" played eight men in the box against the Panthers, Smith would be a lock to catch for 200 yards that game.

56
by Englishbob (not verified) :: Sat, 07/15/2006 - 7:05am

Isn't Foster's running pattern indicative of a RB playing behind a weak line? He is regularly stuffed at the line because the OL isn't getting on top of the DT. Run blitzes throwing the ILB into the gaps seem to work well against Carolina, and when you are not scared by either the RBs nor the TE (nor even WR2) getting into the secondary then you are able to blitz the LB and leave Smith to a CB and safety.
Stats are great because they tell us what is happening- they don't always tell us why its happening- DVOA by going past standard stats tells us what is happening far more clearly than standard stats. It's then up to us to interpret the meaning of this. FO believe Foster's persistent negative DVOA/ DPAR suggests he is not a good RB (is this a fair summation?). In this case I don't fully agree, I think it more reflects that he is being forced to run up a cul de sac with little assistance. This view is based on watching Carolina about four times last season (so not enough to really have a strong conviction). I'd be very interested in anyone else's view on this?

PS I thought it was a shame more reference wasn't made to FO stats in the article.

57
by Milehigh (not verified) :: Sat, 07/15/2006 - 8:17am

Since quibbles are officially allowed, I have one with Denver's ranking. Tatum Bell, while limited in action due to Shanahan's lack of trust, was 14th in DPAR. While his success rate is only slightly better than mediocore, it matched or was higher than Cadillac Willimas, Mewelde Moore, Thomas Jones, and a host of other number one backs.

To let your emotions, not the numbers make your judgement about Ron Dayne, is not very Outsider-ish. He was the most effective third back in league. Even if he doesn't perform in well sharing the load, the Broncos always manage to plug someone in. This years plug-in may be Cedric Cobbs.

Minus Terrel Davis' 2001 season and Reuben Droughns in 2004, they have had a top 10 DVOA ground game since '98. Even if this is a down year, the running backs will be far better than your ranking.

58
by Insancipitory (not verified) :: Sat, 07/15/2006 - 8:24am

Re My impressions of Carolina's line: I don't think the line is terribly consistant, witness Rocky Bernard, and the Seahawks folding it like origami.

But I think a lot of it is Foster, he's happy to dance around waiting for a homerun to materialize. When he does get free, he seems elusive, but it also doesn't seem to take much to bring him down.

Where the line's play hurts him, is I don't think they do a good job of getting to the second level and occupying another defender. Where Foster seems to do best is against Atlanta. Take away those games, and he's probably not the guy you want to have as your starting RB.

I'd say he's Goings without the toughness, a better recieving game and just enough flash to make you think he'll take one all the way, assuming he's playing Atlanta. If anything that the Falcons manage to make a pretty plain RB look like a superstar says more about them that it does about him.

59
by NORRIS (not verified) :: Sat, 07/15/2006 - 3:26pm

DO U THINK MY STEELERS CAN REPEAT?

60
by morganja (not verified) :: Sat, 07/15/2006 - 4:33pm

Re 55:

Yes. Eight men in the box pretty much every play, until 3rd and long. If you haven't seen the games don't bother commenting. I saw each and every panther game. The reason they love a bruising back like Stephen Davis is because their offense was so predictible. But we'll see.

61
by Sara (not verified) :: Mon, 07/17/2006 - 2:54pm

All Foster's "running pattern" is indicative of is his inability to put his head down and run. We saw this in a game at the end of the year, Atlanta I think, where the Panthers had to settle for a field goal because Foster repeatedly chose to try and run *around* his defenders instead of through them (losing a yard or two in the process). When a hole is there, he's gone - but he can't seem to make the holes happen (partially the fault of the line, I'll admit).

Of course, if I'd been injured as often as he has, I'd probably be a little gun-shy, too. But I still can't *believe* the Panthers re-signed him.

62
by witless chum (not verified) :: Mon, 07/17/2006 - 3:29pm

Quibling:

The Lions backfield this year may not even include Artose Pinner.

It sounds like Jones will get the majority of the action, backed up by Arlen Harris and rookie Brian Calhoun, who's supposed to be a 3rd down back type. Shawn Bryson is supposed to be moving to fullback, with Sledge probably having a reduced role.

Pinner is supposed to be on the outside looking in, due to lack of skill in the passing game.

63
by C (not verified) :: Mon, 07/17/2006 - 7:35pm

Damnit, I was going to take Ronnie Brown in my fantasy draft. If he's gonna be on the cover of PFP 2006 then I'll have to go with a different 2nd round RB.

64
by pops (not verified) :: Tue, 07/18/2006 - 12:49pm

#40 How high is KUBIAK on Ronnie Brown? I've no idea, really, but most people with any knowledge are VERY high on him. He's got size, speed, ability, can block, run and catch. He's got great character. He shared carries with Ricky last year, and you could hardly tell the difference.
I think he has the potential to be great, and is likelier than most to fulfill that potential.

65
by Cheezer (not verified) :: Tue, 07/18/2006 - 1:43pm

I think this might be a good place for a FF debate.

I can keep to RBs from last season. Through some dumb luck, I have:

Larry Johnson
Stephen Jackson
Ronnie Brown
Wille Parker

Any thoughts on which two should perform the best next season?

66
by B (not verified) :: Tue, 07/18/2006 - 2:14pm

65: I'd stick with Larry Johnson and Steven Jackson. Brown and Jackson are about equal, but Jackson will get two games against SF.

67
by Zac (not verified) :: Tue, 07/18/2006 - 4:17pm

Hey, does anyone else have issues with articles on FoxSports where the article will be back to the top instead of being back where you left it?

If I had to guess, I'd say it's because they're auto-updating the page. I can't always read an article all at once, and it's rather annoying to come back and have to find my spot again. But I haven't seen this enough to make sure that it is actually happening and not part of my imagination.

68
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 07/20/2006 - 5:58pm

Re 67:

I'm glad I'm not the only one that this happens to. I was starting to think that maybe my company was ghost viewing what I'm doing on my computer and that it was some kind of side effect of that.

And trust me, it's even more annoying when it does that while you're reading.

69
by wilbur m (not verified) :: Mon, 07/24/2006 - 7:08pm

your analysis of pittsburgh's RB roster without mention of verron haynes is mystifying. best 3rd-down RB blocker in the NFL and amazingly effective as a mudder and seeker of tough yards. staley appears to be just fine, and parker seems to be on the upswing, despite a ridiculously effective and, at times, spectacular 2005... and the steelers boast the best RB coach in the NFL, dick hoak. therefore, hard for me to believe that there's a better unit in the NFL from top to bottom.

I also must agree with the previous poster who questioned your criticsm of ryan moats. I've been touting his future stardom for over a year now. I think he gets the majority of the carries for the eagles this year. which is a good thing.

70
by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 07/27/2006 - 7:24pm

Re: Ronnie Brown

Hmm...highly-touted rookie looks good for half a season, then shows up on the cover of PFP. Where have we seen that before?

71
by colts season txs (not verified) :: Sun, 07/30/2006 - 11:19pm

You are an idiot. Colts #28. Have you heard of play action pass, and Rhodes running loose? Do you remember the Edge's first two years? Lead the league. The Colts take the Edge over Ricky Williams? I think that worked out well. Show some faith in the Colt's front office, VP of the year Bill. Joseph and Rhodes will be running free in the secondary, mark my words. Who will be rookie of the year? Joseph, and his 1600 yards. You forgot to factor in 4.3 speed, a deep and talented line coached by Mudd, the #1 QB, the best qroup of WR's, and the most powerful O. Yes, you are an idiot.

Colts Season Txs

72
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Tue, 08/29/2006 - 11:00am

Re 67, 68: were you guys reading the article while NFL games were being played? Maybe the scoreboard at the top of the page is the culprit.

Re 23: clear evidence of FO's psychic powers. My next request is for the date on which the new Lions owner will fire Matt Millen (assuming it will never happen under current ownership) so I can begin counting down the days.