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Sporting News: NFC Running Backs

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  • Sporting News: NFC Running Backs

    Odd order they seem to have skipped LBs and DTs but I guess now the focus will be on offense.

    1. VIKINGS: They have the best 1-2 punch in the league with Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor. Peterson has a rare blend of speed and power and freezes defenders with his moves. Taylor is less explosive but runs just as hard.

    2. EAGLES: Brian Westbrook is the NFL's most dangerous all-around back. He's almost unstoppable in the open field. Correll Buckhalter is a reliable power runner, and newcomer Lorenzo Booker is a pass-catching threat.

    3. REDSKINS: Clinton Portis can still break open a game on any carry. Ladell Betts hits the holes quickly, has good acceleration and is an excellent receiver. Fullback Mike Sellers is a powerful blocker and capable short-yardage back.

    4. GIANTS: Few teams can match the depth in the Giants' backfield. Brandon Jacobs is a load but must become more durable. Derrick Ward averaged 4.8 yards per carry in 2007, and Ahmad Bradshaw has the speed to become a star.

    5. COWBOYS: Marion Barber will get his shot to start. He's a battering ram who can get the tough yards and close out games. The team hopes rookie Felix Jones will provide the big-play threat it lacked the past couple of years.

    6. RAMS Steven Jackson has an imposing blend of speed, power and pass-catching ability, but durability was a problem in 2007. Antonio Pittman and Brian Leonard haven't established themselves as viable options.

    7. 49ERS: Frank Gore is a tough runner between the tackles and has the receiving skills to thrive in new coordinator Mike Martz's offense. Michael Robinson and DeShaun Foster are solid backups with good receiving skills.

    8. FALCONS Not only can newcomer Michael Turner pound defenses with his 237-pound body, but he has big-play speed. Jerious Norwood also has breakaway ability, and Ovie Mughelli is a bruising lead blocker.

    9. PACKERS: Ryan Grant was a revelation in his First year as a starter. He's big, moves the pile and is a home run threat. Brandon Jackson is shifty and can churn out yards between the tackles. DeShawn Wynn must mature fast.

    10. BUCCANEERS: Even without Cadillac Williams, who will spend most of '08 rehabbing his knee, this is a strong unit. Earnest Graham is a workhorse, and Warrick Dunn and Michael Bennett provide a change of pace.

    11. CARDINALS: Edgerrin James still can squeeze 5 yards out of nothing, but he doesn't provide many big plays. Backup Marcel Shipp is a tough inside runner but lacks speed.

    12. PANTHERS: With rookie Jonathan Stewart's strength inside and DeAngelo Williams' speed outside, the Panthers appear to have a nice combination. But Stewart is coming off toe surgery and Williams still has to prove himself.

    13. SAINTS: Reggie Bush, who averaged 3.7 yards per carry and dropped too many passes in '08, must prove himself all over again. Deuce McAllister is coming off surgery on both knees. Pierre Thomas has proved he can fill in effectively -- at least for a short stretch.

    14. SEAHAWKS: They made a lot of changes, but it's hard to say they'll be better. Julius Jones hits the hole hard but averaged 3.6 yards for Dallas in '07. T.J. Duckett has good size.

    15. BEARS: Cedric Benson's job is in jeopardy after he was arrested twice this spring. If Benson goes, rookie Matt Forte likely will start, with Adrian Peterson as the backup.

    16. LIONS: Third-round pick Kevin Smith likely will start, and his one-cut style fits the team's new zone-blocking scheme. Tatum Bell is the biggest name among the backups.
    http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn...c.php?t=423517

  • #2
    YAY Not Last place! well without Benson shouldnt change that much

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    • #3
      2-5 is the whole NFC East
      RIP Sean Michael Taylor

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by 21ST View Post
        2-5 is the whole NFC East
        that shows you how much of a power the NFC East is, not just at RB, but at almost every position.

        Comment


        • #5
          My how the Saints have fallen down the charts in just a year...I still feel like the Eagles should grab a bruiser in the backfield, Buckhalter is ok, and Westy can do everything, but I think it would benefit him even more to have a strong tough inside runner who can stay healthy...Seems like over the years they have had problems with that, or running the ball at the end of games when they were up.





          Originally posted by Scott Wright
          I guarantee that if someone picks Cam Newton in the Top 5 they will regret it.

          Comment


          • #6
            13. SAINTS: Reggie Bush, who averaged 3.7 yards per carry and dropped too many passes in '08, must prove himself all over again. Deuce McAllister is coming off surgery on both knees. Pierre Thomas has proved he can fill in effectively -- at least for a short stretch.
            Clearly worth 100 million dollars. :D

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            • #7
              NFC North is awesome!
              #1, #9,#15,#16

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              • #8
                should eagles really be that high? i say absolutely not.

                westbrook is all fine and dandy but in my opinion will never be a true all around runner who can be counted on. and I do not believe the depth provided by buckhalter and booker is actually better than most of the teams right behind them.

                Portis/Betts > westbrook/buckhalter
                Jacobs/Ward/Bradshaw > westbrook/buckhalter/booker
                Barber/Felix Jones > westbrook/buckhalter
                Jackson/Leonard > westbrook/buckhalter

                did joe freaking buck write up this article? (actually I'm not sure he did because there would be 15 mcnabb references in there)

                Eagles should be 6th tops based on their entire corps of backs. And I have some questions on how to rate Westbrook anyway because he does have a history of being injured easily and honestly, I think he's hurt the team before since it's not in his style to pound the football to help wear down the clock and preserve leads. He may be more dynamic but give me Portis, Barber, Jackson or Gore as a true #1 runner because they have been more productive as runners IMO. (and before his injury last season, Jackson was a great runner the year before AND caught a lot of passes)

                I just can't justify the reasoning behind putting the eagles any higher than 6th based on starter OR depth.

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                • #9
                  Eh. Not sure if I am a big fan of 2-10 this list.

                  2. EAGLES - Westbrook is a great back. But not the best guy inbetween the tackles. And their depth is okay but nothing like the Redskins or the 49ers who both have two backs who could be starting in this league.

                  3. REDSKINS - I am ok with this. Though I think they could be at two. Portis and Betts have really made this team competitive despite a very inconsistent passing attack.

                  4. GIANTS - Good quantity but lacks the quality to be a top five on this list. Brandon Jacobs is a beast, but he only played in 11 games and he had 5 fumbles. That number is way, way too high. He has more fumbles than td's. He needs to stay healthy and hold onto the rock.

                  5. COWBOYS - Like the Giants, this is a unproven group. We have seen plenty of backs who have become full-time starters who have fizzled when they thrived coming off the bench. Barber is solid and punishing, but not a breakaway threat and not much in the passing game. Felix Jones is a rookie, hard to say what he is going to do.

                  6. RAMS - They should be higher, at least 3 or 4. Jackson is one of the best in the league. And Brian Leonard probably has a bigger upside that most of the backups on the Giants and Cowboys.

                  7. 49ers - Probably right below the Rams. Frank Gore is a better option than any of the guys on the Redskins, Giants or Cowboys. He is probably the second best back between the tackles and the second best receiving back. And Deshaun Foster is a capable backup with starting experience.

                  8. FALCONS - Probably a bit high as of now. Turner doesn't wow me and Norwood is too inconsistent. I would take the Cardinals run game over the Falcons.

                  9. PACKERS - Ryan Grant showed me more in half a season than any back on the Giants, Cowboys or Falcons. He carried the load for the second half of the season and started all of those games. I know what to expect from his as a starter and his upside isn't as much as Barber so they would probably be below the Cowboys. Also key, he almost never fumbles. Very important.

                  10. BUCS - I actually think that this is a good spot for them. Maybe not next year, but if Caddy comes back they should be at least here. If not, they probably should drop a bit.

                  My top ten
                  1. Vikings
                  2. Redskins
                  3. St. Louis
                  4. 49ers
                  5. Eagles
                  6. Cowboys
                  7. Packers
                  8. Giants
                  9. Falcons
                  10. Bucs

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Crickett View Post
                    Clearly worth 100 million dollars. :D
                    For this team and city yes they are.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by no love View Post
                      My top ten
                      1. Vikings
                      2. Redskins
                      3. St. Louis
                      4. 49ers
                      5. Eagles
                      6. Cowboys
                      7. Packers
                      8. Giants
                      9. Falcons
                      10. Bucs
                      That I can agree with a little more though I would honestly still put the Cowboys and Giants ahead of the Eagles. I would take either of their RB corps ahead of the Eagles as a whole. Like I said earlier, Westbrook isn't bad but he's not a back that I would want to find myself relying on late in games.

                      Now, if you paired him with a Jacobs or a Barber, then hellz yes that would be a legitimate #2 in the NFC RB corps. That however, is not the case and I wouldn't want to find my team holding onto a slim lead late in a game with Westbrook as my only clock grinding option....a waste of his talents as that isn't his strong suit and an injury waiting to happen imo.

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                      • #12
                        Decided to write up my own:

                        1.) Vikings - AP and Chester Taylor....amazing. Scares me shitless as a Bears fan.

                        2.) Redskins - Portis and Betts. Very nice. Both could be starters on several other teams.

                        3.) Rams - Jackson and Leonard. Jackson was very, very good 2 years ago both running and receiving but was set back by injuries last year. Leonard is a good all around backup to him.

                        4.) Cowboys - Barber and Felix Jones. Barber is a punishing, between the tackles back who will be complimented well by what Felix Jones will bring to the table. If Jones wasn't a rookie and had proven a little more, I'd put them higher maybe.

                        5.) Giants - Jacobs, Ward, and Bradshaw. Good group where every back has a different role in which they best suited.

                        6.) 49ers - Gore and Robinson. Gore should still be a beast and Robinson is a good backup/compliment to him but I worry what Mike Martz will do to them...

                        7.) Eagles - Westbrook and the garbage behind him. Westbrook is a stud who can really make plays. But my earlier comments still stand because I don't see him as an every down back who can run between the tackles well and grind clock late in games. He is still a damn good back though and if the iggles had a nice compliment to him who could run between the tackles, they would be higher.

                        After that its a big clusterf*ck with teams who have one year wonders or unproven guys and stuff like that.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ladell Betts is not good enough for the redskins top be in the top 5 honestly
                          RIP Sean Michael Taylor

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by no love View Post
                            Eh. Not sure if I am a big fan of 2-10 this list.

                            2. EAGLES - Westbrook is a great back. But not the best guy inbetween the tackles. And their depth is okay but nothing like the Redskins or the 49ers who both have two backs who could be starting in this league.

                            3. REDSKINS - I am ok with this. Though I think they could be at two. Portis and Betts have really made this team competitive despite a very inconsistent passing attack.

                            4. GIANTS - Good quantity but lacks the quality to be a top five on this list. Brandon Jacobs is a beast, but he only played in 11 games and he had 5 fumbles. That number is way, way too high. He has more fumbles than td's. He needs to stay healthy and hold onto the rock.

                            5. COWBOYS - Like the Giants, this is a unproven group. We have seen plenty of backs who have become full-time starters who have fizzled when they thrived coming off the bench. Barber is solid and punishing, but not a breakaway threat and not much in the passing game. Felix Jones is a rookie, hard to say what he is going to do.

                            6. RAMS - They should be higher, at least 3 or 4. Jackson is one of the best in the league. And Brian Leonard probably has a bigger upside that most of the backups on the Giants and Cowboys.

                            7. 49ers - Probably right below the Rams. Frank Gore is a better option than any of the guys on the Redskins, Giants or Cowboys. He is probably the second best back between the tackles and the second best receiving back. And Deshaun Foster is a capable backup with starting experience.

                            8. FALCONS - Probably a bit high as of now. Turner doesn't wow me and Norwood is too inconsistent. I would take the Cardinals run game over the Falcons.

                            9. PACKERS - Ryan Grant showed me more in half a season than any back on the Giants, Cowboys or Falcons. He carried the load for the second half of the season and started all of those games. I know what to expect from his as a starter and his upside isn't as much as Barber so they would probably be below the Cowboys. Also key, he almost never fumbles. Very important.

                            10. BUCS - I actually think that this is a good spot for them. Maybe not next year, but if Caddy comes back they should be at least here. If not, they probably should drop a bit.

                            My top ten
                            1. Vikings
                            2. Redskins
                            3. St. Louis
                            4. 49ers
                            5. Eagles
                            6. Cowboys
                            7. Packers
                            8. Giants
                            9. Falcons
                            10. Bucs
                            Barber not much in the passing game? Did you just make that up?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BeerBaron View Post
                              should eagles really be that high? i say absolutely not.

                              westbrook is all fine and dandy but in my opinion will never be a true all around runner who can be counted on. and I do not believe the depth provided by buckhalter and booker is actually better than most of the teams right behind them.

                              And I have some questions on how to rate Westbrook anyway because he does have a history of being injured easily and honestly, I think he's hurt the team before since it's not in his style to pound the football to help wear down the clock and preserve leads.
                              Hi, I'd like to welcome you to 2008, where the stereotype about Brian Westbrook not being able to run in between the tackles that may have been true in 2005 no longer is true. Westbrook does it all. Inside, outside, blocking, receiving, etc...I'm assuming Westbrook didn't average 4.8 yards per carry by running to the outside every damn play. Westbrook averaged around 25 touches per game and missed exactly one game and barely played vs. the Bills in the last game of the year because it meant nothing. Oh the brittleness. People just see 5'9, 205 lbs and a good pass catcher and assume Westbrook just runs outside every play.

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