We've been waiting, and the moment has come. Beanie Wells has arrived.
Wells is establishing himself not only as the most talented running back the Cardinals have seen since the long gone days of Hall of Fame nominee Ottis "O.J." Anderson, but also the final piece of their elaborate puzzle which could make Arizona a true contender for another Super Bowl run this year and beyond.
In three out of the last four games, Wells has been given at least 13 carries and has capitalized with at least 67 yards rushing. Yesterday, he added his second and third touchdowns of his young career.
More impressive than stats alone are the lethal stiff arms, the combination of explosiveness and power, and the ability to break off long, game-changing runs, an element sorely missing from the Arizona attack for eons. In seven out of nine games to date, Wells has had at least one run of 14 yards or more in limited action.
That limited action is the beta version that is about to go live. One of these games, some poor, unsuspecting opponent is going to get gashed by one of the best pure young runners in the game today.
Beanie Wells is about to go off.
Tim Hightower is still the starter and has demonstrated great value to the team that will not diminish in spite of Wells, yet there is no denying the superiority of Beanie's physical gifts. When you watch Wells run the ball, it is easy to envision comparisons to greats from yesteryear—Jerome Bettis, even Earl Campbell comes to mind.
He is not on their level yet, but he is coming around. For some, the wait for Wells to reach professional prominence has been longer than for others.
Flashback to April 25, 2009. Wells dropped to No. 31 in the 2009 NFL draft because he was tagged "injury prone" while playing at Ohio State. Though he did suffer through ankle , wrist, thumb, foot, toe, hamstring, and concussion injuries during his three-year collegiate career, he only missed three games in all.
No matter—running backs Knowshon Moreno and Donald Brown were both selected ahead of Beanie because of it.
Nonetheless, the Cardinals faithful and most fantasy pundits salivated over Wells , assuming that he could immediately , single-handily turn around a struggling Arizona rushing attack by usurping Hightower's spot in the starting lineup.
Not so fast, I tried to tell everybody . Hightower is not going anywhere and has some solid skills himself. Yet, now I have no choice but to admit that Beanie is a star in the making.
Yep, Beanie Wells has arrived, and he is about to go off.
This article also appears on NFLTouchdown.com