Batman and Robin. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. Chris Johnson and...
So, the question is who will be Chris Johnson's new sidekick? Here are the three running backs that will battle for that title:
Right now, Ringer is the favorite to win the spot and is pretty much guaranteed one of the three running back roster spots. Not only is he the lone returner from last season, he is the only back to actually be drafted.
Despite showing promise in the preseason, Ringer didn't get much playing time at all. He only carried the ball eight times the entire season, but he took advantage of his opportunities averaging six yards a carry.
He's not the fastest or biggest running back in the league, but his production is hard to ignore. Over his career at Michigan State he rushed for over 4300 yards and 34 touchdowns.
Ringer is a very quick back who breaks more tackles than most running backs his size.
If Ringer doesn't win the second string position, it sure won't be because he isn't talented enough.
I'm sure you've heard Johnson's story by now.
If you haven't, to make a long story short, Stafon Johnson dropped a barbell on his throat while he was benching. He was very close to dying. Against all odds, Johnson survived surgery and battled back to full health showing heroic determination.
Johnson is an athletic back with great vision. He is much more elusive than powerful.
Johnson rushed for 19 touchdowns in his shortened career at USC while having to share carries with Joe McKnight, C.J. Gable, and others.
Out of the 47 highly recruited running backs at USC, Johnson was able to beat them all out for the starting job. At running back U, that has to mean something.
I'm sure you've heard Blount's story by now as well.
If you haven't, LeGarrette Blount punched a Boise State player in the jaw when the player taunted Blount after a heated finish to an Oregon week one loss. He was then suspended for the next 10 games of his senior season.
Blount is a six foot, 240 pound tank of a running back. He is a power back, but he is fast for a player his size. Blount recorded an impressive average of 7.3 yards per carry his junior year.
His best chance to win the job is if the coaching staff wants to revert back to the "smash and dash" combination the team strayed away from last season. LeGarrette Blount lowers his shoulder and attempts to truck helpless defenders when running the ball; unlike Lendale White who just tries to fall forward.
The projected final order of these three backs is probably Javon Ringer, LeGarrette Blount, and then Stafon Johnson.
Don't count out Blount or Johnson from making a run for the second string spot though. Both backs were forced to battle through extreme adversity just to get where they are today. Neither will be satisfied with anything other than winning that second string spot, even though one of them will most likely have to be cut.
For readers who are not familiar with these young running backs, here are a few clips of each of them:
Javon Ringer at Michigan State - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHVPSmxjoSU (WARNING: ANNOYING ROCK MUSIC)
Javon Ringer ESPN Story - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ydHaYbUpIY
Stafon Johnson at USC - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYs_SBEwM5I
Stafon Johnson ESPN Story - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=125ZKBMqbEA
LeGarrette Blount at Oregon, Punch Included - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il-18rW2muM