Over the past decade, the NFL has transformed from a one-back league to a system where every team really needs to have two good running backs.
It’s no longer feasible for a team to rely on one guy to carry the load in the backfield. The wear and tear that mounts on a player is evident, as many players have come and gone in the blink of an eye.
Just saying the names Terrell Davis, Larry Johnson, Edgerrin James and Shaun Alexander bring back some great memories, but honestly, not that many of them. Those guys were dominant for a few years in the NFL, but they quickly broke down and fell off the map.
Even though the NFL is more of a passing league now, there are still running backs out there that could be headed for an early exit.
While leaving early is never fun (see Barry Sanders) for the player or the fans, sometimes it is in the best interest of the athlete and and his family.
Tiki Barber left the Giants early, just before they went on to win the Super Bowl. After being out of the league since that time, he now wants back in, and will probably find a home at some point this season.
Back when the Giants had their three-headed monster, they were unbeatable. Now it is just Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs is still listed as the backup. Jacobs is a more physical and punishing runner than Bradshaw is, but he isn’t as good in the passing game. Bradshaw is more of a dual-threat with his ability to catch passes, and he seems to have fresher legs over the course of the game.
Defenses used to cringe when they saw New York on their schedule. They knew they would have to deal with a back bigger than most linebackers and a player that loved to hit just like one. You would think that this type of player would get more carries around the goal line, but last year, Jacobs was at odds with some people in the organization and his playing time diminished.
He is still in New York and hasn’t made much noise as of yet. Hopefully he will see more touches this season and remind us of what a talented player he is.