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TEMAT: How many running back duos are better than Derrick

How many running back duos are better than Derrick 11 miesiąc 3 tygodni temu #684

The Titans made a home run addition to the backfield when they signed former New England Patriot Dion Lewis to a four-year http://www.authenticstennesseetitans.com/cheap-taylor-lewan-jersey , $20 million contract. Lewis’ quick, nimble style of running and receiving helps provide a change of pace back from the more traditional, powerful Derrick Henry. The hope is that this new backfield will take a big step forward under new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur.The only question is, how many running back duos are better than the combination of Henry and Lewis?In today’s NFL, more teams are stocking up in the backfield to get a multiple set of backs that bring explosiveness to the offense in different ways. The success of the Falcons and Saints backfields in recent years perhaps contributed to the change in philosophy. Here’s my rules for anyone considered a high quality duo: 1) No rookies. This counts anyone who’s at least played one year in the NFL. 2) The duo can’t be top heavy. Just because you have one stud player (Steelers) does not mean you can automatically add anyone else. Both players must contribute heavily to the offense. With that said, let’s get this started.First, let’s take a look at running back duos that are, without the slightest bit of hesitation, better than Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis.Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram (New Orleans Saints)Brad Rempel-USA TODAY SportsThis goes without saying. While Mark Ingram will miss the first four games of the season due to a PED suspension, he’s still a powerful, speedy back in the open field, and is a quality all-around back. Alvin Kamara was sensational in his rookie season, showing fantastic elusiveness and constantly broke tackles while showing off his versatility by moving everywhere on the field and playing at a high level.Together, these two provide a two-headed monster that have become the new focal point of the Saints offense.Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman (Atlanta Falcons)Dale Zanine-USA TODAY SportsKirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsDevonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman didn’t have as good of seasons in 2017 as they did in 2016, but they’re still a deadly duo primed to put up more big numbers in 2018. Devonta Freeman offers some of the absolute best cutback ability in football, has excellent vision between the tackles, and is a terrific receiving back. Complementing him is Coleman, who offers outrageous speed and equally aggressive running and receiving ability.Freeman and Coleman are both starting caliber running backs that have combined for 2,000 yards from scrimmage in the last two seasons.So, with this in mind, there are two running back duos that I can 100% consider better than Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis.Next, let’s look at running back duos that are not necessarily better than Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis http://www.authenticstennesseetitans.com/cheap-brian-orakpo-jersey , but would be reasonable debates.Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen (Chicago Bears)Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY SportsUnder new head coach Matt Nagy, the Bears could have a top five backfield in 2018. Jordan Howard is the team’s power back, and his consistency and vision have made him one of the Bears offense’s most prized players. Tarik Cohen compliments him, and his lightning fast quickness offer a perfect change of pace back. This is especially true at receiving back, where Cohen is far more versatile and reliable with his hands.Part of me is itching to put Howard and Cohen above Henry and Lewis. (Sorry, guys...)LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick (Detroit Lions) Raj Mehta-USA TODAY SportsAfter a disappointing season from Ameer Abdullah, the Lions invested heavily in the backfield in the offseason, signing three time Super Bowl champion LeGarrette Blount and drafting Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Since Johnson is a rookie, we’re going to go with Blount and Theo Riddick.Blount gives the Lions a Beast Mode at running back they haven’t had in a long time. Behind an improved offensive line, his powerful running and good level of balance should continue to age well into his early 30s. This leaves Theo Riddick as the heavy contributor in the passing game, and he is one of the best receiving backs in football; Riddick’s route running is dangerous and slippery, and his ability to create yards out of nothing have also helped make him a fan favorite in Detroit.Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray (Minnesota Vikings)Reese Strickland-USA TODAY SportsMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsBefore a heartbreaking end to his season via a torn ACL, Dalvin Cook was leading the NFL in rushing yards, and he was doing it in a Pat Shurmur led offense that understood how to cater to his strengths. He made the Vikings’ decision to start him at the beginning of the season pay off, as his vision and cutback ability in space made the Vikings run game one of the league’s deadliest up until his injury.From that point forward, Latavius Murray held the fort strong. While not a spectacular back, Murray has a solid skill set, providing nice cuts and decent vision, making him a solid backup to Cook.Christian McCaffrey and C.J. Anderson (Carolina Panthers)Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY SportsJim Dedmon-USA TODAY SportsThe Panthers’ run game is getting seriously overlooked. Not only is Cam Newton arguably the best running quarterback in the league, but the Panthers also have an incredibly underrated duo in Christian McCaffrey and C.J. Anderson.McCaffrey has gotten a bad rap from many fans as a runner, and while he struggled with his vision early on, he was also a victim of poor run blocking and an inconsistent scheme. As a receiver http://www.authenticstennesseetitans.com/cheap-ben-jones-jersey , however McCaffrey is a game changer, with excellent route running ability as a slot receiver, great pass catching skills for a back, and is also very agile.In the offseason, the Panthers managed to sign C.J. Anderson for a massive bargain. Despite playing behind a poor offensive line for much of his career in Denver, Anderson made a living out of breaking tackles, running with great balance, polished footwork, and runs at a nice pad level. He’s still a high quality back that along with McCaffrey should provide a dangerous combination given a competent scheme. Honorable Mentions: Guys that I can 100% say are lower than Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis, but are in the ballpark. Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones (Green Bay Packers): Montgomery dealt with injuries throughout 2017, but is an extremely versatile player and should bounce back in 2018. Fan favorite Aaron Jones is the superior back to Jamaal Williams, but either way, the Packers have a crazy amount of depth in their backfield this season.Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake (Miami Dolphins): Frank Gore is essentially the Tom Brady/Larry Fitzgerald of the running back position, in that he is still in the league and is still doing damage despite being ancient. It’s unknown if he’ll completely fall apart at age 35, but even if he does, Kenyan Drake had a sensational second half of 2017. Drake’s elusiveness and cuts between the tackles make him a favorable breakout candidate in a full 2018 to many.Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware (Kansas City Chiefs): It goes without saying Kareem Hunt is special. He can wear defenses down with his balance and ability to break tackles, and he possesses some of the smoothest ball skills I’ve seen from a receiving back, rarely breaking stride even on inaccurate throws.

The guy he took the starting job from, Spencer Ware, is a decent back himself, though whether or not he’ll be as good as he was before his torn PCL in the 2017 preseason.Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida (San Francisco 49ers): Kyle Shanahan’s ability to get his players in the open field is precisely why big things are expected for the 49ers run game. Jerick McKinnon is a quick, nimble back that is expected to be the do-it-all player in that backfield. Matt Breida offers a more patient style of running Navy Jayon Brown Jersey , and he did more than enough in his rookie season to establish himself as a valuable piece for the offense moving forward.Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement (Philadelphia Eagles): After a breakout sophomore campaign in Miami, Jay Ajayi looked lost in 2017 until he was traded to the Eagles. There, the power back felt much more at home, constantly getting open space while being an extremely consistent alternative to LeGarrette Blount. Corey Clement did his part in the regular season, but it was his Super Bowl performance against the Patriots (4 receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown) that caught people’s attention. He looks to be a very promising receiving back behind the best coaching staff in the NFC.ConclusionUltimately, I would probably have Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis as the 4th best running back duo behind Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, and Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. I think Henry can still do more to polish up his vision, but for where he is now, he is a quality back. Dion Lewis is one of the best receiving backs in the game, and does plenty of damage as a runner as well.Ultimately, the potential of the Titans backfield will be blueprinted by Matt LaFleur, as we await to see if he can unleash said potential. Five weeks in to the 2018 NFL season, the Titans top receiving tight end is Luke Stocker with 5 catches for 63 yards. Delanie Walker — who was injured midway through the opening game in Miami and is unlikely to return any time soon — is second with 4 catches and 52 yards. The guy that everyone expected to step up when Walker went down, second year tight end Jonnu Smith, has just 2 catches for 21 yards for the entire season. The Titans entire tight end room has been blanked in the box score two weeks in a row and has just 4 catches for 35 yards combined over the last four weeks. The problem extends far beyond catching passes though. The Titans aren’t getting much from their tight ends as run blockers either. Luke Stocker ranks 30th among tight ends in run blocking on PFF, while Jonnu Smith checks in at 42nd. The Tennessee running game is being hurt by missed blocks from this position group far too often right now.The fallout from the tight end struggles ripples through the rest of the roster as well. The lack of a viable receiving threat out of this group puts more pressure on the young receivers and depth receivers like Darius Jennings and Nick Williams. We’ve seen how that has worked out to this point. The blocking failures have virtually crippled the play that should be the staple of this rushing offense, the outside zone. That’s been reflected in Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis’ statistics through five weeks. Bad tight end play is hampering virtually every aspect of this offense right now.Jonnu Smith played pretty well during his rookie season as the No. 2 to Walker’s No. 1, leaving most to believe that he could prove to eventually be become the team’s top option at the position. He followed that up with a great offseason, finishing a close runner up to Derrick Henry for the coaching staff’s offseason recognition. By all accounts — including my own — Smith looked like a player poised to take the next step in 2018. All that build up makes his performance over the last four weeks that much more frustrating. His blocking has been a problem and he’s not offsetting it with any production in the passing game. Worse, it seems as if he may have lost some of Marcus Mariota’s trust when he dropped that easy 3rd down pass against the Eagles. Since that drop, there have been multiple plays where Mariota has seemingly passed up an open Smith to throw elsewhere Youth Austin Johnson Jersey , including the ill-fated throw to Nick Williams in Buffalo. The coaches may be losing some faith in their young tight end as well. Smith’s snap count dropped to 78% of snaps against the Bills, marking the first time it’s been under 90% since Walker got injured. Stocker was the primary beneficiary, jumping from 35% in Week 4 to 59% in Week 5. It’s not as if Stocker has been tearing it up this season either. He’s clearly a better blocker than Smith, but even on his best day he’s not a serious threat as a receiving option. Playing Stocker more and Smith less could yield more consistency at least, but it certainly lowers the ceiling of what the offense can be. The only other options on the roster currently are MyCole Pruitt and Anthony Firkser who was just promoted from the practice squad. Pruitt has gotten a little playing time over the last couple weeks, primarily as a blocker, but he entered the league as a big time athlete who was quite productive as a receiver in college. Firkser may be the best receiving tight end on the roster right now given what we’ve seen from Smith to this point. He’s not strong enough to hold up as a point of attack blocker though which limits what the team can do with him on the field. The free agent market is pretty barren at tight end. The two options that have performed at the level of a TE1 previously in the NFL are Coby Fleener and Martellus Bennett. Fleener was last seen being released by the Saints after failing to be medically cleared to return from a concussion. Bennett has recently tweeted that he won’t be planning on returning to the NFL because he can’t pass a drug test. Neither of those guys are realistic options. There isn’t a Kenny Vaccaro type free agent tight end that can come to the rescue. A trade for a tight end could be possible in theory, though midseason player trades are pretty rare in the NFL. Cameron Brate would make the most sense in my opinion. O.J. Howard has supplanted him as the top tight end in Tampa Bay which makes him somewhat expendable. He also has ties with Titans GM Jon Robinson who was part of the front office that brought Brate to Tampa as an undrafted free agent in 2014. We’ve seen Robinson come back to guys he has connections with before so that model fits here. The problem is that Brate just signed a 6 year, $41M contract extension earlier this offseason so it would appear that the Bucs see him as a part of their long term future, even if he’s not the top tight end. As the Titans are proving right now, a second tight end can be pretty important. That’s also a big contract for the Titans to take on considering they just handed out an expensive extension to Walker earlier this offseason and will have possible extensions to discuss with Mariota and Kevin Byard this spring. I just don’t see how a Brate deal gets done realistically and there isn’t another deal out there that makes a ton of sense for both sides.So what do the Titans do to make it better?Obviously, the Titans were never going to replace Delanie Walker. You don’t just lose a 3-time Pro Bowler and rattle right along like nothing happened. This was always going to be a team effort to pick up the large amount of slack left by his injury. Wide receivers like Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor, and Tajae Sharpe must continue to improve. The Titans need their offensive tackles to get healthy and stay healthy so the tight ends don’t have to chip and help in pass protection so often. However, Tennessee is going to need to find a way to get something out of the tight end spot. The most optimistic solution would be to stay the course with Smith and continue to coach him up and that’s ultimately what I expect they’ll do. He’s a young player with plenty of physical ability. It’s just about getting the mental side of the game to slow down for him. If I was Matt LaFleur or Marcus Mariota, I would be trying to find a way to get Smith an easy catch or two early on in the Ravens game to try to get him jump started and build a little confidence. Another option is to elevate Stocker to the TE1 role. That at least improves the team from a blocking standpoint. They could then bring Smith on for certain packages or even take a look at Pruitt or Firkser in a potential “3rd down tight end” role if Smith continues to struggle. It’s a less than ideal solution because it limits how multiple you can be out of the same personnel package, but being multiple may not be a luxury the Titans have right now.Tight end is one of the toughest positions on the field to play. You have to know the route tree as well as pass protections. You have to run like a receiver one play and then block like an offensive lineman the next. Right now Smith is offering neither and it’s really hurting this offense. I don’t think it’s time to give up on him altogether, but it is time for the Titans to admit that there is a problem at this position and start addressing it one way or another.
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