Monday, December 21, 2015

I don't think it matters who plays running back for the Patriots (or any NFL team, for that matter)

Today the Patriots signed Steven Jackson.  The 32-year-old former Pro Bowl-er has been out of the league since last season.  I wouldn't be surprised if Jackson plays a key role for New England down the stretch.  It's also quite possible he does nothing.

When Legarrette Blount went down last week, it didn't bother me in the slightest because I thought Brandon Bolden was perfectly capable of filling his role.  Not only did Bolden appear to be as good as Blount when given the opportunity, so did former practice squad guy Joseph Iosefa, a player I'd literally never heard of until they handed him the ball Sunday.

For half of the season the Patriots made Dion Lewis look like a superstar as a third-down/pass-catching back.  They picked him up off the scrap heap last winter.  Now that Lewis is out, second-year man James White is doing his job just fine.

Last season with the Cowboys, DeMarco Murray led the NFL with 1,845 rushing yards, nearly 500 more than anyone else.  This year he's an afterthought on the Eagles.  None of the league's top eight rushers from 2014 are once again among the top eight in 2015.

I'm convinced there's no such thing as a star running back in the NFL anymore.  Every team has a "next man up" who's just as likely to perform as the guy he's replacing.  With the way offenses are changing (more and more towards passing), it's the system that determines whether or not a runner is successful, not his talent.

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