It's probably extremely irresponsible of me to suggest that our running game could be coming up on hard times next season, but I'm going to do it anyways. The first question I have is about the durability of our backs. Warrick Dunn is a terrific person but an increasingly old running back, and though he topped 1,000 years last year he sniffed the end zone only four times and clearly showed signs of fatigue later in the season. Norwood was damn impressive last year, averaging 6.4 yards per carry behind the cut-blocking Gibbs system line. If he even hits 4.5 next year, he'll be fine. But Norwood is a smaller back, and his speed and agility won't always translate into gobs of scoring. The result of having two smaller and perhaps less than durable running backs? Problems.
Clearly Pet Rhino was banking on a bigger line and a bigger fullback to help out with that problem, but as of yet all he has is that bigger fullback. I don't necessarily think you need a human tank at running back, but the fact of the matter is that this is a smaller, aging line with a smaller, aging feature back trying to produce the massive yardage we've come to expect. We're essentially a Norwood or Dunn injury away from being in deep shit. What we could probably use is a power runner to complement those two, and I'm not talking about a premiere back. I'm talking about a guy who can just come in and occasionally truck over the pile or keep his legs churning in the red zone. The trouble is, even if Norwood and Dunn each pile up 1,000 yards, it's reasonably likely that they'll only pile up 10 TDs between the two of them. The slack will then need to be picked up the receiving corps, which despite the addition of Joe Horn still isn't causing pants-shitting terror in any opposing secondaries. So where do we get one, you say?
This suggestion is going to seem odd to many of you, I'm sure. But I'm thinking adding Artose Pinner as a third back would be a good step in the right direction. The guy cannot and will never been a feature back, but he's a minituare battleship that can move the pile. As a #3 guy and someone to spell Norwood and Dunn in case of injuries or fatigue, you can't do much better for the meager amount of money you'll have to pay him. Admittedly he's got crappy career averages, but I'm asking you to look past that to his numbers last year and a change of scenery to a contender.
Got any other power backs we can get on the cheap? Lemme know.