“The running game nowadays, you need to have a couple of guys that can tote it,” Redskins HC Jay Gruden told Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro on ESPN 980 earlier this week. “Sixteen games is a long time, that’s a lot of games, a lot of carries, that’s a lot of hits on these running backs.”
Gruden said that he would like to split up the carries more than he did last year, when he went with what was mostly a one-back attack. Alfred Morris had 265 rushing attempts. The other tailbacks on the roster, Roy Helu, Silas Redd, and Chris Thompson, combined for 59 rushing attempts. That is 82 percent of the carries for Morris, 18 percent for the rest.
In his three years as the offensive coordinator with the Bengals, Gruden spread the workload in different ways in different seasons. In 2012 he had BenJarvus Green-Ellis take 80 percent of the tailback rushing attempts. But in 2011 it was a 70-30 split between Cedric Benson and Bernard Scott. And in 2013 Cincinnati drafted Giovani Bernard and gave him 170 carries to 220 for Green-Ellis (that’s a 56-44 split in percentage terms).
So maybe splitting up the running back carries isn’t so much a matter of philosophy for Gruden as much as doing things the way the quality of his stable of running backs dictates. He told Sheehan and Loverro that he will see who can earn the carries that Morris won’t get.
“I think you give Alfred the bulk of [the carries] and then Matt Jones comes in there, it could be Chris Thompson, it could be Silas Redd,” he said. “We’ll see how camp goes to see who deserves the carries, who’s going to get the carries. They have to prove then can protect the ball, No. 1, and prove they can pick up blitzes, No. 2 and then they will get some carries behind Alfred.”
We're still expecting Morris to see the vast majority of the carries, but this is something to keep in mind if another back flashes in the preseason. In his first three seasons, Morris has finished #5, #14 and #13 in standard formats. He's more of a RB2 in PPR leagues (#7, #19, #17) since he has only averaged 0.8 receptions per game in his career. Bill Callahan's arrival (as offensive line coach) should help the effectiveness of the team's running game, which in turn will help Morris's fantasy production. He's a solid value and a safe pick in the 3rd/4th round of early PPR drafts. He should go in the 2nd/3rd in standard leagues.
Rice was replaced in the backfield by reserve running backs Bernard Pierce and Bernard Scott after the Ravens' opening drive. Rice opened the game with one carry for 1-yard, but didn't get back in the game until the Ravens' final drive of the first half.
Both Rice and Ravens coach John Harbaugh attributed the reduction in playing time to strategy, not because of Rice's nagging quadriceps injury.
"That was a decision really with the offensive coaches," Harbaugh said. "When we were backed up, we didn't want to put him in those backed-up situations. We didn't feel the need to do that."
Although Rice got more involved in the second half of the Ravens' season-ending 34-17 loss by scoring a game-tying two-point conversion in the third quarter, he ended the game with six runs for 15 yards and seven catches for 35 yards. This was a must-win game for the Ravens in order to have a shot at making the playoffs.
Reggie Bush (calf) is good to go for Monday Night Football and per Adam Schefter reported that Bush is expected to get his usual amount of work this week. Due to workload/injury concerns heading into Sunday, Bush was our #20 RB in standard formats. If he plays a full game, he should produce solid RB2 numbers (at a minimum). On the defensive side of the ball, the Lions are down their two starting corners, Houston and Slay, so the table is set for Joe Flacco and the Baltimore receivers.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 2:49pm
Stokley has a lengthy history of concussions.
Thursday, November 28, 2013, 7:11pm
Sunday, November 3, 2013, 2:59pm
Monday, October 28, 2013, 12:21pm
Friday, April 12, 2013, 4:56pm
Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 2:24pm
Free agent running back Bernard Scott was cleared Monday by orthopedic surgeon Robert Scheinberg to begin cutting and doing "explosive weight training" on his surgically repaired knee, Scott's agent, Scott Casterline, told USA TODAY Sports.
Scott tore his ACL in Week 2 last season for the Cincinnati Bengals. Casterline said Scheinberg said Scott is right on track in his recovery.
Monday, October 15, 2012, 10:55am
Monday, October 8, 2012, 12:10pm
The Bangals have placed RB Bernard Scott on season-ending Injured Reserve.
Friday, October 5, 2012, 6:21pm
Thursday, October 4, 2012, 6:50pm
Bengals RB Bernard Scott (ankle) took full practice reps Thursday after being limited Wednesday. Scott should play against the Dolphins this week. His role will likely be limited as the team eases him back into action.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 6:50pm
Sunday, September 30, 2012, 2:35pm
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