INDIANAPOLIS – It’s too early to say which Indianapolis Colts will get the most in 2020.
But based on preliminary comments from head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni, they expect a 1-2 effective blow with 2019 leading rusher Marlon Mack and rookie Jonathan Taylor.
That doesn’t sound like much to bring for the third back-down of Nyheim Hines, whose specialty is catching a pass from the backfield, or the number two reserve player before Jordan Wilkins, but again, the situation can change and the offseason is not the time to speak in absolute terms.
Although Mack came from his best season in three years with 1,091 yards, he also missed two matches because of injury. Sprinters with poor stiff arms also miss four games in 2018 and two in 2017, so it’s natural for the Colts who want to see a lot of Taylor, who combines power with speed.
As the old NFL saying goes, it is not who starts but who finishes. That said, the coach is known to remain with hot hands preventing the workload from becoming too burdensome for one player.
After the Colts recruited Taylor in the second round with a 44th overall pick, Reich spoke of the need for a seventh-ranked offense to rush more explosively with longer profits.
“Jonathan Taylor is an explosive player,” Reich said in a Zoom video conference call after the final day of the April NFL draft. “That size and speed of 4.3 (second) – we want to change the 10-page increment to 50 and 60-page. Now he and Marlon can add that element to our offense. “
Taylor, who rushed for 6,174 yards and 50 goals in 926 brings in three years in Wisconsin, has run lengths of 75, 88, and 72 yards in three seasons.
Mack’s long-term career was a TD TD rush in the opening season of 2019 at L.A Chargers. Missing the previous season was 49 in 2018 and 35 as a beginner. He has a nose for the final zone with 20 goals.
“I really imagined that Jonathan and Marlon would be the one-two hit,” Reich said. “When you see a good team for years – it’s a long season. This is something that is grinding and when you run as many balls as we run, it’s very good to be able to change it. I think their style will complement each other very well. Marlon has an amazing vision, he can run the outer zone well, he can make spikes, spikes, spikes and then he can accelerate as a whole. “
471 Colts’ rushed attempts ranked fifth, 2,130 rushing seventh yards, but 4.5 yard-per-carry average is 12. That’s why Reich put forward the importance of breaking up a bigger run.
Mack is entering the contract year, so putting up bigger numbers means bigger dollar signs on the next transaction. If he doesn’t get enough touch, it’s only natural to wonder his mindset in this 1-2 stroke scenario.
Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni was asked how confident he was in being able to allocate a large amount of work to each.
“I think very confident,” he said in a recent Zoom video conference call. “We know we want to run football. We know a lot of teams that are doing well in this league and in the past have had a good shot or two. It feels like it’s just one hit because we have two incredible backs.
“We’ve seen him work in the NFL where you have different styles, right? These two people can do a lot. Jonathan is a little bigger than Marlon, but they both have incredible speed, and they both have the ability to make you lose “And they both have the ability to break arm attacks and run with strength. They have several different running styles, but once again they are both full backs. I think that is an extraordinary problem to have, having two people like you can feed football. This will only help our running game. “
Oakland running back Josh Jacobs has the biggest workload of the NFL rookie running in 2019 with 1,150 yards in 242 carries in 13 games. His yard rushed eighth in the league.
In 2018, N.Y. The Giants running back Saquon Barkley became the best chosen overall with 1,307 yards rushing on 261 carries. He ranked second in the league in a hurry.
But both backs deal with most of what their team brings. Colts don’t need to do that, unless someone is injured. If that happens, Hines or Wilkins become a backup. Reich still imagines Hines, quickly it is difficult to understand having an active role as the third back-down.
In two seasons, Hines has 513 rushing yards and four TDs on 137 carry, but his ability as a pass-catcher translates to 107 receptions for 745 yards and two TDs. Wilkins is a better rusher with 643 yards and three TDs in 111 carry in two years. But he only caught 23 passes for 128 yards.
“There is only one ball to play, but one of the things that makes it easier is that our players are very unselfish,” Reich said. “We know how it goes – that Nyheim can do several matches with a relatively small number of touches and then suddenly, he has 10 catches in one match. It won’t surprise me if there is a game this year that Nyheim Hines has 10 catches.
“Nyheim will be very integrated into the game plan on all three downs. Yes, he won’t play as much as it is locked. I wouldn’t have anticipated he would play as much as Marlon and Jonathan snapped, but there was still enough snapping for him to be very, very productive this year – very productive. “
(Phillip B. Wilson has covered Indianapolis Colts for more than two decades and wrote a 2013 book, 100 Things Colts Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. He is on Twitter @ pwilson24, on Facebook at @allcoltswithphilb and @ 100thingscoltsfans, and the email is [email protected].)
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