What has happened to the running back position?

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by jnday, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. jnday

    jnday Well-Known Member

    8,622 Messages
    3,171 Likes Received
    I am am watching "A Football Life" about about Barry Sanders and it brings a question to mind thay would make a good discussion. What has happened to the RB position where you don't see any reach the quality of Payton, Sanders, Dickerson, Dorsett and Smith? There are no longer true every down backs anymore. There are no great backs in the college ranks that are entering the pros. A. Peterson is the closest back that could fall in this group.

    The first excuse that I expect to hear is that this is a passing league now, but there is no way that a back such as Sanders or Smith wouldn't have a big impact on a team's offense.

    I think the quality of the offensive linemen has gone down quite a bit, but that is a small factor. You don't even see great backs available in the draft anymore. Some of the young guys may not understand the impact that these backs had on the game. Just take a look at Murray if you want to know what a good back can do for an offense and he is not the quality back as the ones I listed. Thoughts?
  2. ABQcowboyJR

    ABQcowboyJR Well-Known Member

    3,321 Messages
    362 Likes Received
    You still see them, I think foster and forte fit that mold, mccoy.....
  3. Muhast

    Muhast Newo

    7,661 Messages
    367 Likes Received
    Adrian peterson is one of those guys.

    AND to answer the question the league became a passing league. Teams dont focus on the run game as much. A lot of ol are being taught to pass block in the college ranks where we are seeing a lot less players each year who can do both.
  4. CaptainMorgan

    CaptainMorgan Well-Known Member

    2,109 Messages
    586 Likes Received
    I think that is pretty accurate. Even small schools are running pro style offenses these days and prioritizing the passing game.
  5. Deep_Freeze

    Deep_Freeze Well-Known Member

    8,150 Messages
    1,673 Likes Received
    Well, I see alot of young athletes being lead away from the position to be honest. Its a high impact position and most know that if they play it, even if they make the NFL, they won't last long.

    My brother in law played RB in the NFL and has 3 sons who are already showing alot of athletic ability. None of them will play RB if we have anything to say about it, its like a law. Injury risk is just too high, and there are other positions/sports that they can play that won't end in a head injury and broke down knees.
  6. AmericasTeam31

    AmericasTeam31 Well-Known Member

    1,246 Messages
    26 Likes Received
    Ray Rice? He's pretty darn shifty and is an every down back. Plays goal line, short yardage and catches a ton of balls.
  7. Frozen700

    Frozen700 Well-Known Member

    15,087 Messages
    2,466 Likes Received
    It's like basketball...the art of the mid range is almost gone.
  8. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

    16,164 Messages
    7,211 Likes Received
    Some coaches started to see that the stats suggest that you win by passing the ball better than the other team. The stats also suggest that throwing more is better and if you can rack up points, you put your defense at an advantage. Those coaches started throwing the ball a ton and had success. The rest of the league followed.

    The league also became enthralled with the 2-back system. Problem is that most good tailbacks need to get their carries in order to get into a groove and the 2-back system doesn't allow for it. And the college game is so spread out with bubble screens and such that there is little emphasis on pure drive blocking.

    Not to mention, players like Emmitt were well coached from an early age on how to play tailback. They were used to having a fullback and being taught how to wait for their blockers to get in position to block and when to take off if they could sense the blockers weren't going to get there. Now it's all zone blocking and the running backs essentially sprint to the first crease they see develop. The art of being a running back is gone.

    I think there are ways to bring the tailback into the game with importance and get an advantage onto the rest of the team. Run a hurry-up style of offense. You can still get a 2-back system, but in the hurry up, you'll run more plays so each back will get more carries. And if you're willing to go for it on 4th down *a lot* and keep that in mind in your play calling, you can gain an advantage by running against nickel and dime packages on 3rd and 9, get 6 yards, and put yourself in 4th and 3 which is very convertible.

  9. CowboyFan74

    CowboyFan74 Cowboys Analyst

    16,413 Messages
    2,455 Likes Received
    Foster and Rice make a big impact when healthy for their team...

Share This Page