Posts Tagged ‘arian foster’

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This is one of my favorite categories because its much like fantasy football; you just never really know how a player will perform.  Remember what the term comeback means.  More often than not a QB will take the Comeback Player of the Year Award mostly because of they can exceed expectations from a previous year.  Such as Phillip Rivers; he had a very bad season in 2012 mostly due to a bad team effort.  But in 2013 the talent got better around him and he was able to better his play.  Its is much harder for a RB to win the award because more often than not they need to comeback from a terrible injury or explode with a new team.  Its much of the same with WR as well; they need to produce outrageous stats to be considered for this award.

With that in mind; I feel there are a lot of players who could be in the running for the 2014 Comeback Player of the Year.  Some of my possibilities are QB; but there are a bunch of other positions that very well could win it as well.  There were a lot of injuries in 2013; and during free agency this year we saw a lot of players go to new teams.  So it should be very interesting to see who emerges out of the pack to win this award.  Below are my top selections in no particular order.

Robert Griffin III Redskins – Obvious first choice going into the season.  The Redskins have surrounded him with talented players and an upgraded offensive line.  One of the big stories was the Skins picking up DeSean Jackson in free agency which adds a lot of speed to the offense.  Pierre Garcon is healthy and Alfred Morris will be a big part of the pass game now as well.  RGIII should be healthy and ready to go when the season starts and I think the bar will be set pretty high for him in 2014.

Percy Harvin Seahawks – Harvin is another top candidate because after his showing in the Super Bowl; we all got to see his potential when he is healthy.  Now with Golden Tate gone there should be a lot of action in store for Harvin.  Now that is taking into account that he will stay healthy for a full season; we all know he has had some issues with that.  He has all the tools he needs to have a killer 2014 season; lets see if he uses all of them.

Julio Jones Falcons – Julio Jones is amazing anyway and he was on track to have a career year in 2013 until he got a foot injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season.  Jones is going to be healthy by the time the season starts and the Falcons brought in Hester from the Bears to hopefully take some of the pressure off Jones.  Roddy White will be playing the opposite side so there is no reason why Julio should not just explode.  

Rob Gronkowski Patriots – Two years ago it was impossible to stop Gronk, now for the last season he has had injury after injury that has slowed his progress.  No TE has ever won the Comeback Award; but if there is a TE to do it; it would be Gronk.  Tom Brady is still delivering the passes; so as long as Gronk can stay on the field he actually has a chance to get this award.

Aaron Rodgers Packers – He is a former league MVP so we all know his capabilities; now he is healthy he should return to form.  He still has weapons around him like Cobb and Nelson, and now the Packers have a strong run game with Lacy so it makes sense that Rodgers should be able to pass often and make a good run to winning this award.

Michael Crabtree 49ers – After being sidelined for most of the 2013 season with an injury; Crabtree came back with a vengeance and was a big impact on the 49ers.  Now being healthy and with other WR options for Kap; it should free up Crabtree to show his full potential.  He wont be putting up Julio Jones numbers; but he still can show how much he has recovered from a serious injury.

There are some others that might have a chance at this award too like Larry Fitzgerald, Randall Cobb, Eli Manning, Michael Vick, and Jake Locker; but they have some stiff competition to get there.  I know I didnt put any defensive players on here and thats because there have only been 3 defensive players to ever win this award and I dont see it happening in 2014.  I may be wrong though; you never know.

 

When it comes to an offense many people think of the QB; I on the other hand always look at the running backs.  Even though the NFL is more of a passing league now; you cannot be an effective team without a solid running game.  I am taking each team and I am going to put who I think was the best running back for that team.  I am basing this on what they did for that team; not just how many yards they got.  Some teams are kind of a no-brainer; but there are a few teams where it will be really hard to choose who was the greatest of all time.  I know that people will have different opinions than me so feel free to put who you think were the best for each team if you think I have over looked someone.

Buffalo Bills – Thurman Thomas: I chose Thomas because he was an integral part of the Bills offense for a long time and he did help get the Bills to 4 straight Super Bowls.  OJ Simpson was a close second.  Thomas totaled up 11,938 yards in his time with the Bills and is now in the Hall of Fame.

Miami Dolphins – Larry Csonka: Tough running and strength is what separates Csonka from other Miami running backs.  He rarely ever fumbled the ball and he was one of the toughest running backs to tackle.  He totaled up 6,737 yards as a Dolphin and won 2 Super Bowls.  He was also part of the 1972 Dolphins that went 14-0.  Mercury Morris and Ricky Williams were in the running for best Dolphin RB as well.

New England Patriots – Sam Cunningham: I know most people will vote for Curtis Martin, but Cunningham is the Patriots all-time rushing leader and his nickname was “Bam”.  He is now in the Hall of Fame and was a very tough inside runner that could deliver a hit at any time.

New York Jets – Curtis Martin: The 8 seasons he was with the Jets he had over 1,000 yards in 7 of them.  He also had a nose for the endzone and rushed for 58 touchdowns as a Jet.  When he retired he was 4th on the all-time rushing list with 14,101 rushing yards and even though he was on a few teams; I feel he made the biggest impact with the Jets.  I was considering Freeman McNeil; but Martin earned this title.

Baltimore Ravens – Jamal Lewis: The Ravens are still a young team and Ray Rice will eventually take this title, but in the mean time Jamal Lewis is the king RB for the Ravens.  He took the Ravens to the Super Bowl as a rookie and in 2003 he rushed for an astonishing 2,066 yards and 14 touchdowns.  Also in 2003 he set an NFL record by rushing for 295 yards in a single game.  Lewis was a beast to tackle and was a dominant force for the Ravens for 6 seasons.

Cincinnati Bengals – Corey Dillon: There have been numerous Bengal running backs that were in the running for this but Dillon was the best in my opinion.  Dillon was with the Bengals for 7 seasons and rushed for 1,000 yards in 6 of them.  In 2000 he set an NFL record for 278 rushing yards in a game.  Even though injuries slowed his career down he made a big impact for the Bengals franchise.

Cleveland Browns – Jim Brown:  I don’t think anyone can argue with this one.  Brown was pure power and speed and for 9 seasons he led the league in rushing for 8 of them.  Brown made the Pro Bowl 9 times and in 1964 he led the Browns to the NFL Championship and got them to the title game the following season.  He ended his career with 12,312 rushing yards and 106 rushing touchdowns.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Franco Harris:  I was really torn between Harris or Jerome Bettis; but in the end I think Harris was the best Steeler RB.  Harris rushed for over 1,000 yards 8 times and was named to 9 Pro Bowls.  He was also part of the “Immaculate Reception” which gave the Steelers their first post season victory in franchise history.  The Steelers won 4 Super Bowls with Harris in the backfield and Harris set a Super Bowl record by rushing for 158 yards in Super Bowl IX against Minnesota.

Houston Texans – Arian Foster:  The Texans are the youngest NFL team and have not had a lot of RB’s; but Foster hands down wins this title.  Any RB that plays for the Texans is going to have a tough act to follow when Foster is finished.  He has already gone over 1,000 yards in 3 seasons and has been to 3 Pro Bowls.  He is an elusive yet powerful runner that is very hard to tackle. 

Indianapolis Colts – Edgerrin James:  Yes, I considered the Baltimore Colts players as well in this.  All in all; James was a nightmare for defense while on the Colts.  I know most people would say Marshall Faulk should be the best in Colts history and they would not be wrong, but when I watched James play he added an element to the team that I don’t think Faulk did.  James had over 1,000 yards in 5 seasons and had over 10 rushing touchdowns in 4 seasons.  James holds the franchise record for most rushing yards in a season with 1,709.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Fred Taylor:  I know that Maurice Jones-Drew has become a huge part of the Jaguars, but Taylor was a beast while he was on the Jaguars.  As a rookie Taylor rushed for 1,223 yards and 14 touchdowns.  He also had 7 seasons of at least 1,000 yards; and he totaled over 11,000 yards while he was with the Jaguars.

Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans – Earl Campbell:  This one was really tough to decide on.  Eddie George gained more yards for the franchise, but Campbell was more of a dominant runner by far.  He led the Oilers to the AFC Championship Game and was one of the toughest runners that the league has ever seen.  Campbell had 5 seasons where he had over 1,000 yards and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Denver Broncos – Terrell Davis: There have been few Bronco running backs that were as impressive as Davis.  His career was cut short by injuries, but during his time he led the Broncos to 2 Super Bowls.  In 1998 he eclipsed 2,008 yards in the season and 21 touchdowns and was the league MVP.  Even though Davis may never make the Hall of Fame he is still the record holder for most rushing yards and rushing touchdowns for the Broncos.  He had 7,607 rushing yards and 60 rushing touchdowns.

Kansas City Chiefs – Priest Holmes: For the Chiefs; there has never been a better runner than Holmes.  He was another running back that was plagued by injuries, but he was a power back who had amazing speed.  Holmes was the first undrafted player to win a league rushing title in 2001.  In 2002 he had an NFL record 27 touchdowns and he also led the league in rushing yards. 

Oakland Raiders – Marcus Allen:  I really wanted to put Bo Jackson up for this, but in reality Allen was a huge part of the Raiders for a long time.  Not only was Allen a great runner; but he had excellent hands.  He was a key piece in the Raiders Super Bowl victory over the Redskins when he rushed for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns.  As a Raider Allen totaled up 8,545 yards and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

San Diego Chargers – LaDainian Tomlinson:  I really do not think there will be another like LT.  In the 9 seasons he was with the Chargers he had an amazing 12,490 yards and rushed for over 1,000 in 8 of those seasons.  The 2006 season was his best when he had 1,815 yards and an NFL record 28 touchdowns.  LT was able to run, catch, and sometimes throw the ball which made his deadly for defenses.  When it comes to Charger RB’s there will never be another who could match what he did.

Dallas Cowboys – Emmitt Smith:  I know that this one will be up for debate because Tony Dorsett was another Cowboy great.  Smith was a Cowboy for 13 seasons and 11 of those he had over 1,000 yards.  He is still the NFL’s All-Time leading rusher.  Not only has he won Super Bowls; he has also won Super Bowl MVP Awards and league awards.  By the end of his career Smith had 18,355 rushing yards and has been named to the Hall of Fame.

New York Giants – Tiki Barber:  He may not be too popular around New York anymore, but he did total up over 10,000 yards for the Giants.  Barber had great speed for a guy his size and he was also very powerful.  He did help the Giants reach one Super Bowl and his best season was in 2005 when he totaled up 1,860 rushing yards and had 11 touchdowns. 

Philadelphia Eagles – Steve Van Buren:  Brian Westbrook was in the running for this, but in the end Van Buren was the complete package.  Van Buren led the NFL in rushing 4 times and helped lead the Eagles to back-to-back titles in 1948 and 1949.  Back then teams only played 12 games and he still went over 1,000 yards twice.  He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame as will be considered the greatest Eagle running back.

Washington Redskins – John Riggins: I really wanted to put Clinton Portis for this, but when you add everything up Riggins was incredible for the Redskins.  He is the Redskins all-time leading rusher and he was a key piece in the Redskins Super Bowl victory.  He sealed the victory with a 43-yard touchdown run and was named the Super Bowl MVP.  His nickname was “The Diesel” and in his career he racked up 11,352 rushing yards with 7,472 while with the Redskins.

Chicago Bears – Walter Payton: The Bears have had some stellar RB’s but none have compared to ‘Sweetness”.  He rushed for over 1,000 yards 10 different times as a Bear and was a dangerous runner that was impossible to bring down.  His best season was in 1977 when he rushed for 1,852 yards and had a game where he rushed for 275 yards.  Payton had an amazing work ethic and was a constant leader for the team.  In his career he had 16,726 rushing yards and was named to the Hall of Fame.

Detroit Lions – Barry Sanders:  Probably one of the best of all-time played for a losing team.  Sanders was a dangerous runner that had the quickest feet anyone has ever seen.  Sanders had 4 rushing titles and in 1997 was league MVP.  He played 10 seasons in the NFL and had over 1,000 yards in all of them; and in 1997 he went over 2,000 yards in a single season.  When he retired he had 15,269 yards as a Lion and that is almost triple of the next highest Lion player.  Had he stayed in the league for another few season he could have easily been the record holder for rushing yards.

Green Bay Packers – Jim Taylor:  Taylor helped lead the Packer to 4 titles and to the first Super Bowl ever.  Taylor had 5 consecutive 1,000 yard seasons and he would rather run you over than run around you.  In 1962 he beat out Jim Brown for the NFL rushing title by rushing for 1,474 yards and 19 touchdowns.  Taylor has been inducted into the Hall of Fame and even though he is no longer the franchise rushing yard holder he will stay at the top of Packer running backs.

Minnesota Vikings – Adrian Peterson:  Peterson is still very young and he has a very bright future ahead of him.  Peterson came into the league and was an immediate star; his rookie year he rushed for 1,300 yards and earned NFL Rookie of the Year.  In 2007, he ran for 296 yards in a single game and 3 touchdowns.  He has battled some serious injuries in his short career, but he has proven to be a freak of nature and over come injuries to be one of the best runners of all time.  In 2012 he fell just 9 yards short of the all-time rushing yard total in a single season.

Atlanta Falcons – William Andrews:  I know most people would put Warrick Dunn or Jamal Anderson, but Andrews was a complete package.  He played for the Falcons for 6 seasons and had over 1,000 yards in 4 of them.  In 1981 Andrews led the league in yards from scrimmage with 2,036 and 10 touchdowns.  Andrews finished his career with 5,986 yards and had he not had a terrible knee injury that ended his career he would have had a lot more.

Carolina Panthers – DeAngelo Williams:  Another young franchise but when it comes to pure running, DeAngelo is the best for Carolina.  He had back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons in 2008 and 2009 and averaged more than 5 yards per carry.  In 2008 he had his best season by rushing for 1,515 yards and 18 touchdowns which helped the Panthers reach the playoffs.  In his career so far he has 5,784 rushing yards and he is now splitting time with Jonathan Stewart.

New Orleans Saints – Deuce McAllister:  He started his career with 3 straight 1,000 yard seasons for the Saints.  Even though he had some injury issues he still ended up having 6,096 rushing yards for the Saints which is a franchise record.  He was on the roster when the Saints won the Super Bowl that way he could get a Super Bowl ring.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – James Wilder:  This was a tough call because of Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott; but I feel Wilder was a more complete runner.  In 1984 he set an NFL record by rushing the ball 407 times in a single season and had 1,544 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.  Wilder had two 1,000 yard seasons and even though he was always on a losing team he proved to be a constant workhorse for the Bucs.

Arizona/St. Louis/Chicago Cardinals – OJ Anderson:  The Cardinals are the oldest NFL franchise, but Anderson has by far been the best runner to put on a Cardinal uniform.  He totaled up 7,999 rushing yards during his time and had five 1,000 yard seasons.  He won Rookie of the Year honors and was selected to 2 Pro Bowls.  After he was traded to the Giants he helped New York win 2 Super Bowls.

St Louis/Los Angeles Rams – Eric Dickerson:  This was an easy one to pick.  Even though the Rams have had some impressive runners like Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson; Dickerson is the best.  As a rookie he had 1,808 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns.  In 1984 he set a record that still stands today by rushing for 2,105 yards in a single season.  Dickerson was a pure runner who made it look easy and even though he played for other teams he will be considered the best Rams runner of all-time.

San Francisco 49ers – Frank Gore: There have been numerous 49er runners that could have been the best but in my eyes there is none better than Gore.  Gore has been a constant threat for the 49ers since he came into the league in 2005.  He has had six 1,000 yard seasons and he is an excellent pass catcher as well.  He is the franchise rushing leader and has 51 career rushing touchdowns.  He is a powerful runner that will run you over, but has the agility to run around you.

Seattle Seahawks – Shaun Alexander:  Not only did he had five straight 1,000 yard seasons, he was a touchdown machine.  In 2005 he had 1,880 rushing yards and an NFL record 28 touchdowns.  He was plagued with injuries which cut his career short, but he still managed to have 9,429 rushing yards and was selected to 3 Pro Bowls.

 

 

Most of the offseason has come and gone and it is not that long before opening kickoff for the 2013 season.  With that being said there are still a good number of veteran running backs that are not signed to a team.  Now just because you are a veteran running back does not mean that teams will be falling all over themselves to sign you; but some of the guys still out there are a little shocking that they have no been signed yet..

Each NFL team will normally have 3 running backs on their roster; most teams have 3 solid running backs, but there are a good handful of teams who could use some fresh legs on their team.  Some teams are holding on to mediocre running backs instead of releasing them and picking up a veteran running back who could help provide leadership; and get a few carries in games.  Almost every team is always going to be on the hunt for the next Arian Foster who went undrafted and is now one of the best running backs in the NFL.  With a veteran you know exactly what you are getting, but any of these guys would be great additions to some teams.

Willis McGahee – Willis has had 1,000 yard seasons on 3 different teams and has proven to be a solid bruising running back.  Because of that he has had some injuries along the way, but he still has a few years of playing time left.  I think a team like Rams could use him since all they have is young guys in the backfield.  I also think the Raiders would be a good fit since Darren McFadden has been bitten by the injury bug almost every season.

Michael Turner – Now Turner is getting up there is years and he is bigger than most running backs; but that makes him perfect for goal line carries on almost any team.  He still has some tread on those big tires and a team like the Cowboys could use him just for his size.  Honestly I think Turner would be a good fit for the Packers to help take some stress off Rodgers; and he would split with the rookie Lacy.  I really think a team needs to pick Turner up; remember he rushed for 10 touchdowns in 2012

Cedric Benson – Now Benson has had some injury issues, but before he got hurt in 2012 he was doing pretty well with the Packers.  Benson is now 30 and I think he still has 4 or 5 years left of playing time a head of him.  I think the Raiders would be a good fit for Benson just because of how hard he runs.  I also think Benson would be a great backup for Doug Martin on the Bucs; Martin is more of a finesse runner; and then Benson will run you over.

Beanie Wells – Truthfully I don’t have a lot to say about Beanie because he is a high risk, but high reward type running back.  When Beanie is healthy he is a total beast, but injuries have proven to get the best of him in almost every season.  Even with the injuries I think he would be a good compliment to Jamaal Charles on the Chiefs, or a nice addition to the Bills.  I doubt he will get picked up for the 2013 season; but if he can get healthy and stay healthy I think teams will want to sign him.

Ryan Grant – Now Grant has never been a huge name when it comes to stats, but he has quick feet and is a tough runner.  With his running style he could be an excellent addition to the Vikings playing next to Adrian Peterson.  I know the Vikings have Toby Gerhart, but Grant would help add some speed on third down.  Grant would also fit nicely into the Patriots gameplan.  The Patriots already have Ridley and Vereen, bur Grant would be a nice third down back or goal line back.