November 19, 2019, 05:02:15 PM

Author Topic: Position look: RB  (Read 3911 times)

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Offline RT

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Position look: RB
« on: May 16, 2019, 07:19:17 AM »
Barring injuries it is doubtful there will be much drama in the RB group, but injuries are always a concern at RB. Aaron Jones is probably number one on the depth chart and also the top playmaker out of the backfield, but his injury history may weigh on if they keep a 4th RB on the 53. Jones has missed 4 games in each of his first 2 seasons and was lost for the season in 2 of his 4 college seasons because of injuries. If the Packers are going to keep Jones healthy for a full season it probably requires limiting him to 10-12 touches a game as a change of pace back. Ironically that is what MM was doing and the fanbase, with the media fanning the flames, was unrelenting that Jones needed to be the workhorse. Also ironic is that the first game after MM was fired Jones was given 20 touches and shortly after was lost for the season because of injury.

Depth Chart: Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, Dexter Williams, Tra Carson, Kapri Bibbs

Aaron Jones - Has averaged an outstanding 5.5 YPC in his 2 seasons and at times has been electric with the ball in his hands. Has improved each season in his pass blocking. Has caught only 66% of his targets in his first 2 seasons, room for improvement there. Runs physical, but not build to hold up to his physical style. Excellent split carries back.

Jamaal Williams - Has a very physical running style. Caught 69.3% of his targets in his first 2 seasons. Probably the best pass blocking RB on the roster and was the main reason for his high percentage of usage on 3rd down. He is not flashy, but has made a good one-two punch with Jones.

Dexter Williams - 6th round pick is the new kid on the block and will need to earn his spot on the 53. Seems to be a mix of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, he is a one cut slasher with deceptive acceleration. Average 6.3 YPC last season at Notre Dame.

Tra Carson - Carson is a big back at 228 pounds. Was signed as a UDFA in 2016 by Cincinnati and has spent some time on their PS. Played 2 games for Cincinnati and 4 for GB last season on ST's only. For us fans he is basically a unknown talent.

Kapri Bibbs - Bibbs is a player that should be well schooled in the Packers new run game. Has played in Denver, SF and Washington well they were all running the same system. Has logged 28 NFL games and rushed for 311 yards at 4.4 per carry in limited duty in his career. Should flash early because of his advantage in knowing the system already.

Will the Packers carry 3 or 4 RB's on the opening 53? Can Bibbs or Carson finally break into the big leagues? Can Dexter Williams find a niche in MLF offense? Or is ST's his ticket to a roster spot?

However it shakes out it should be good competition.           
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 07:38:56 AM by RT »

Offline Hands

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Re: Position look: RB
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 06:35:15 AM »
I keep thinking, my first problem, that Aaron Jones has had two years of building his body up for the pro game. Maybe we will see it this year, if not the Williams brothers will be carrying a big load. I don't know anything about  Carson and Bibbs other than they sound like a good name for a Law company.
It's clearly AJ's position to lose and if he can stay healthy...I like the potential for a strong running game missing since Eddie Lacy left the team.
In the land of the blind.....the one eye man is king!

Offline RT

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Re: Position look: RB
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 07:49:25 AM »
I keep thinking, my first problem, that Aaron Jones has had two years of building his body up for the pro game. Maybe we will see it this year, if not the Williams brothers will be carrying a big load. I don't know anything about  Carson and Bibbs other than they sound like a good name for a Law company.
It's clearly AJ's position to lose and if he can stay healthy...I like the potential for a strong running game missing since Eddie Lacy left the team.

I believe they will be smart and manage him to attempt to last the season. The most important thing is to get to the playoffs, but also get to the playoffs with your best players available to play. It was one of the things I respected about MM, he didn't kill off his RB's in the first half of the season and they had juice for the December-January run. If Jones is asked to carry the ball 20-25 times a game to start the season he won't make it to the mid-season point and that does the Packers no good. Only time he should get that many touches is in the playoffs. At one point last season he said he was 190 something pounds and his position coach when ask later in the week confirmed that he was under 200 pounds. Backs that are physical runners and are 200 pounds or less can not hold up to 20-25 car crashes week after week.   

Offline Hands

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Re: Position look: RB
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 08:41:48 AM »
His build is more of a third down back for sure. His quickness needs to be available as you say during the playoffs. I'm surprised and disappointed that he's that light. He may have had some fat and now down to his fighting weight, just wish that weight was higher.
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Offline RT

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Re: Position look: RB
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 09:12:28 AM »
His build is more of a third down back for sure. His quickness needs to be available as you say during the playoffs. I'm surprised and disappointed that he's that light. He may have had some fat and now down to his fighting weight, just wish that weight was higher.

Their may be some truth to your 'fighting weight' comment. This is a link to a comment from Aaron Rodgers from April 12th from the start of the off season workout program this year.

www.espn.com/blog/green-bay-packers/post/_/id/47040/no-more-belly-jokes-from-aaron-rodgers-to-aaron-jones



Online craig

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Re: Position look: RB
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2019, 11:26:09 AM »
20-25 carries, no way.  But I'd think there could be some occasional matchup games with more than 10-12?  Not on a routine basis, but if there are some games where an opponent is defending in such a way that they're run-vulnerable, and if it's a game where giving Jones some extra touches can change the game for you, I could see an occasional 13-16-touch game. 

Good insight, though, that you don't want to grind him, and that **IF** you can get into the playoffs, you'd like him to be available and still healthy enough to be effective.   

I also think the distribution of touches between "carries" versus "catches" is also a question.  I think a quick, shifty guy like that might be able to make some plays in space, if given a little running room and space to set up some moves.  And perhaps with a strong guy like ESB running ahead and blocking....  :)  Rodgers has never really thrived or had great touch in throwing short stuff to backs, so maybe that's not going to be a thing.  But there might perhaps be some good-yardage opportunities there that will flow and emerge within the offense. 

One of the puzzles with Jones is that some of his qualities seem to fit "3rd down back", but to date his blocking has not.  It may be just as well if he remains an early-down-back only, but he might be a fun option on 3rd downs if occasionally used in that way. 

To large degree, I think the well-being of Jones and the running game will heavily depend on the Williams duo.  Lots easier to rest Jones appropriately and limit his grind, *IF* the alternatives are performing at a good level.  A coach tends to get tempted to overuse the better player if use of the lesser player is notably less productive.  Sure hoping that Williams has a very solid year, and that Dexter looks good if given some occasional spot snaps.  Will be curious to see how Dexter looks in terms of awareness and pass protection, and also how he looks as a pass-catcher.  Given the beating that backs take, it would be a huge break if Dexter emerged as a good player who can next-man-up with no hesitation or regret. 

Offline RT

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Re: Position look: RB
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2019, 12:12:33 PM »
Agree craig that the pitch count would have some flexibility to it. It is not the MLB with a starting pitcher reaching 100 pitches and the manager pulls him with a 2-2 count on the other teams pitcher. It would be a week to week usage thing, but at the end of the season his total carry volume should probably be in that 180-200 range in order to best give him a chance to make the season. IMO 

Offline dannobanano

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Re: Position look: RB
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2019, 01:33:42 PM »

Rodgers has never really thrived or had great touch in throwing short stuff to backs, so maybe that's not going to be a thing.  But there might perhaps be some good-yardage opportunities there that will flow and emerge within the offense. 



To large degree, I think the well-being of Jones and the running game will heavily depend on the Williams duo.


   
Will be curious to see how Dexter looks in terms of awareness and pass protection, and also how he looks as a pass-catcher.  Given the beating that backs take, it would be a huge break if Dexter emerged as a good player who can next-man-up with no hesitation or regret.



Beyond a screen pass, here and there, the MM offense didn't include passing to running backs as any consistent part of his offense, so Rodgers was rarely asked to make those kinds of throws. Since it is a staple of the MLF offense, Rodgers will get plenty of practice at it and he will be fine.

Jamaal Williams is very good as a receiver, but has been used primarily as a screen pass option. Remains to be seen if he can run the routes of the MLF offense with the proficiency that is needed. J-Will is also a very solid blocker in pass pro, so he will get his fair share of reps in games.

Watch game tape on Dex-Will. He's a very decent receiver out of the backfield. Doesn't fight the ball into his hands at all on swing passes. Very natural, hands catcher. But he still needs to pump up his pass pro.

Offline #66

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Re: Position look: RB
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2019, 02:24:48 PM »
I keep thinking, my first problem, that Aaron Jones has had two years of building his body up for the pro game. Maybe we will see it this year, if not the Williams brothers will be carrying a big load. I don't know anything about  Carson and Bibbs other than they sound like a good name for a Law company.
It's clearly AJ's position to lose and if he can stay healthy...I like the potential for a strong running game missing since Eddie Lacy left the team.
Word is that AJ added muscle this year.
The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. - Vince Lombardi

Offline dannobanano

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Re: Position look: RB
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2019, 02:44:18 PM »
They said that last year as well.

https://www.packers.com/news/bigger-stronger-aaron-jones-aims-to-be-as-explosive-as-ever-in

The big question is...……CAN he keep the weight for the whole season?

Jones started the 2018 season at 208 lbs and finished well below 200 lbs.

He's got to be able to hold that weight if he's got any chance of becoming a durable running back that can be relied on to available Sunday in, Sunday out.

Online craig

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Re: Position look: RB
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2019, 03:33:35 PM »
Rodgers has never really thrived or had great touch in throwing short stuff to backs, so maybe that's not going to be a thing.  But there might perhaps be some good-yardage opportunities there that will flow and emerge within the offense.

Beyond a screen pass, here and there, the MM offense didn't include passing to running backs as any consistent part of his offense, so Rodgers was rarely asked to make those kinds of throws. Since it is a staple of the MLF offense, Rodgers will get plenty of practice at it and he will be fine....

You're probably right.  But, I'm not 100% sure yet! 

It's popular now to blame MM for anything and everything and to assume he's the dumbest guy with the worst o-system in history.  (OK, I'm hyperbolizing there, obviously!  :):) 

But I think it's possible that he tried not to ask his QB's to do stuff that they weren't very effective at.  I think there were a number of attempts, during the James Starks era for example, to have Rodgers throw him swing passes sweeping around the corner. 

But my subjective recall is that Rodgers wasn't good at it.  He'd throw rockets when the back wasn't many strides away.  He'd throw rockets behind the guy or at his knees, so that any momentum was totally lost.  Guy would have to stop, or turn around, or do really difficult body twists to get his hands on the ball; the momentum was lost and even if he did catch the ball, he'd have to start up from scratch to get some speed going.  A lot of the QB's who are good at those plays throw it pretty soft, with good touch, and lead the runner, so that the guy has time to prepare his hands in front of him, and to adjust his footsteps so that he can catch the ball in stride and in balance and take off.

My memory may be subjective and very faulty, I know that.  But I just don't think Aaron has ever really liked making the soft lead throws, and I don't think he's ever had good placement accuracy to make it as easy as possible for the back to both catch and then to run.  Maybe my memory is crazy.  Or maybe it was all MM's fault. 
And maybe at this point in his career, MLF and Getsy are going to help him do it effectively. 

But it may simply be something that isn't really within Rodgers' capacity. 

That said, success if a TREMENDOUS reinforcer.  And so if practice.  If they have some success with it, and run more, Rodgers may get better quickly, and may be increasingly enthusiastic and invested in optimizing those throws.  He loves winning and having the offense click, so *IF* he can see these sorts of plays as working well, maybe it will be very self-reinforcing for good. 

Offline B

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Re: Position look: RB
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2019, 06:48:48 AM »
craig, I think it is less a product of Rodgers lacking the skill "wasn't good at it" as it is that he wasn't very patient with it. I think in the last several years Aaron got addicted to the big dramatic throw. I saw him pass by on open receivers and extend plays looking for the bigger plays too often.

Your point is well taken regarding mob scapegoating of McCarthy.

For what its worth, in 2007 with Favre as his QB, running back receiving stats were as follows:
 ~~ Ryan Grant 37 targets, 30 rec. for 145 yds.   
 ~~ Brandon Jackson 22 targets, 16 rec. for 130 yds.   
 ~~ DeShawn Wynn   14 targets, 9 rec. for 73 yds.   
 ~~ Vernand Morency 39 targets, 30 rec. for 199 yds.
 ~~ Korey Hall 11 targets, 8 rec. for 49 yds.
 ~~ John Kuhn 3 targets, 2 rec. for 7 yds.
TOTAL 122 targets, 95 rec. for 603 yds

In 2008, Aaron's first as a starter, running back stats were:
 ~~ Ryan Grant 22 targets, 18 rec. for 116 yds.   
 ~~ Brandon Jackson 39 targets, 30 rec. for 185 yds.
 ~~ John Kuhn 7 targets,  4 rec. for 21 yds.   
 ~~ DeShawn Wynn 3 targets, 3 rec. for 30 yds.   
 ~~ Kregg Lumpkin 3 targets, 3 rec for 22 yds.
 ~~ Korey Hall 7 targets 7 rec for 38 yds.   
TOTAL 81 targets, 65 rec. for 412 yds.

In 2010, when the Packers won the Super Bowl:
 ~~ Brandon Jackson 50 targets , 43 rec. for 342 yds.   
 ~~ John Kuhn 18 targets 15 rec. for 97 yds.
 ~~ Dimitri Nance 4 targets 3 rec. for 30 yds
 ~~ James Starks 4 targets 2 rec. for 15 yds.
 ~~ Quinn Johnson 4 targets 3 rec. for 26 yds.
 ~~ Korey Hall 1 target, 1 rec. for 9 yds.   
TOTAL 81 targets, 67 rec. for 519 yds.

Last season, 2018:
 ~~ Aaron Jones 35 targets, 26 rec. for 206 yds.
 ~~ Jamaal Williams 41 targets, 27 rec. 210 yds.
 ~~ Ty Montgomery 23 targets, 15 rec. 170 yds.
Too lazy to breakdown the Cobb and Adams lined up in backfield
TOTAL 99 targets, 68 rec. 586 yds,   

« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 06:52:11 AM by B »
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Offline RT

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Re: Position look: RB
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2019, 07:03:25 AM »
That is a very good posting B.

I also have felt the same about Rodgers and check downs as the years have went by. MM's offense oversimplified was A) TD, B) check down, but as time went on it became A) TD , B) Rodgers scrambles in an attempt for TD. It almost seemed like Rodgers resented the idea of a check down. 
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 07:12:33 AM by RT »

Offline dannobanano

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Re: Position look: RB
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2019, 07:33:45 AM »
The system MLF is installing will be involving RB's in the passing game as a staple part of the offense, instead of as a check down as it was for the last 13 seasons.

There will be plenty of pass plays designed to get the ball into the hands of playmakers like Aaron Jones as a primary option rather than as a check down option.

That will be a marked difference from the past.

Offline RT

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Re: Position look: RB
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2019, 08:33:30 AM »
Packers RB receptions 2018:

Jamaal Williams 27
Aaron Jones 26
Ty Montgomery 15
Kapri Bibbs 3

Total 71

Titans RB receptions 2018:

Dion Lewis 59
Derrick Henry 15

Total 74

Not buying the big difference until I actually see it, danno. It may sound good that MLF is going to make Rodgers make those throws, but Rodgers will have opinions to get out of those plays. We will see soon enough the end results.