Food for Thought: Should Green Bay Have Followed Atlanta's Lead in Learning Info About the Zone Read?
16 carries for 181 yards, with two touchdown runs of 20 and 56 yards. And these stats weren't made by All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson, either.
Green Bay coaches should remember these numbers too well. After all, they were made by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is an artist when it comes to running the zone read, having run it to perfection under former Nevada head coach Chris Ault during his time as Wolfpack quarterback. Both the Packers and the Falcons got a taste of what Kaepernick and the zone read are capable of, and how it has added life to both the passing game and the running game. The Washington Redskins and the Seattle Seahawks also ran the zone read under their rookie quarterbacks in Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson, respectively. And they, like Kaepernick, are artists in reading the defensive ends and deciding whether to keep it themselves or hand it off to their running backs, and it was a big reason the 49ers, Seahawks and Redskins were among the best when it came to running the football.
The Clemson Tigers have always had a pretty goo dplan for its running backs, and the fans have generally had a pretty good idea of who was going to carry the load.
After James Davis departed in 2008, everyone knew CJ Spiller would keep the ground game alive. and when Spiller left, everyone knew Jamie Harper and Andre Ellington could get the job done. And even when Harper departed a year early, everyone knew Andre Ellington would be better as the main feature back in this offense.
Now, fans can't really say that there will be that one feature, 20-25 touch running back currently on the roster to shoulder the running game as the feature back in an offense that has featured a 1,000 running back the last two seasons since Chad Morris became the offensive coordinator. The spring gives the Tigers an opportunity to see what they have at the position with the departure of Ellington and who could step up before the recruits arrive.
Andrew Luck's Receiving Corps Led By Reggie Wayne And T.Y. Hilton Are Biggest Reason For Colts' Resurgence
This time last year, the Colts were sitting at 2-14, no Peyton Manning, and an impending free agency with which the Colts had to solve a number of problems, particulary at quarterback. And they solved that with the No. 1 overall pick in the form of quarterback Andrew Luck.
But the next step was to re-tool a receiving corps that was non-existent in 2011. And many pass over exactly what this receiving corps accomplished with Luck in 2012, and what this group consisted of.
The biggest surprise of this group was veteran Reggie Wayne, but not because of his production (1,355 receiving yards and five touchdowns), but because of the fact that he stuck around Indy despite the big regime changes, and despite the widely held rumors that he would follow former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning to whatever team he signed with in free agency. The 11-year veteran always gets the biggest label in this receiving corps, but this group was more than this future NFL Hall of Famer.
It's that time again. The end of the regular season is upon us once again. And playoff time is about to begin.
Another year gone down in history. And it's a year all football fans should look upon with pride and admiration, for what both players and coaches accomplished over adversity. It's also the year of controversy.
In 2010, it was the Green Bay Packers. In 2011, it was the New York Giants.
Both of these teams got hot late in December and received labels as the most dangerous come playoff time, and wound up winning their Super Bowl despite lower seeding and 9-7 records. And as history is doomed to repeat itself, a team could be the very same in 2011. But the question is, which team holds that label?
Teams like the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons have proven themselves dangerous, as they have been hot for most of the season, and many expect them (at least the 49ers) to put up a good fight in the playoffs, as they did last season against the New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants. Many are simply waiting for the Falcons to get their playoff win, and won't give them more credit for their great season unless they do. But what teams should fans keep an eye on that could upset these top seeded teams?