The Arizona Cardinals’ running back has a name that is a mouthful, LaRod Stephens-Howling. The “birdgang” has taken to calling him “the hyphen”. Stephens-Howling has no problem with the nickname. It’s easy to say and unless you say his actual name in a French accent, it’s a lot more fun. “The hyphen” says he has trouble with the name himself sometimes and struggles to fit it on paper when he is signing his game.
“The hyphen” is much shorter to go along with is small stature. Standing at only 5’7″ 185 lbs he has to play that much harder in a league full of 300 pounders. His 104 yard effort against the Minnesota Vikings is that much more impressive because of it. I’m sure the running back does not want to be known as “good for his size”, but rather just good.
Unfortunately, “the hyphen” will face a bigger challenge this week against the San Francisco 49ers. I don’t think he will enjoy the same success against a better team. San Francisco is 10th in the league in rushing defense, allowing less than 100 yards per game. However, the Vikings are pretty tough too. QB John Skelton will have to play better this week in order for the Cardinals to win. If he can get a quick release on the ball, the 49ers will ease back on the pass rush which would allow for deeper passes down the field, which would open up the field, so the running game can get going.
I wish I could see the Cardinals winning this week, but once again the game will be up to the defense. If the Cardinals turn the ball over at all, it could get out of hand early. On the brighter side, the same could be said about the 49ers.