Most of us all thought the next Indianapolis Colts running back for the future wasn’t on this year’s team. The Colts used the draft and the offseason to shore up the offensive unit in adding Andrew Luck, two tight ends, young receivers, and some new offensive linemen.
This next offseason the Colts have the most cap room out of all 32 NFL teams and can build for the immediate future though the draft. What we didn’t think was the Colts would be this good this soon as they can use the draft and free agency to look for depth not necessarily starters.
I would have thought the Colts would spend their first round pick on a running back next year. They did this in 1999 after the Colts drafted Peyton Manning No. 1 in the 1998 draft. The Colts took Edgerrin James with the fourth pick in ‘99 and they had their three headed monster for the next several years. That led the Colts back to greatness as early as that ‘99 season.
With Donald Brown, Delone Carter, and Vick Ballard, I thought would be backups to a new rookie next year. The success of these three now will show us that the Colts may not need to draft a running back after all.
This three headed monster has now shown us when all three are healthy they are tough to beat. Carter, was banged up all preseason and hasn’t been healthy until the last couple of weeks. When Carter got healthy, Brown went down with an injury against Green Bay.
Brown, wasn’t 100 percent, but was good enough to go Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. Brown coming back was the difference in the Colts’ running success and the reason the Colts won.
The Colts now can keep fresh legs out there and wear down the opposition. This is exactly what happened Sunday as they did just that to the Titans defense. They kept chipping away and setting up playaction for Luck and wore down the defense. When it counted in the end, the Titans couldn’t stop the Colts’ ground game and that was the difference in the game at the end.
All three guys combined to help the team rush for 171 yards on 34 carries including seven rushes in overtime which set up the game winning touchdown.
Now, the Colts have a running back controversy on their hands as all three guys are capable and should be rewarded with carries. Do you go back and start the original starter Brown against the Miami Dolphins this coming Sunday, or do you stick with Ballard who has the Colts 2-1 since he became the starting back? Do they stick to a similar game plan to what they used in Tennessee where Ballard got majority of the first down carries, Brown got some reserve carries and second down opportunities, and Carter came in to chip away short yardage needs and clutch scenarios?
This is a great problem to have as competition and execution is going to be key as all three guys want to prove they should be on the field. The Colts may have a running game after all.