How Much Better Will Indianapolis Colts Be With Ahmad Bradshaw?

By EJ Mckinley
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been many years since the Indianapolis Colts have had a solid running game. The last superstar they had at running back was just inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame two years ago. Yes, it’s been that long. But optimism is on the horizon for the Colts. They have found their true running game in free agent Ahmad Bradshaw.

Bradshaw is a player who has seen immense success in his career but also some significant failures. Bradshaw was drafted by the New York Giants in 2007. His first two seasons were weak. In his third season, he picked up a solid 778 yards rushing and seven touchdowns. That third season was merely a precursor to the next season, when Bradshaw exploded onto the national scene.

Prior to the 2010 season, Bradshaw played second fiddle to Brandon Jacobs at running back. 2010 turned out to be a bad year for Jacobs, and Bradshaw took advantage of this. Bradshaw became the feature runner. He showed he had the ability to be a superstar running back.

By season’s end, Bradshaw had 1,235 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. Things were looking up for him as he was slated to be the starter going into next season, but the 2011 season that was so full of hope took a turn for the worst as he began struggling with injuries.

While he did end up being a key component for the Giants’ Super Bowl team that year, he showed signs of fragility and the Giants took notice. Enter 2012, and the Giants had two new running backs on the roster. First-round pick David Wilson and backup Andre Brown stole a massive amount of yards and touchdowns. Despite Bradshaw still being able to etch out a respectable season, the Giants let him walk.

So what does all this history mean for the Colts? When the Colts’ signed Bradshaw, they weren’t looking at 2011 Bradshaw or even 2012 Bradshaw. They were looking at 2010 Bradshaw. That being said, it is proven that he possesses the talent to be a very good player. He’s had an average of nearly five yards a carry his entire career.

He just needs to stay healthy. If Bradshaw is 100 percent and getting his carries, he is a star. If he isn’t at full strength, the Colts do have a few young talented running backs. But, the bottom line is that Bradshaw is a major talent. He can be exactly what the Colts’ offense needs. Reports are coming out he could play in this week’s preseason game. Let’s see what you’ve got, Bradshaw; the Colts faithful are watching.

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