Friday, May 3, 2013
Around the NFC West: Least physical RB?
By Mike Sando
A morning run through NFC West headlines brought to my attention Football Outsiders' annual look at how well NFL players break tackles.
Beanie Wells had zero broken tackles with the Arizona Cardinals last season by Football Outsider's charting. Zero!
Repeat: Wells, who could be one of the NFL's most physical runners when he ran with attitude, had zero broken tackles on 89 touches during the 2012 season.
Now, before we call into question Wells' toughness or attitude, we should point out that injuries diminished Wells' capabilities and sent him to the sideline for much of the season. The blocking in Arizona was also substandard.
The Pittsburgh Steelers' Isaac Redman had 24 broken tackles in 129 touches. The San Francisco 49ers' Frank Gore had 27 broken tackles, the Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch had 26 and the St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson had 21.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had 13 of them, second-most among quarterbacks. Percy Harvin led all receivers with 19, and his new Seahawks teammate, Golden Tate, tied the 49ers' Michael Crabtree for third on that list with 14.
The Cardinals released Wells this offseason. They are moving on with Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Williams and two recently drafted rookies at the position. I'll be watching to see how frequently they break tackles.
Wells, meanwhile, remains unsigned. His knee troubles could be concerning to teams in need of help at the position.