I was pretty high on what Wells might be able to do going into 2002 and then after watching him for a year I decided that he simply is what he is. He's not terribly fast, he doesn't run all that tough, and he isn't going to start for anyone, anywhere.
Last season the difference between what DD was doing and what Wells had done the year before was striking. I did feel that Wells had nowhere near the line play that DD got so direct comparisons weren't particularly fair to Wells. He got zero blocking in 2002, Davis got pretty good blocking at times in 2003. Regardless Davis still seems to me to be the better back.
Watching Wells yesterday getting his first start of 2004 I saw a lot of things I liked out of him. He ran hard which is something he didn't do at times in 2002 and it's something he can fix (and he apparently has fixed it). He still isn't fast (which is something that he can't fix and never will) but he's seemingly found his style.
He still lacks the ability to change direction quickly and create something. He's not going to break loose to often. He's going to follow his blockers and get what's there. If they dominate then he's going to get good yards. If they get beat he's going to get 2.6 yards or something like that.
Right now I'm calling him our 2nd best back. I put him ahead of Hollings based solely on his experience and the growth he's shown. He's ahead of him in that area and that makes him more effective. Hollings is obviously faster and has more upside but he's yet to get in there long enough to really produce and get the reps he needs to improve.
I'm proud of Wells for what he did yesterday. He stepped up and he deserves all the praise he gets. Nobody should be hating on Wells after yesterday and I certainly don't. It doesn't erase the limitations he has though. They're just simple facts. The only place Wells would be starting in this league is Miami right now.
If Wells starts again next week and throws out another good performance with a higher average per carry then I'll take my hat off to him. If he knocks off some more rust and gets better then maybe he's more than he's shown. I'm not going to be the one to say it's impossible. I believe it's unlikely, that's all.
A wise man once said "The ball just didnt bounce our way this game and yet we still only lost by 13." - EllisUnit