Originally Posted by sandman
Not sure I understand the degrading of the running game.
2012 = 2123/4.2 YPC/19 TD
2011 = 2448/4.5 YPC/18 TD
Leach's last year in 2010: 2043/4.8 YPC/20 TD
If you look at the total production in the two years he has been in Baltimore compared with the two years before he got there (Rice has been there four years = 2 with and 2 without), the Ravens running game has virtually the same yards, APC and TD's. 2000/4.3/16
If you want to point to YPC decrease, especially this year, there are so many factors: time killing running plays in 4th quarters, new right side of O-line, Tate not being able to keep himself healthy.
And yet, in spite of all that they still finished in the top 10 for rushing yards and top 5 for rushing TD's. Throw in the fact that they were a top 10 passing team as well, and only one team in the NFL had more passing AND rushing yards, the Patriots.
So in the end, the Texans let Leach walk and kept their production. The Ravens gave him a huge contract, and kept their production. I'm going to say the Texans made out just fine in the deal.
As far as Casey goes, he either gave you better production out of the backfield in the passing game than Leach ever did in his 5 years here, or he gave you #2 TE stats, because his numbers this year were comparable to the last three years that Dreesen had. Considering that Graham was the #2 TE and did not get as targeted as much as Casey did as the FB, especially considering the two-TE sets that this team employs, it shows that Casey could be a very adequate #2 TE.
I'm not stating that Casey is or ever will be the pure blocking FB that Leach was. Casey should not be paid big FB money because he is a hybrid. But let's not pretend that he was hot garbage out there and him walking away would not a detriment to this offense.
Couple of things when comparing the running game. In 2011 it was not all Casey. it was Vickers too. In fact, they nearly evenly split the run blocking plays that season (Casey 215; Vickers 204) which sort of tells you how the team felt about Casey's run blocking abilities since Vickers had a total of 281 plays and they were all mainly for run blocking.
None the less take PFF grades. Since 2008 Leach was top three in run blocking every season except the one we had Slaton and Moats sharing the load. Even one season Slaton averaged 4.8 with Leach. Casey? He has been graded as one of the worst run blocking fullbacks in the league generally graded in '11 and '12 in the 20's (24th and then 21st).
So yeah at FB from the blocking perspective he has been hot garbage or maybe lukewarm garbage, heh. He has other benefits which are better to be focused on while letting someone else field the lead blocking role.