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Old 10-08-2004   #1
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Default Running Back By Committee

Dom Capers said Thursday that they are going to use the running back-by-committee approach for the Vikings on Sunday.

I know that some people frown on this because the wisdom goes that if the runner only gets nine to 10 carries per game, he'll never get a better feel for the flow of the game and where the cutback lanes are located.

But that only applies if you have a stud running back, and it's become very apparent to me at least, that the Texans don't have one. And second, when they try to use DD for the 'workhorse' role, the offense becomes too one-dimensional.

So, I think it's good that they've decided to go with this approach. All three running backs bring a different strength into the game, and it will keep them fresher, and less likely they will get beat up over the long grind of the season. Plus, if one of them goes down with an injury, the other two can take over with less effect on the offense. And finally, I think it keeps the main focus on throwing the football.

I've noticed that the Eagles are going with three running backs this season and they aren't playing too bad.
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Old 10-08-2004   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus

I've noticed that the Eagles are going with three running backs this season and they aren't playing too bad.
It is defiantly because of that, not that they picked up one of the top three receivers in the league, or picked up some high price defensive talent in the offseason have anything to do with their early success.
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Old 10-08-2004   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus
I've noticed that the Eagles are going with three running backs this season and they aren't playing too bad.
The Eagles used 3 RB's last season but I thought Westbrook was their main back this year.
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Old 10-08-2004   #4
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Originally Posted by V Man
It is defiantly because of that, not that they picked up one of the top three receivers in the league, or picked up some high price defensive talent in the offseason have anything to do with their early success.
I'll give you that. But it's not only Philadelphia. In the NFC, you have Dallas, Minnesota, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Arizona who don't have that big stud running back. And in the AFC, besides the Texans, you have Buffalo, the Jets, Browns, Steelers, Titans, Broncos and Raiders.

So, we're not alone.
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Old 10-08-2004   #5
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The Eagles are not RB by committee this year. Westbrook has carried 65 times, the next guy Dorsey Levens has 9 carries. They may have intended to RBBC again but Buckhalter is out.
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Old 10-08-2004   #6
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Well for one, it allows us to play with a more team approach and it gives one of the running backs to bring a change of pace or be a difference maker. I also would love to see a split back formation with Davis and Wells or Hollings and Wells. This kind of opens the playbook a bit.
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Old 10-08-2004   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infantrycak
The Eagles are not RB by committee this year. Westbrook has carried 65 times, the next guy Dorsey Levens has 9 carries. They may have intended to RBBC again but Buckhalter is out.
You're right on the stats. I guess I should have focused on the their intent. But if Buckhalter was playing, I wonder if Westbrook would have that many carries.
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Old 10-08-2004   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Tejano
Well for one, it allows us to play with a more team approach and it gives one of the running backs to bring a change of pace or be a difference maker. I also would love to see a split back formation with Davis and Wells or Hollings and Wells. This kind of opens the playbook a bit.
I see your point, but I'd rather see more receivers on the field than running backs, as the receivers have the more talent.
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Old 10-08-2004   #9
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But really if you look at it, I think going running back by comittee means we will have more WR on the field. I think by just doing the RBBC, it is basically saying we will now let the offense go through David Carr.
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Old 10-08-2004   #10
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RBBC simply means that one back will not get all the touches. I'm not sure it has anything to do with Carr or a wr oriented attack. The Eagles have always used RBBC and have always had the most productive 'TD to rb touches' stats in the league since Reid took over.
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Old 10-08-2004   #11
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And in the AFC, besides the Texans, you have Buffalo, the Jets, Browns, Steelers, Titans, Broncos and Raiders.
The Titans Chris Brown is pretty darn good.
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Old 10-08-2004   #12
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I'm pretty sure what that means is everyone will get the chance to touch the ball and whomever is the most effective will get it the most. If DD outplays everyone else when he has touches i'm sure he will get the majority of them.
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Old 10-08-2004   #13
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May not have the "stud RB" yet - but we got some good youngin's to groom into the role. Till then we have quite a few of the pieces to make one good backfield - the finesse runner, the powerhouse, and the swing to the outside.
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Old 10-08-2004   #14
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RBBC is good stuff but it doesn't mean that you don't have a "starter" who's your primary back. Additionally it gives you a chance to find the back with the "hot hand". Believe me when I say that if they start a game out sharing the load and one of them starts busting out then that guys going to be "leading the committee".

It'll be Davis. None of the things that put him in the starters role have changed. The fumbles got inside his head and he needed this time off IMO. He also needs to be used a little less than the Texans were using him. The offense becomes more effective when there isn't a 75% chance that the ball is going to Domanick Davis.
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Old 10-08-2004   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOgre
The Eagles used 3 RB's last season but I thought Westbrook was their main back this year.
He is. They bring Levens in at times to give Westbrook a break, and then they have a rookie who's their return guy.
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Old 10-08-2004   #16
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Davis is the RB with the most realized talent on display. Unless he's pulled due to injury or fumbling or missed assignments, he'll be getting the majority of carries- especially when you consider that he's the best receiver of the group. If you look at most successful committee situations, you have one guy who is quicker and better out of the backfield and catching the ball and one that is better between the tackles. Davis is better than Hollings and Wells at both. Therefore, he'll play as many downs as the coaches think he can handle- without losing his effectiveness.
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Old 10-08-2004   #17
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Running back by committe blows if the indication is that a back with not get more than 65% of the snaps. Wells had a pretty good game for being the 3rd back. And yes it does get a player into a game more where they can see up close and personal the other teams' players. A back can identify players that are dinged up, don't have a good reaction time to a certain move, whether a defensive player is tired or is getting handled. Vision in my opinion is very important for the running back and how many times have you seen a back get minimal yards in the 1st half and wears down the defense in the 2nd and puts up some good numbers? I don't like that philosphy and probably never will. Just a difference in opinion.

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Old 10-08-2004   #18
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Well, I think we go rbbc this weekend because our only back that is not nicked up is Wells. Both Hollings and Davis are coming off injuries to one extent or another.
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Old 10-08-2004   #19
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I believe that the different styles of the three Texan runners allows the Coaches to develop different packages of plays for the game plan, for each of them. For example, I believe that Tony Hollings is the fastest to the sideline to get around the corner when he goes playside, although I think he's been doing better hitting the backside lanes. I believe that Domanick Davis is the quickest, particularly hitting backside cutback lanes. Jonathan Wells is the most stout.

How does this translate to play calling and play packages?

I believe that the Texans were running a lot more naked bootlegs with Carr when Davis was in the lineup than when Wells was in the lineup. For example, when the Texans run right with Davis and Carr boots left, it puts tremendous pressure on the backside DE and LBs. Davis is quick to cut back, so the backside people have to be ready to pursue and close those lanes. On the other hand, they have to be careful to keep contain on Carr, in case he keeps the ball.

I expect to see more bootlegs with Carr on Sunday with Davis in the lineup, even if it's on a part time basis.
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Old 10-08-2004   #20
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I suspect that another reason why they've gone to the RBBC is that they have recognized more the limitations and negative traits of each.

They have three running backs who are fumble prone, two running backs who are injury prone, and the one who is not injury prone has the least amount of talent.

It must be driving the coaches up the wall.
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