The Minnesota Vikings have a pretty good group battling for this spot. Technically there are four players involved but I think it is safe to say that only two have a legitimate shot. The four competing are:
Albert Young: second year player out of Iowa has an advantage in experience
Ian Johnson: undrafted rookie FA out of Boise State has a very good skill set surprised he wasn't drafted by anyone
Kahlil Bell: undrafted rookie FA I will be honest; I know little to nothing about Bell
Now Here are the stats for Friday's game:
Albert Young: 14 carries for 58 yards with a 4.1 average plus 3 receptions for 13 yards with a 4.3 average
Ian Johnson: 9 carries for 50 yards with a 5.6 average plus 1 reception for 9 yards
Antone Smith: 3 carries for 20 yards with a 6.7 average and no receptions
Kahlil Bell: 3 carries for 14 yards with a 4.7 average and no recpetions
Now here is my break-down:
Watching the game against the Colts it was obvious that coach Childress gave Young the advantage, Young played longer than any other back for the vikings. To his credit Albert played very well especially since he was bailing out Tarvaris Jackson so the defence knew he would be coming. He also contributed in the passing game so that is always a plus. I was impressed with his quick footwork and patientce. He does not seem to have break away speed but can shove a few defenders a long the way. Reminds me of a Chester Taylor type back.
I thought that Johnson was the more explosive of the two. He is a little bit more like Peterson where he will have a few short runs and then get a bigger one. We didn't get to see much of Ian while Jackson was running the show but they put him in when John David Booty took over. Hopefully we will get to see more of him next week to make a better comparison with equal playing time.
Antone Smith was cut by the Lions and we picked him up, at the time I was wondering why they would do that but he did do a pretty good job for how limited he was. If I remember right he almost broke a TD run but got tripped up by the last guy. He is very quick but also smaller than the other backs. He has a good shot at making the practice squad just because whoever loses the number three spot between Johnson and Young will most likley be claimed by another team.
Kahlil Bell also saw limited action and was less impressive than Smith. Out of all four this is the one that will probablly be elsewhere for the 2009 season.
This battle might not seem important but we are a run first team here in Minnesota and running backs can take a lot of hits and I want the best possible guy for the third spot because you never know. Plus he will probablly take over the number two spot if Taylor is given an oppourtunity elsewhere (I don't want him to go but there are many teams who would take him in an instant)
Who do you think came out on top?