Both the Star and ESPN have posted articles wondering what plans the Colts have for the number two RB spot this season. Pasquarelli goes so far as to assert that possibly the Colts are planning on ditching the 2 back system that served so well this past season.
Here’s the problem with thinking the Colts are done with 2 backs just because they have no ‘veteran back’ waiting to take snaps. Dom Rhodes was totally average last year. Yes, you heard me right, Dom was ordinary until the playoffs when he no longer started. Who was Dom Rhodes before the playoffs last year? He was an undrafted free agent veteran who had largely played on special teams. He rushed for over 1000 yards filling in for Edge when he was a rookie. Think about that, Dom, an undrafted free agent (hint hint), ran for over 1000 yards and then disappeared down the depth chart. Last year he had 641 yards on 187 carries for a 3.4 yard average. He had five TDs and 3 fumbles. He did catch 36 passes for 251 yards, which might be tough to replace, if the Colts hadn’t had the foresight to add a good slot receiver, something they didn’t really have last season. Even if Dom’s replacement can’t match his receiving numbers, as long he can pick up about 3.5 yards a carry, he’ll basically be what Dom was.
The point is that it won’t be that hard to replace Dominic Rhodes. Just because no one has ever heard of the 4 guys vying for the #2 spot behind Joe Addai doesn’t mean, as Pasquarelli implies, that the Colts aren’t going to regularly use 2 backs. It just means that Dom wasn’t the vital cog that the playoffs would make you think he was, and he’ll be easily replaced.