The AFC North is the toughest division in football. The ground and pound is essential for any team in this division to be successful, Currently in the NFL, running backs are a hot commodity. There are many big name players surfacing in the league; Montee Ball, Terrance West, Christine Michael, Fred Jackson, Trent Richardson, Ray Rice and many others. While Cincinnati is set at the running back position, we could be seeing some of these backs this season or on an AFC North roster.
Aug 29, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson (22) runs with the ball during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
For starters, it is a foregone conclusion that Cincinnati will see veteran running back Fred Jackson this season. The long time Bill was cut in an effort to trim the roster down to 53, but immediately signed with the Seattle Seahawks. Jackson signed a one year deal to reunite a two headed beast in him and Beast Mode, Marshawn Lynch. The 34 year old back still has some gas in his tank and will be a solid no. 2 back in Seattle.
Come week 5, Seattle will bring more than what we initially expected. Not only will they bring Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson, but they will also bring Jimmy Graham, Tyler Lockett and now Fred Jackson to Cincinnati. This Bengals defense better get ready we are in for a tough game.
Due to Fred Jackson signing in Seattle, it affected another running back on the roster. Christine Michael, who was Lynch’s back up, was traded to a running back needy team in the Dallas Cowboys. Michael was stated as a player to watch in the NFL (if he could ever get enough carries). However, without the greatness of Marshawn Lynch, finally, Michael has the chance to be the guy in Dallas.
Dallas became a running back needy team when Demarco Murray jumped ship to Philadelphia. Although Joseph Randle is still there and the team brought in injury prone Darren McFadden, Michael should be the best back on the roster and should earn the starting spot. However, Cincinnati won’t be seeing Dallas unless they meet us in the super bowl.
From Dallas to Oakland, former running back Trent Richardson has been released by the Oakland Raiders. Some of you guys may remember me being very high on Trent Richardson, and I still am. However, Richardson could be on his way out of the league. The once promising back from Alabama has been on three teams in four seasons. While some believe Richardson is done, others like myself and former NFL MVP Shaun Alexander think Richardson can still be a productive back in this league.
“Let me coach him” says Shaun Alexander
Alexander purposes the idea that if Richardson takes off for a year and goes under the tutelage of him, Richardson would come back prove that he still has the ability that we seen at Alabama, even in Cleveland to some degree. If Cincinnati’s running back core wasn’t so talented, I wouldn’t mind Richardson coming to Cincinnati, especially with Hue Jackson there. We probably won’t see T-Rich this season unless, there are a lot of injuries that build up.
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