Aug. 30, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back (26) Beanie Wells against the Denver Broncos during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Aug. 17, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back (34) Ryan Williams runs the ball against the Oakland Raiders. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
The Arizona Cardinals will be starting the season with both Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams healthy and ready to contribute. The big question is how Coach Ken Whisenhunt plans to utilize these two backs once the season begins on Sunday.
Wells is a straight ahead, in-your-face power runner — you won’t see many sweeps or cutbacks from him (although he is capable of breaking out for some very big gains, as evidenced by several long runs from scrimmage last year). Williams is a quick running back, who is able to change directions and speeds and turn short runs into long ones.
They actually compliment each other nicely. And given that Wells is injury prone, it would be nice to play Wells a bit less, and not have to rely only on Wells to gain all of the team’s rushing yardage. However, Wells is the kind of runner who gets in a groove and gets better as the game progresses. Giving Williams too many plays might be counterproductive in that it will lessen the potential impact that Wells might make in a game.
The Seattle game will be a good test. The Seahawks have one of the better secondaries in the NFL, and I expect the Cardinals to rush the ball quite a bit. Whether Beanie Wells or Ryan Williams get most of the carries, though, remains to be seen.