Arizona Cardinals Need to Use Depth At Running Back


Oct 13, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers strong safety Donte Whitner (31) tackles Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington (38) during the third quarter at Candlestick Park. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 32-20. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals have trouble running the ball.  We all know this.  The upgrade expected after the departure of Beanie Wells and the addition of Rashard Mendenhall, Stepfan Taylor, and Andre Ellington was supposed to greatly increase the productivity in the running game.  It has not.

Some of it you can blame on Mendenhall.  Some can be blamed on the offensive line.  Some can be blamed on game situations that lead the Cardinals into passing more.  You could even blame the Cards coaching staff in the way the running backs have been used, such as the lack of use of Ryan Williams.  Whatever the reason the Cards haven’t been able to produce the way many expected them to.

Many want the Cards to hand the ball to Ellington on a full-time basis.  Head coach Bruce Arians said a couple of weeks ago that Ellington’s body isn’t built for a ton of carries.  He’s right but I still think he could be used more than he has been.  They’ve given Alfonso Smith a try at it but for some reason he can’t get consistent results either.

Facing the Atlanta Falcons tomorrow the Cards most likely won’t see much better results, especially with Mendenhall limited.  Does maybe Ellington get more touches?  Who knows but I do know the only way to open up the passing game is to get more consistency on the ground.  They’ve had spurts of good productivity in the running game but it will take more than a spurt if they want to beat the Falcons on Sunday.  We know we won’t see Williams.  Probably never will again.  Maybe use Taylor more?  Again, who knows.  Let’s just get the job done.