Friday, August 13, 2010

8/13 Bust of the Day: Joseph Addai


There's a lot to like about Addai. He's a trusted and important part of the Colts offense. He scored 13 total TDs last year. He compiled 1,164 rushing and receiving yards in 2009. And he's playing for a new contract in 2010.

That said, why am I dissing Addai as a potential bust? Allow me to explain.

Addai's 13 TDs last year helped cover up the fact he averaged only 3.8 yards a carry, the second year in a row that number was under 4. Whether that's because the Colts offensive line is better equipped to protect Peyton Manning than to run block these days, it's hard to say. But Addai hasn't displayed a whole lot of big-play ability either - he hasn't had a run longer than 23 yards since his rookie season in 2006.

And I'll tell you who does have big-play ability: second-year back Donald Brown, Addai's backup. Brown's rookie season didn't go as well as I and some other prognositcators envisioned (281 rushing yards, 3.6 a carry, 3 TDs in 11 games). But he's flashed the explosiveness Addai has lacked - his 45-yard run in Week 7 against St. Louis last year is longer than any in Addai's career. Now that the former first-rounder has had more than a year to master the Colts' complicated offense, expect to see him take on a bigger role this year and siphon some carries from Addai. Besides, with Addai being eligible for free agency next season, Indy will probably want to figure out if their investment has what it takes to be a feature back.

I'm not saying Addai doesn't have value. His versatility and his role in the Colts' passing attack are still appealing. I just don't think he's a top-20 back this year as many are predicting.

Photo by The Associated Press

1 comment:

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