In 2008 I rushed for 1,515 yards on only 263 carries. I led the league with 18 rushing touchdowns. My 5.5 yards per carry (200 carry minimum) was also first in the league. And my two games of four rushing TDs? First. Did I mention that I had zero fumbles?
Who am I? L.T.? Clinton Portis? Brandon Jacobs? Steven Jackson? Larry Johnson? Willie Parker? I out rushed them all. In fact, I out rushed every back in the NFL, but two. Their names? Michael Turner (who had 103 more carries than me) and Adrian Peterson (he had 90 more). Given Michael Turner’s work load, I would have rushed for over 2,000 yards at my 5.5 YPC average.
Still don’t know who I am? How about a few more hints.
Coming out of college I was labeled as too small, yet I weigh as much or more than Adrian Peterson, Thomas Jones, Willie Parker, Frank Gore, Matt Forte, and Marshawn Lynch. Lots of Pro-Bowls on that list.
I’ve been labeled as a situational, third down, or “scat back.” One scouting report actually said definitively, “(DeAngelo Williams) is not a power back…,” yet I had more carries (102) and more yardage (593) up the middle than in any other direction in 2008. For those of you who weren’t math majors, that’s an average of 5.8 YPC UP-THE-MIDDLE. And how does my up the middle average stack up against the league’s top “power backs” such as Brandon Jacobs (4.6), Jamal Lewis (3.7), Lendale White (3.5)? I smoked them all.
“They” said I couldn’t carry the load, that I would wear down over the course of an NFL season. Yet I got stronger as the year wore on.
Carries/Yardage By Month
Sept.- 54 carries @ 3.7 YPC
Oct.- 66 carries @ 4.9 YPC
Nov.- 73 carries @ 5.9 YPC
Dec.- 80 carries @ 7.0 YPC
I was labeled as often injured, fragile. Yet I have played in 45 of a possible 48 games as a professional. Did I mention that 2008 was my first full year as a starter?
So if you don’t know my name now (or you can’t read the title), don’t worry. Chances are you will know it very, very soon.