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Cardinals running backs won’t be catching many passes

LaRod Stephens-Howling, Lance Briggs AP

The headline to this post sounds like the setup to a punchline.

“And neither will anyone else given the quarterbacks in Arizona.” Ba-dum-dum.

That’s an unintended benefit, however. It really has to do with the offensive philosophies of new head coach Bruce Arians. Arians was asked about what role the team’s running backs would play in the passing game and said it was going to be a minimal one outside of blocking long enough to give the team a chance to make plays to the wideouts.

“They are back there because they are runners and pass protectors,” Arians said, via the team’s website. “Will we throw to the backs? Yeah. But the receivers are the ones paid to catch it. (Running backs) are helping but it’s doubtful our running back leads the team in receiving.”

That’s pretty much par for the course in an Arians offense. Colts running backs had just 34 catches as a group last season and, outside of a couple of years with Mewelde Moore having 40+ receptions, Arians’ Steelers teams didn’t throw much to backs either.

Arizona has Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells on the roster with LaRod Stephens-Howling set to become a free agent next month. Stephens-Howling would seem to be the one hurt the most by Arians’ dislike of throwing to backs, but he handled himself well as a starter last season and his special teams contributions may still make him a player that the Cardinals want to keep.

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7 Responses to “Cardinals running backs won’t be catching many passes”
  1. tjacks7 says: Feb 20, 2013 2:45 PM

    Not if Skelton/Kolb/Lindley are still on the delivering end.

  2. e23r0 says: Feb 20, 2013 3:25 PM

    LaRod is a playmaker that is equal amounts talent and heart. Sproles is the poor-man’s Stephens-Howling, IMO.
    I hope they bring him back to AZ.

  3. coltzfan166 says: Feb 20, 2013 3:49 PM

    So we can cross Skelton and Lindley off the Cards roster.

  4. thrasherm316 says: Feb 20, 2013 4:02 PM

    Unless your name is Larry Fitzgerald, you won’t be catching many passes in Arizona.

  5. str8infamous says: Feb 20, 2013 4:52 PM

    Well somebody need to catch passes! Larry gonna get triple coverage, they drafted Floyd but is he even ready!?!? & they don’t have a TE that can help too much in the passing game. I hope Arians knows what he’s doing.

  6. fordmandalay says: Feb 20, 2013 6:34 PM

    Chiefs cut Steve Breaston who left the Cards for a big free agent contract. Why not try to get him back? Floyd sure didn’t make much of an impression, and Doucet drops more than he catches. Nah, that makes too much sense for the Cards.

  7. djjackson81 says: Feb 20, 2013 8:22 PM

    Doucet won’t be back, Floyd will be a decent WR in his second year and Roberts and Floyd should be ok together as the other options. Skelton should be gone and so will Kolb if he refuses the Cardinals new deal restructuring.

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