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Gus Bradley: Gerhart “even faster than we gave him credit for”

Toby Gerhart, J.T. Thomas AP

After backing up Adrian Peterson for four seasons in Minnesota, tailback Toby Gerhart gets a starting job of his own in Jacksonville. The 27-year-old Gerhart, who had just 276 regular season carries for the Vikings, could conceivably get that much work alone this season for the Jaguars, who saw Maurice Jones-Drew leave in free agency and didn’t draft a back until Round Seven (Storm Johnson).

In an Q&A with the Florida Times-Union published Saturday night, Jaguars coach Gus Bradley indicated Gerhart was ready to be the team’s featured back.

“His work ethic, his knowledge of the game, his ability to fit in with our team, his competitiveness — he checks all those boxes,” Bradley said, according to the Times-Union‘s Ryan O’Halloran. “The one thing we saw during the OTAs was that his speed — he’s even faster than we gave him credit for.”

Gerhart showed some playmaking ability in limited action a season ago, racking up 283 yards on 36 carries — an average of 7.9 yards. Four of his carries went for 20 yards or more. By contrast, in his previous three seasons, he averaged one rush of 20-plus yards for every 48 attempts (5-of-240).

We figure to learn more about Gerhart’s capabilities this season. The Jaguars seem to still be learning about him, too.

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44 Responses to “Gus Bradley: Gerhart “even faster than we gave him credit for””
  1. golewgo2 says: Jul 20, 2014 12:11 AM

    The unicorn of the NFL, the white starting running back.

  2. aldavis4president says: Jul 20, 2014 12:30 AM

    If Justin blackmon wasn’t such a stoner, this team would be very fun to watch this season. Blackmon had what? 15catches for 180 his first game or something like that? Pair him with shorts, ace Sanders, “OW” denard Robinson and have the bruising gerhart!? That’d be tough to stop. Even with henne. With all the nickel packages they would see , gerhart would feast on DBs.

  3. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 20, 2014 12:44 AM

    Great, it’s about time we saw this guy play, he’s waited for years to get a chance, let’s see what he can do!

  4. leagueobservr says: Jul 20, 2014 12:50 AM

    Minnesota is going to regret letting this guy walk…

  5. fletcher08 says: Jul 20, 2014 12:56 AM

    As a change up. Wait till he’s the focus of the defense.

  6. velociraptorwithscissors says: Jul 20, 2014 1:17 AM

    He’s just a scrappy, high-motor, lunch pail guy with sneaky deceptive speed.

  7. numba1wiscosportsfan says: Jul 20, 2014 1:40 AM

    Big Pack guy here. I saw this guy’s potential with the Vikes when AP missed time. This guy is a fighter, you guys. Good player, I’d take him on the green and gold any day. GO PACK GO!

  8. skoldier612 says: Jul 20, 2014 1:49 AM

    He’s white, he’s slow. Taboo but true.

  9. diveleft says: Jul 20, 2014 2:02 AM

    As a Viking fan, I hope Gerhart has a great career for the Jags. You can’t help but root for a guy like this.

  10. elmaxoh says: Jul 20, 2014 3:50 AM

    I’m not sure that Gerhart can be a starting RB

  11. orecic76 says: Jul 20, 2014 4:26 AM

    JAGS AFC SOUTH CHAMPS of 20!4!

  12. clashpoint says: Jul 20, 2014 5:00 AM

    His career receiving numbers are not too bad considering how little playing time he generally got in Minnesota. Last year he averaged more yards per carry than he did per catch though. Never seen that before out of a running back.

  13. veence69 says: Jul 20, 2014 6:14 AM

    TOBY SMASH!!

    Seriously, Jax, you’re going to love this guy. He was the 3rd best RB in the NFC North.

  14. sportsfan18 says: Jul 20, 2014 7:12 AM

    He’s a good football player. Not great, but a player that helps a team.

    Good pick up for them.

  15. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 20, 2014 7:14 AM

    This is a really good signing by the Jags. Tough physical runner. Jags are looking on the up and up. Made some good signings with Red Bryant who is a flat out beast from the Seahawks.

    I can see the Jags getting to 8-8 this year. Gus Bradley was a great hire

  16. jetfan28 says: Jul 20, 2014 7:15 AM

    It amazes me how even professionals cannot see past race when evaluating athletes. Watching Gerhart at Stanford, his athletic ability was clear, but since he is white he got compared to other big slow white guys (like Mike Alscott of all players), instead of being allowed to be judged on his own merits.

    We speak of white skilled players in the same type of coding that we speak of black qbs (i.e. Comparing Bridgewater to Jamarcus Russell and Akili Smith) and it is so intellectually lazy.

    I get so sick of hearing white guys are “sneaky fast”, “more athletic than you think”. Ummmm, no. I can see. The guy is fast. Nothing sneaky about it. It’s sneaky to you because you are hung up on his race.

  17. cobibones13 says: Jul 20, 2014 7:25 AM

    Storm Johnson will be the unquestioned starter by the end of the season. Gerhart has absolutely no agility or change of direction ability. Also with their terrible run blocking oline Gerhart will probably get clobbered behind the line most of his carries.

  18. mtheparrothead says: Jul 20, 2014 7:55 AM

    Afc south champs. Calling it. Andrew luck is overrated.

  19. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Jul 20, 2014 7:58 AM

    I predict Toby out rushes AD this year.

  20. whatjusthapped says: Jul 20, 2014 8:12 AM

    The good news? He got out of the perennial last place Vikings.

    The bad news? He joins an even worse (if that is possible) last place Jags.

    Oddly enough, he improves his chances to win a Superbowl only because Minnesota has no chance.

  21. canetic says: Jul 20, 2014 8:56 AM

    “Faster than” usually appears before the name “Toby Gerhart.” We will see.

  22. virginiaviking says: Jul 20, 2014 9:02 AM

    This guy is a beast and he can break away!!! I saw it first hand when Peterson blew out his knee and fed ex i was there front row. All the skins fans thought my Vikings were done. First carry Toby came in and ripped off an 81 yard td down the sideline and we beat that ass!!!Ill miss Toby but I’m happy he’s finally getting the starting chance he deserves .Never complained and was always ready to go when he was called into action.

  23. okeedokeesmokee says: Jul 20, 2014 9:31 AM

    First white RB in Jax. Hmmm. Interesting…

  24. youngs79 says: Jul 20, 2014 9:32 AM

    Good back with a lot of tread left on the tire.

  25. burtreynoldstoupee says: Jul 20, 2014 9:38 AM

    He has the potential to be a great back. My concern is that for the little he did play, he seemed to get injured often. Not sure how he’ll hold up as the main back.

  26. bassplucker says: Jul 20, 2014 9:40 AM

    If Gerhart can stay healthy, he will be a great get for the Jags. He could arguably be their MVP this season and in any event, will take a tremendous amount of pressure off of Bortles.

    People underestimate Toby because he’s white and he sat behind Peterson, but this guy can play.

  27. dcviking says: Jul 20, 2014 10:15 AM

    Now if I was a Packer fan, I’d curse Gerhardt and say how overrated he was and that I’m glad to see him go.

    But, I’m not — so I’ll wish good luck and hope that he finds success in Jacksonville.

  28. skolvikesskol says: Jul 20, 2014 11:09 AM

    3 carries, 3 consecutive fumbles versus SF. Tried to give game away. GL Toby,

  29. sonofad says: Jul 20, 2014 11:16 AM

    The Vikings got rid of the ascending young guy in favor of the declining old guy.

    But that fits in well with their strategy of finishing in last place every year.

  30. stellarperformance says: Jul 20, 2014 11:16 AM

    We’ll see what he can do when the focus is on him and not someone else. He picked up a lot of yards when the Vikings were usually trailing badly and they were forced to pass and Peterson didn’t make sense. This is his shot though, good luck .

  31. jebdamone says: Jul 20, 2014 11:41 AM

    people are going to be surprised at what they see out of toby. he is a lot faster, quicker and more elusive than people think. plus he is a total brut. i would never say he is close to as good as AP but the run game did not skip a beat anytime he was forced into action.

  32. onbucky96 says: Jul 20, 2014 12:33 PM

    FANTASY ALERT!

  33. dalcow4 says: Jul 20, 2014 1:33 PM

    Looking forward to watching him this season. Finally he is out of the Viking prison.

  34. mljohns says: Jul 20, 2014 5:28 PM

    Maybe the Jags defense is just slower than he originally thought.

  35. mutantman87 says: Jul 20, 2014 6:23 PM

    This isn’t surprising for anybody who saw clips of Gerhart running over and around everyone and breaking tackles at Stanford. If he played in the SEC, he probably would have won the Heisman over Mark Ingram. He could be the next Michael Turner, who showed good ability in very limited time over his rookie contract, but then excelled for several years when given a starting job until he was run into the ground after too many 300-carry seasons.

  36. Norseman says: Jul 20, 2014 7:35 PM

    Gerhart is going to be a very solid RB for the Jags. Really a nice pick-up. I say that as a Vikings fan who saw Gerhart play a lot. He is easily starting RB material, but not going to displace AP a top the Vikings RB depth-chart.

    I could easily see Gerhart having a 1,000 rushing season, with some good ancillary receiving production as well.

  37. seeyouinhelljohnny says: Jul 20, 2014 10:39 PM

    Gerhart scares nobody. The fact that Toby Gerhart and Chris Kluwe are the hottest stories in the NFL is proof positive that training camps can’t get here fast enough.

  38. kylechin22 says: Jul 20, 2014 11:17 PM

    He got 283 yards on 36 carries last season.

    Think about it like this. He got over a quarter of 1000 yards rushing on only 36 carries. Obviously he won’t average 7.9 ypc when he’s the starting RB but clearly he has the talent to.

  39. chris1cat says: Jul 21, 2014 8:10 AM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says: Jul 20, 2014 7:58 AM

    I predict Toby out rushes AD this year.

    **************************************************
    He was the second best RB in the NFC North
    1. AD
    2. Toby G.
    3. Forte
    4. Bush
    5. Fat slow Cheese boy

  40. dic2754 says: Jul 21, 2014 10:09 AM

    watched Toby at Norco high school all 4 years, he broke CIF records, etc. followed him at Stanford, should have won the Heisman, will do great job this year for the Jags

  41. esurber says: Jul 21, 2014 10:13 PM

    No, Gerhart really is fast and agile. His 40 time was a not-too-shabby 4.53, good enough for 7th best in 2010 (and better than McCluster).

    But agility is generally measured in vertical (his was 38″), 3-Cone (his was 6.94 seconds), and the 20-yard shuttle (his was 4.25 seconds). All better than MJD’s scores. And Gerhart brings it in a thick frame of 231 lbs.

    I’m not a Jags fan, so I’m not just saying this to jump on a bandwagon. Now, just get a better QB (not Bortles) and you can count on flirting with the playoffs.

  42. jaxbeachjagfan says: Jul 21, 2014 10:49 PM

    Jag Fans are happy to have Toby. He’s gonna be a stud, you’ll see. Could be a FF steal!

  43. jagsfan2012 says: Jul 22, 2014 2:53 PM

    I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. 7-9 this year, playoffs next year and SB51 Champs (Jax vs. Carolina) the year after.

  44. fmc651 says: Jul 23, 2014 7:07 AM

    Good luck to Toby he played hard every time he was called on for the Vikings. He just wasn’t better than AD. Like everybody else. He will be a good player for the Jags I wish him good luck. As for the packers making comments about the Vikings being a perennial last place team. In the Vikings history they have finished last place or tied for last 6 times in over 50 years. Fewer times than the packers have in the same length of time.

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