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.