Brian Leonard welcomes comparisons to John Riggins

Prior to the 2010 NFL draft, former Stanford Toby Gerhart didn’t seem to care for knee-jerk comparisons to other white tailbacks.

Bengals running back Brian Leonard seems to welcome such comparisons, especially when a Hall of Famer is on the other side of the equation.

Carlos “Big C” Holmes of the Dayton Daily News says that Leonard “reminds some of a young John Riggins.”

“I’m my own person but do share some of the same similarities as
Leonard said, per Holmes.  (So Leonard has sprouted a Riggins-style ‘fro?)  “He was a hard runner and had good hands out of the
backfield.  That’s what I feel like I do, make one cut and get up field, break a
few arm
tackles and make a couple of guys miss.  That’s me.  Hopefully, this is a
breakout year for me.”

Riggins may have had good hands out of the backfield, but he didn’t use them all that often.  In 14 NFL seasons, Riggins caught 250 passes against 2,916 rush attempts — a ratio of run-to-catch of more than 11-to-1.

Leonard, in contrast, caught 30 passes in 2009 and 30 in 2007.  (He played in only two games in 2008, due to injury.)

Then there’s the fact that Leonard has rushed for only 394 yards in three seasons; Riggins had more than 2,000 in his first three years, which were played at a time when the regular season had not been “enhanced” from 14 to 16 games.

But, hey, if a white running back is going to be compared on a knee-jerk basis to another white running back, the white running back could do a lot worse than Riggins.

Especially when, to date, the white running back in question has done a lot worse than Riggins.

28 responses to “Brian Leonard welcomes comparisons to John Riggins

  1. One day there won’t be “white running backs” or “black quarterbacks”…there will just be running backs or quarterbacks.
    How many black Offensive guards are there?

  2. Please, please stop writing about what Carlos “Big C” Holmes reports. It’s pointless, because he is terrible.

  3. I’m a big Flyin Brian fan, but he’s nothing like Riggins. Leaping Leonard is a really good 3rd down back, but nothing more than that.

  4. Why is it that no one ever calls out any love for the caramel Polynesian tackles? Comparing a running back to one of those guys will get my attention.

  5. The Hogster says: July 6, 2010 9:36 AM
    One day there won’t be “white running backs” or “black quarterbacks”…ther e will just be running backs or quarterbacks.
    One day there won’t be white cornerbacks either. Oh, wait……

  6. Maybe he should stop comparing himself to Riggins until we can all stop saying ‘Who?’.

  7. # hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: July 6, 2010 9:56 AM
    I expected to see Jemele Hill’s name in the by line.
    I think she is busy comparing rooting for the NFL owners to rooting for Hitler’s Germany.

  8. I think Leonard is more Mark Van Eeghen than Riggins…

  9. Nice article. If PFT only commented on important issues Florio would be back to his lawyer gig in a month.

  10. I love Leonard. Big trade steal ever–we trade Orien Harris (a guy who never played at ALL for the Bengals) for a former second-rounder and big contributor in Leonard. THEN, later in the year, the Rams cut Harris and the Bengals pick him back up along with keeping Leonard! HAHA robbery! Anyway I love when the Bengals “Ride the White Lightning”. His heroics in the first Steelers game last season will not be forgotten.

  11. I find it ironic that Toby Gerhart is more John Riggins than Brian Leonard is, and yet he shows up in the first paragraph denying it.

  12. Why not compare him to Tommy Vardell? That would be much more apt in the white RB realm. Both highly drafted and neither really panned out as a runner (so far at least).

  13. Who cares what color a guy’s skin is anymore? It’s 2010, people! Not 1860! If a guy can play, he can play. You either have it or you don’t. It has nothing to do with appearance.

  14. Who dey! Who dey! Who dey think gonna be John Riggins?

  15. Well in Leonard’s defense, he was the 3rd back on the roster, and a 3rd down back at that, possibly thats why his numbers are lacking?..

  16. @bodhisattva
    Craig James, he was white also…….
    I’m pretty sure Craig James is still white.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.