Toby Gerhart had a close view of a workhorse tailback in Minnesota the last four seasons as he played a reserve role behind Adrian Peterson for the Vikings, but never got to fill the role himself.
Now the running back has signed with the Jaguars and is in line for heavy use. Coach Gus Bradley said that he thinks 18 carries a game is “feasible” for Gerhart and Gerhart thinks he’s in perfect position to capitalize on that workload after such sparing use with the Vikings.
“I had the skill set to be a starter from the onset, but I was playing behind one of the best in the game,” Gerhart said, via the Florida Times-Union. “I’ve gotten comfortable with the speed of the game, but don’t have the wear and tear on my body of someone carrying it 250 times a year. I think I’m in a unique situation. Even though it’s my fifth year in the league, I can come in and be a dominant guy. I’m ready for my shot now.”
Gerhart had 353 touches with the Vikings and was productive enough as both a runner and receiver to make it easy to understand why the Jags would think he’s capable of doing even more in an expanded role. Barring a big addition in the draft, Gerhart should get every chance at proving himself right about being a dominant back. If he’s right, the Jaguars offense will have one less thing to worry about in 2014.