Indianapolis, IN - New Indianapolis Colts Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton cleared the air about what the Colts would like to do with the running back system to the media today. His basic quote was that they would ideally give both Vick Ballard and Ahmad Bradshaw equal carries. He did use the word eventually in that quote, so that may mean a couple weeks away as Bradshaw continues to get healthy and acclimated to NFL speed once again.
As we mentioned in a previous article here on Naptown’s Finest, the Colts have had past success with the dual running back system. Think back to their Super Bowl win, and their system was a two-man attack with both Dominic Rhodes and Joseph Addai getting an equal amount of carries. The belief for the Colts is that Ahmad Bradshaw will take over the starting job once he’s back too full health, but Ballard will receive an equal amount of carries off the bench.
Colts fans have been wondering how this would be handled ever since Bradshaw was signed. Ballard came on strong last season, and had a very solid start to this season with 63 yards on 13 carries. The main question mark on Ballard’s game has been his pass-blocking, but head coach Chuck Pagano gave high praise for that area in the first week of the season.
It will certainly be interesting to see how this works with Bradshaw and Ballard sharing time, but it should be a very smooth transition. One thing that will help make this a smooth transition is the fact that Bradshaw has been in a dual-back system before. Back with the New York Giants, he was used alongside of Brandon Jacobs to have a thunder and lightning type of effect. With Ballard being a fairly big back as well, and very similar to Jacobs’ running style, this could be the exact same situation.
If Ballard and Bradshaw are able to live up to the type of production that Jacobs and Bradshaw had in New York, this offense will be very happy with the results. This is certainly a great decision by the Colts, and it should pay off for them. Defenses will have to account for the different rushing styles of each player, and both of these guys are also very dangerous receivers out of the backfield as well.