The Colts are going to have to rely on the run with a rookie a QB and a new head coach, Chuck Pagano, who likes a strong run game. The Colts have no strand out running back, but of the bunch they have, Donald Brown is the most proven. At the NFL annual meetings Pagano said that Brown could be the team’s primary rusher this coming season. Delone Carter and rookie Vick Ballard are the only competition for the ball right now.
ProFootballFocus.com has Donald Brown ranked as the 19th best RB option heading into 2012. They project 216 carries and 44 catches for Brown.
AFC South blogger, Paul Kuharsky, wrote an article listing some possible high upside performers from the division and goes into why he thinks Brown could be just that for Colts in 2012. The key says Kuharsky is Brown’s ability to protect the QB from blitzers.
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Brown has his believers. A couple things are clear; the Colts need to lean on the run because they have a rookie QB and will be sure to make a point of it because they have a coach that even in this pass happy era values the run game. What is less clear at this moment is whether or not Brown can hold down the job of a feature back. Yes he has a 4.2 ypc average, but he has never impressed enough to beat back the competition completely.
Things seemed to click for Brown last year when he averaged 4.8 ypc on 134 carries (both career highs). If there is one back who will earn the lion’s share of carries and catches in Indy, it should be Brown. We agree with the ranking of our friends at ProFootballFocus of Brown as a low end RB#2. That deserves watching, however. We still see him as a guy with limited upside and a great deal of down size.