The common theme when it comes to running back Bilal Powell is that the New York Jets continue to underutilize him. Could he be a viable starting option come next season?
Make no mistake about it, the New York Jets have once again dropped the ball when it has come to how to properly utilize the skill-set of running back Bilal Powell. The common theme so far in his six-year career has been that the Jets are either not using him more often or waiting too long to understand everything he brings to the table.
Powell is already a veteran and has proven he’s capable of handling any workload the Jets throw his way. Filling in for the injured Matt Forte this past season, Powell was able to be a difference-maker in games and did his part to keep those chains moving. Sure, the Jets lost a lot of football games but Powell made the most out of every rep coming his way.
Coming off the best season of his career in 2016, Powell is making a strong case to compete towards a starting position in 2017. Considering he rushed for 722 yards, 131 attempts, and three touchdowns, one can only imagine the kind of damage he can do in a starting role. Powell also totaled 388 receiving yards, 58 receptions, and two touchdowns.
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If the Jets were wise, they would have an open competition at running back come Summer time to determine who can be a catalyst on offense. With a new offensive coordinator coming to town, it will be very interesting to see how Powell will be used on offense.
It’s a shame the Jets once again waited too long to give Powell more reps since there is no telling if he could have been able to put the team in a better direction in 2016. At 5-11 to end the year, Powell could only do so much in the limited fashion he was used in. Hopefully, the Jets won’t be foolish to make the same mistake yet again with one of their emerging offensive stars.
The Jets will have many areas of opportunity to address this offseason, especially on offense. With weaknesses at quarterback, offensive line, and even at wide receiver, the Jets need to obviously put themselves in a position to win more football games next season. Clearly, giving an opportunity for Powell to compete for a starting position is one way to bring clarity on offense. There is also no telling what kind of impact Forte will have come next season since he’s not only getting up there in age but also coming back from nagging injuries that held him back as well.
Overall, it’s time to give Powell a shot and should he earn such a promotion to starter, would be able to put his abilities to great use in the backfield. The Jets will once again go through another transition but hopefully, Powell is there leading the charge to some better memories in 2017.