Heading into the 2018 NFL season, the New York Jets’ backfield appears to be quite crowded and while it’s currently unclear who exactly will handle the bulk of the team’s carries, newly acquired Isaiah Crowell will be looking to prove he’s the guy.
Last year, carries were shared between veterans Bilal Powell, who was handed the ball 178 times, and Matt Forte, who received 103 attempts on the ground, with Powell often being looked at as the No. 1 guy. Rookie Elijah McGuire, however, also showed promise, totaling 381 yards on 88 attempts.
Heading into next season, however, the running back corps looks vastly different for the Jets. Powell and McGuire remain, but Forte has retired. In free agency, the team signed Isaiah Crowell and Thomas Rawls while also drafting Trenton Cannon.
Currently, it’s unclear how exactly the depth chart will shape up at this position. Powell will likely continue to get his reps, while McGuire will likely continue his development. Rawls, who has struggled with injuries in recent years, shined in 2015 and could potentially return to form while Cannon, although looked at more as a return man, could also find a role.
It is Crowell, however, who some expect to emerge and separate himself from the pack.
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Despite dealing with some social media controversy in 2016, Crowell, just 25-years old, has proven himself to be a talented back. Spending the last four years with the Cleveland Browns, Crowell has appeared to steadily improve each season with his best year possibly taking place in 2016. It was then that he rushed for 952 yards and seven touchdowns on 198 attempts while averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
2017, however, was a successful year for the Alabama State product as well. Last season, he totaled 853 yards and two touchdowns on 206 attempts while averaging 4.1 yards per carry.
If Crowell continues to progress and continues to produce impressive numbers, it’s very possible that he could become the Jets’ every-down back. And that’s exactly what he plans to do.
In an article written on NewYorkJets.com, here’s what Crowell said about his expectations for his first season with the Jets:
“I want to be a big-time player here,” Crowell said via Newyorkjets.com. “I want to prove it to my coaches and teammates that I’ve got what it takes to be an every-down back and help my team win games.”
And although he’s focused on showcasing his skills to his teammates and his coaches, Crowell isn’t necessarily out to achieve personal goals. He simply wants to win. This is the perfect mentality to have heading into a season with much to prove in the city that never sleeps.