Bruce Arians' Indianapolis Colts targeted running backs as receivers 50 times last season, an NFL low. The Colts' percentage of targets directed toward running backs was 8.3, another league low and well off the 18.7 percent average for other teams.
RB Target Percentage Since 2007
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Arizona Cardinals should expect more of the same now that Arians is their head coach. This is something to keep in mind when projecting the types of running backs Arizona might target when bolstering a position hit by injuries.
"They are back there because they are runners and pass protectors," Arians said.
The Cardinals under former coach Ken Whisenhunt ranked 29th last season in percentage of passes targeting running backs (12.8). The rate during Whisenhunt's six-year run from 2007 through last season (17 percent) was still more than double what it was for Arians' Colts last season.
Arians wants to push the ball downfield to wide receivers. Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts and Michael Floyd give Arizona the personnel at receiver to execute such a strategy. The team will need to upgrade other areas, including quarterback, to make any strategy work.