And while he wasn’t himself last year -- part injury, part tentativeness -- in recent weeks he’s run with more authority and shown himself to be plenty effective in the situations where the Colts need him to run it.
Football Outsiders, which measures players against the average production at their position, had him 17th overall, which isn’t bad when you consider the team’s passing offense he’s asked to complement. They also measure success rate, which factors in the context of carries. He’s got a 52 percent success rate, better than Johnson and Peterson as well as Steven Jackson, DeAngelo Williams and Cedric Benson.
Pro Football Focus, which rates players based on their effectiveness on each play, doesn’t have Addai as high, but does have him tied for fifth as a blocker, and the halfback for the Colts has to be able to pick up blitzes and do his part to keep Peyton Manning upright.
“Joe’s awesome, he’s a stud,” guard Ryan Lilja said. “He doesn’t read the papers. At least that’s how he acts and he keeps grinding it out, keeps communicating with us and keeps trying to get better. He hasn’t been disgruntled, nobody has. I like that characteristic of this team and of him in particular …”
“I don’t know what our average per carry is. It’s something we address every single week and coach says it every week. If they’re giving up 3.5 a carry, he puts that number up every week and I think we try to beat that.”
Addai is an easy-going, likable guy. At bad times, I guess it can be read as a little detached or dispassionate, but I think that’s a mistake.
“It’s life. I kind of look at football as life,” Addai said. “Everybody in their career goes through things no matter what. How are you going to respond? It’s always what you do next.”
What he does next is try to be productive on key carries against the Titans Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“He’s doing what is asked of him with the opportunities he is given,” Keith Bulluck said. “He runs hard, he runs downhill, he’s no slouch, he’s no pushover. If he was, I would have something to say.”