Yesterday, we discussed Football Outsiders' analysis of Jay Cutler and what to expect for the 2016 season (click HERE if you missed that), and today can see what they have to say about the Chicago Bears running back situation.
Specifically, the Bears will try to replace Matt Forte, who spent eight seasons being the featured back in Chicago. Forte will go down as one of the all-time great Chicago Bears, but is now suiting up in New York with the Jets.
We asked Football Outsider about Jeremy Langford, who is now in his second season in the NFL, and who looked pretty good last year as a rookie in Chicago.
WCG: Is Jeremy Langford ready to not only take over as the Bears starting running back, but also to be a featured back in the NFC?
FO: "Probably not, no. Langford ranked fifth among all running backs in our per-carry metrics last year, even higher than Matt Forte, but there's some fluke in those numbers -- he didn't fumble once in 148 carries, and you can be sure he'll put the ball on the ground more often over a full season's workload. He was very good at avoiding stuffs in the backfield, but his average gain was still quite poor.
In short, he's very much a 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust guy. Funny thing is, as a receiver, he was the complete opposite. He struggled badly with drops, but on the rare occasions he did catch the ball, he produced a handful of big plays.
Either way, though, John Fox has always been a committee guy and has said he will ride whoever's hot from one week to the next. Langford should be Chicago's top rusher in the 2016 season, but there will be plenty of weeks where Ka'Deem Carey, Jacquizz Rodgers, or Jordan Howard will be the man instead."
Do you agree with Football Outsiders' analysis of Jeremy Langford, and do you think he is ready to be the guy in Chicago?