As soon as I didn’t have a quarterback atop my Ten Most Important Chicago Bears‘ list, you guys all knew I’d have Jordan Howard as my number one right?
The 2017 offense will only go as far as Howard takes them.
It doesn’t matter if Mike Glennon or Mitchell Trubisky is under center, because they’ll be getting the ball to Howard about three hundred times this season. Last year, Howard had 252 rushing attempts and 29 receptions, which averaged out to almost 19 touches per game. I’m expecting another Pro Bowl from Chicago’s 22 year old running back.
Howard is is better shape this offseason, he worked on his long speed to take those big runs to the house, his knowledge of the playbook has increased, he had Lasik eye surgery, and he’s been working hard on his route running and hands during OTAs.
Plus, and this is a huge one, he’s been working out at The Hill.
All you Bears’ fans know exactly what I’m talking about, but for you other readers...
The Bears have improved their running back depth from a year ago, and it’s possible that rookie Tarik Cohen and free agent pick up Benny Cunningham will each cut into Howard’s time on third down, but there’s no way the Bears will get away from Howard in 2017. He’s the clear cut #1, and the Bears will run him like one.
Pro Football Focus spotlighted Howard on a few of their signature stats.
Expect to see more big runs in Jordan Howard's future. pic.twitter.com/jPKrppf1GH— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 17, 2017
Jordan Howard did it all as a rookie pic.twitter.com/abu0S1c6zw— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 8, 2017
This one was my favorite PFF infographic because of who the “one other HB” was.
During his impressive rookie year, Ezekiel Elliott ran for more yards between the tackles than all but one other HB pic.twitter.com/ggyNK4gD2z— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 2, 2017
In case you missed it, be sure to check out this film room breakdown of Howard’s play in 2016.
Also, enjoy some of these other highlights before you leave your comments on Howard being #1 on my list this year.