The Colts won’t have Frank Gore in the backfield this season and that means they are set to have a new No. 1 back for the first time since Gore joined the team in 2015.
Of the players currently on the roster, Marlon Mack would appear to be the one who will get the first shot at grabbing that title for the 2018 season. The 2017 fourth-round pick ran 93 times for 358 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie and said the spot left open with Gore out of the picture is one he’s going to do all he can to grab.
But Stafford remains the one who can make the difference, and in a way, he already did. By agreeing to the extension, he allowed the Lions to preserve their franchise tag, and they used it on defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who officially signed Tuesday.
Stafford can be a polarizing figure around here because stellar numbers haven’t translated to stellar seasons. No, he’s not a top-five quarterback. But yes, he’s better than his critics suggest, considering he’s never, ever had a consistent running game, or a dominant offensive line. He’s also played in 112 consecutive regular-season games, third-longest streak among active quarterbacks.
I think there is, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier, when asked if the Dolphins have the ammo to just up five or six spots from 11. I think you can always make a deal to move up. It all depends on how much you want to give up. You see some deals with some teams, we may think that they gave up a lot to get up there.
And then other times, you’re like, ‘Wow, they didn’t give up enough,’ Grier continued. If teams want to move up or down, depending on what they want to do…We had a situation here in the past where we made a trade in the first round and really didn’t give up a ton for a player. At the end of the day, I think you can move up and down fairly easily. But you also still need someone to want that player or move out of that spot.
That situation, of course, was the trade for Dion Jordan in 2013, when the Dolphins only needed to part with a second-round pick to move from 12 to 3. That, of course, ended up being a bad pick — perhaps the worst in franchise history.
Some of the numbers back Lue up. Even so, this strategy feels exploitable for any team prepared to take what the defense gives.
And that, more than anything, is what the Pacers do. They have a lot of clever, versatile players. They adapt.