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Beanie trims down


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In the dead of the offseason, speculation rules – especially when you are sitting at your desk, racking your brain to come up with a blog topic. So when a friend of mine called me this morning asking for fantasy football advice when it came to rookie running back Beanie Wells (that’s Beanie below taking part in the Camelback climb last week), well, that seems like a good jumping off point.


There’s no question, in large part because of fantasy football, Wells is going to be one of the biggest rookie topics in the NFL this season. It only increases because of his college stature at Ohio State and the fact he is the de facto replacement for Edgerrin James. I apparently caused a stir a couple weeks back when I wrote I believed Tim Hightower and not Beanie would be the Cards’ starting running back in the Sept. 13 regular-season opener.


It’s impossible to know exactly how this will play out over the season (Did anyone last July – heck, last September – see fifth-round pick Hightower supplanting Edge altogether? I think not). I think Beanie will get playing time, whatever he earns, behind Hightower. Jason Wright will be in the mix too. Beanie’s physical tools are better than Hightower’s, but that’s far from a lock when they get on the field.


We don’t know much of Beanie on the field on this level. You learn little during the offseason practices, and Wells barely took part in any of those thanks to the Ohio State semester. The coaching staff had already headed out on vacation by the time Beanie returned. Here’s what we do know: Wells was at 247 pounds when strength and conditioning coach John Lott got hold of him; Wells has shed 18 pounds (Lott had guesstimated earlier this offseason Wells’ playing weight would be around 225 pounds). Lott, who spent years training Curtis Martin in New York, sees Beanie as the potentially perfect blend of power and speed – someone who can break long runs, a bonus the Cards simply haven’t had much of from running backs of recent vintage.


Lott has taken Wells under his wing, knowing Beanie’s importance to the future of the team. Lott, who nicknames all the rookies (long-haired CB Greg Toler is “Chia Pet” and OL Trevor Canfield is “Uncle Fester,” for example), calls Wells “Little Jim Brown.” Wells is from Akron, Ohio and Lott – who worked with Brown when Lott was with the Cleveland Browns – sees a facial resemblance. Will the Cards see any kind of playing resemblance from Beanie?


“I made a promise to (Larry) Fitzgerald, a promise to Kenny (Whisenhunt), a promise to players interested,” Lott said of his interest in seeing Beanie break out. “I think this kid has a chance to do something. He’s got the tools. … He could be a beast.”

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Wells is very interesting to me and I already have him on a few teams as my RB3. The ARZ schedule is very nice and Wells could actually become a fulltime back with no RBBC if he can show up Hightower which he should. And there is no reason to pull Wells for Hightower at the goal line either.Definitely worth watching in August.

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I think they still go RBBC because of his injury history.


With who? Hightower only had a 2.8 YPC last year. Jason Wright is no better. ARZ doesn't have anyone besides Wells with any talent.

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Wells, for my money, is THE steal of fantasy drafts. Should be a full time back and should be successful in the red zone, which his team should enter quite often. I think 1100/10 should be very attainable, with a decent chance for even better yardage. If you get your QB & WRs early, I would not at all be ashamed of having to pencil in Wells at RB2 if that is the last spot you have to fill besides TE. I'd still get another back soon after for insurance, but there is upside to burn here. If he runs anything like he did down the stretch (after the PSU game), he could be a monster. Hightower doesn't scare me off in the least. If Wells plays well early, he should get every opportunity to see what he can do. At one point, I thought Wells lacked the necessary explosion to become a successful NFL back, but getting a chance to really watch him the past few games (I was watching him closely to see whether or not I wanted the Seahawks to draft him), he was awfully impressive. He got to the second level much faster than I anticipated, then brought the wood once he got to the safeties.

Edited by Seahawks21
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