Beanie Wells (Otto Greule/Getty)
The Cardinals have shown the last two weeks that they want to get the ball to their big rookie investment. It paid off when Wells ran for 67 yards and a score against the Giants last week. If Wells is to have continued success, the Cardinals must keep feeding him the rock. Andy Bishop explains.
Beanie Wells’ performance against the Giants last week was a coming out party of sorts. In front of a national audience on Sunday Night Football, the former Ohio State standout showed why the Cardinals used their first-round pick on him. His blend of power and agility—best showcased on his 13-yard touchdown—is what the Cardinals need for a balanced attack on offense.
Arizona has shown a commitment to get Wells more carries in recent weeks. He’s had 12 and 14 carries the last two weeks, after averaging fewer than six the first four games. More carries is what every good running back needs. It lets them wear down the defense and gives them a chance for more big plays. If Wells wants to show that last week was a not a fluke, he’s going to need a solid 10-15 carries against Carolina.
As for the rest of the season, it is far too soon to predict Wells’ impact. Even if he does assume Tim Hightower’s role as starter at some point, the two will continue to split time.
Let’s not forget that Hightower himself is a good option out of the backfield, plus he has an extra year of experience. Wells needs to show that he can be an all-around back, not only running, but catching and pass protecting as well.
The rookie has also shown the propensity to put the ball on the ground, fumbling three times this season. This is an area Wells has to improve. If this continues, Wells could see a decrease in touches, although Hightower has also struggled with fumbles.
As expected, Wells has slowly eased his way into the Cardinals’ offense. He has seen more looks, which has resulted in more production. If he can continue to improve each week, he will see his touches increase.
“He just has to continue to improve on the little things, continue to become more well-rounded as far as the passing game and picking things up,” QB Kurt Warner said, after last week’s game.
“That's going to make him even more effective, when we can change pace with him and we can do some different things with him in there.”