The one thing that drives me crazy, especially when talking about Beanie Wells is his history with injuries. This is football, not badminton, so if a guy gets hurt, don’t slap the caution sticker on him for life. Many players have recovered from injuries to bounce back and regain form…and Beanie is one of them.
This former Ohio State Buckeye really turned it on strong late last year, and had a solid role in the Cardinals playoff run, despite the lack of touches. Chris Wells averaged a very impressive 4.5 yards per carry for 793 yards and found the endzone 7 times in his rookie season.
This year, the Cardinals are a team in transition. Seeing players like Warner and Boldin leave may have people giving up on everything in the red uniform that isn’t named Fitzgerald, but while Arizona’s passing attack is changing gears, the running game is about to ref the engine, and burn rubber.
The Cardinals most underrated signing this off-season is Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca. This former Jet/Steelers has a resume of being apart of some of the best running teams over the last 10 years. The Cardinals were already fairly strong with their interior line, guys like RG Rex Hadnot and Center Lyle Sendein had excellent 09 seasons. Thereby this added leadership should make one of the most underrated offensive lines in football, that much better. Just to throw it out there Deuce Lutui has been rumored to be up around 400 lbs, not bragging rights by any means, but if the coaching staff can get this huge former USC lineman back on track, goal line holes will be large enough to skip through.
The biggest problem standing in the way of Beanie Wells becoming a huge fantasy star, is his counter part Tim Hightower. Hightower split carries with Beanie all year but had a worse rushing average. While Beanie hung back as the number 2 guy in 09, the job is secretly being groomed for him as there is more investment and potential in the late round 1st rounder. I expect huge transition in the amount of carries for Wells this year adding 20-25% more of the rock his way.
Overall I just like the way Beanie plays. Even if the line is just slightly improved from a year ago it’s the wealth that he brings to a team that has lost two important pieces to the passing attack. Whisenhunt is a smart coach with a history of working with what his has, opposed to forcing a template offense. Whisenhunt was once the man in the Steelers driver seat and with Faneca back on the line, things could look completely different in the dome.