So why would I say this? This is why:
- He was the best back in the draft. Screw the position where he was drafted.
- He is large, powerful and fast. He reminds everybody of Eddie George.
- He goes to a Super Bowl team
- He goes to an offense which has been an aerial circus, and spectacular at times.
- He goes to a team with a good offensive line
- He goes to a team which needs a running back, and a running game.
- He goes to a team that is planning to use him immediately. They cut Edgerrin James the second they drafted Wells. You know what this means.
- He will be the 6th or 7th rated threat on the Cardinal offense at the start of the season.
- He will rise to become the 3rd rated threat on the Cardinal offense, but I doubt he will rise higher than that.
- Statistically speaking, the winner of the AP offensive rookie of the year award is almost always a running back.
- No running back drafted this year is better set up for success than Beanie Wells.
The AP offensive Rookie of the year award began in the year 1967. One of my UCLA brothers, Mel Farr, was the first man to win it. He was a running back for the Detroit Lions. The prize has been awarded a total 43 times. Only 3 positions have ever been awarded the trophy: Running back, Quarterback and Wide Receiver. A running back has won the award 31 times. A Quarterback has won it 4 times. A wide receiver has won it 7 times.
We can say now that there is a 72% chance of a running back winning the award in 2009. We can say that thee is a 9% chance that a QB will win it. We can say that there is about a 16% chance that WR will win it.
This tells you a couple of things:
- The world does not value offensive linemen, and that sucks.
- The world does not value tight ends, and that sucks.
- It is very hard to come in and make an impact as a rookie QB.
- Receivers have an easier time that QBs making the transition, but the pro passing game is different from the college game. They need time to make the transition.
- Running backs have the most difficult job in terms of punishment, but an easy job in terms of transitional difficulties. The position is the same in college and in the pros.
Believe it or not, Ben Rothelisberger was only the 2nd quarterback ever to win Rookie of the Year. Do you know that Dan Marino, the greatest rookie of all time in my estimation, did not win Rookie of the year award? He was beaten by a running back name Eric Dickerson. Yep, my brother Ram Eric Dickerson defeated Dan Marino for the rookie of the year award in 1983! This tells you how slanted the field is in favor of running backs. It is not just a matter of how difficult the QB position is to play. The electors favors running backs. Even when a sensational rookie QB emerges, he can and will loose to a sensational running back.
So this is how the story of 2009 goes, IMHO. Most defensive coordinators are worried about the Cardinal passing attack. They pretty much open with a nickle defense. They play pass first. To beat the Cardinals, you must stop the passing game, not the running game. Wells is not a serious threat in their books... at first. Wells gets the ball on draws, delay hand-offs, shotgun draws, shovel passes, quick outlets. He beats people up. By the 4th quarter of the season (game 13), Wells rises to the 3rd ranked threat on the Cardinal team, according to NFL D.C.s, but he rises no higher than 3rd. Most defensive coordinators don't believe Wells is a bigger threat than Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Bolden. They can't justify allocating primary resources to stop Wells first. Rated no higher than the 3rd priority in defensive meetings, Chris Beanie Wells prospers throughout the entire 2009 season.
The next thing you know, Wells has 1300+ yards, and he is the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.