Colts Steadfast In Believing Marlon Mack Is A Feature Back


Colts Steadfast In Believing Marlon Mack Is A Feature Back

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Colts Steadfast In Believing Marlon Mack Is A Feature Back

The Colts believe that Marlon Mack is capable of being a feature back. Why do the Colts feel that way?

Joe Robbins | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – Those asking the questions were curious about a possible future home for Le’Veon Bell or inquiring about early fantasy football advice.

No matter how the question was asked, the Colts were firm in their stance.

They believe Marlon Mack is a bellcow No. 1 back and they want him leading the way as they continue their running back by committee approach, with a clear goal of needing the run game to be better in 2019.

“Absolutely,” Frank Reich said when asked earlier this offseason if he thought Mack was a ‘feature back’ moving forward.

“Marlon had an incredible season. You look at the production he had in the games, not playing a full year. Came out the beginning of the year, was hurt. We just got so much better in the run game as the year went on. A lot of that obviously started up front, but Marlon kind of hit a groove and was doing his thing. So we just look to continue to build that with Marlon.”

Mack finished the 2018 season with 908 rushing yards on 195 carries (4.66 yards per carry). He played in 12 games, starting 10 of those contests.

He recorded 100-yard rushing games in a third of the contests he played.

Before 2018, the Colts had three career 100-yard rushing games with Andrew Luck under center (1 by Vick Ballard in 2012 and 2 by Frank Gore in 2016).

Mack had 4 of those just last season, and added another in the playoff victory over Houston.

How rare was the season Mack had last year?

Dominic Rhodes in 2001 was the last Colts running back to start at least 10 games and rush for more yards per carry than Mack did last season.

Eric Dickerson, Marshall Faulk and Edgerrin James never reached the 4.65 YPC mark, with at least 10 starts, which Mack accomplished last year.

Certainly, a vastly improved offensive line in ’18 played into Mack’s success, but the young runner also did a much better job with his vision and avoiding negative runs.

So far, the Colts sitting out free agency in the running back department (and the Bell sweepstakes) was an action backing up their words last month.

And even the possible signing of Jay Ajayi wouldn’t mean the Colts are questioning their long-term thoughts on Mack.

“We think a lot of Marlon Mack,” Ballard says. “We think he can play on all three downs. We think he can carry the load.”

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