Strolling around the world wide web this morning, I stumbled upon an article on Bleacher Report discussing where the remaining free agent running backs would be likely to land. Certainly not the top free agent remaining, with guys like Cedric Benson, Joseph Addai, and Ryan Grant still available, the article saw the Rams as a good/likely suitor for Jackie Battle. The season-ending injury that Jamaal Charles suffered in week two [thanks for killing my fantasy football season], afforded Battle the opportunity to see some real playing time, virtually splitting carries for the remainder of the season with Thomas Jones. He's probably not the 'answer,' his highlight reel is short, but his injury list is shorter, and depth (haha) at the position needs to be addressed. A little about him, and what he could bring....
Battle (28) is entering the sixth season of his professional career, and is likely to find the second home of his relatively quiet NFL career. Having gone undrafted in 2007, the aforementioned injury to Charles coupled with the geriatric state of Thomas Jones, Battle got his opportunity to prove he could compete at the pro level. To say he was a huge success would be a stretch, but to say he didn't impress [at times] wouldn't be fair.
Battle gained 560 yards for KC in the final 11 games of the season, averaging roughly 4 ypc during that span. Again, nothing stellar, but there were some excellent performances along the way. One of note came against the Colts on October 9th, which doesn't say a lot, but the way in which he did it was impressive. Having touched the ball only once in the first quarter of the game, Battle barreled through the Colts D for the remaining three quarters carrying 18 more times and totaling 119 yards..........only 36 yards shy of the his career totals through the first four years of his career.
At this point, I'm sure many of you are thinking (and even thought before the jump), 'we need a change of pace back,' or 'I want LaMichael James, etc.' I'm not saying that you're wrong, and I'm certainly not saying that we don't need to address RB in the draft. Actually I'm a proponent of taking one as early as the 3rd, for what it's worth. But I digress.....Battle brings a physical style of running game that allows us to continue to bruise defenses while SJAX catches a much-needed breather. A 6'2" and 238 pounds (sound familiar), Battle's style of running can prove very valuable to us on short yard downs, where he's demonstrated that he can fight for additional yardage, even after contact due to his size and power. Even more appealing is that he'd probably cost next to nothing.
I found the prospect of adding Jackie Battle and interesting one, and thought I'd gather some feedback. In my opinion, the acquisitions of Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood were futile, and their time in St. Louis is done. I'm not ready to deem Battle as the next coming of Arian Foster by any means, but the thought of being able to continue a power run game, coupled with a young change-of-pace guy, while Jackson's on the sideline has appeal. For those of you who live in Missouri, you may have better insight on his game. Please feel free to throw in your two cents!