The Colts were reasonably proficient in the run game anyway, with Marlon Mack rushing for nearly 1,100 yards in 14 games last year. That kind of production, and a physical offensive line, were selling points in their pursuit of quarterback Philip Rivers, and part of the reason they think Rivers will be successful.
Of course, they also think their running game is getting better, which only adds to the appeal.
After drafting Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, they envision a more explosive element to the run game.
“You have him and Marlon (Mack) doing that together and then running behind our offensive line,” Reich said, via Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star. “You get that one-two punch. You get . . . even more excited about the play-action game. You get even more excited about — we did a pretty good job last year on explosive runs, but how many more are we going to have? What does that mean to the offense? How do we use that to set things up? How does that take the pressure off the defense? Those are all things that we get real excited about.”
Taylor’s also more of a receiver than Mack was (just 14 catches last year), which adds some versatility, but they also hope signing free agent fullback Roosevelt Nix helps. They didn’t carry a true fullback last year, but Reich said he could see Nix getting between 10 percent and 20 percent of the team’s snaps.
“There are things that you can do in a two-back offense, run and pass game, that are unique,” Reich said. “It is a way to keep teams guessing a little bit more in the run game. On one hand you say, ‘Well, they can stack the box more.’ But there are other advantages that you can have offensively that we will try to utilize and think Rosie is a good fit for that.”
So for all the attention Rivers will get (and deservedly so), there’s still a part of Reich that loves to run, and he thinks they’re better in that area now.