Starting Running Back

Submitted by Mattinboots on September 21st, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Adam Rittenberg mentioned in his "Helmet Stickers" section that Carlos Brown has thrown himself into the mix for the starting running back job after his performance against Eastern. I am not criticizing Adam for that comment, but wondering if we are really going to have a starting RB this season? Obviously we'll have someone be in the first series every game, but I am talking about an every down type of back. I think given what we've seen so far this year that we will always see a fairly even mix of Brown and Minor with Shaw making the more than occasional but not quite as regular appearance. Anyone see us trying to target one player as the go to RB?



September 21st, 2009 at 1:37 PM ^

game in a 5 wideout set, I'm pretty sure we'll have a starting RB.

However, once Minor is 100% healthy he'll be the starter. Why not - he gashed Notre Dame.

Behind him, though, it's not an issue to have Brown on standby and Shaw as the change of pace (and the pace is unbelievable) RB. With Brown, Shaw, Smith and MIKE COX on the roster (what a luxury to let a guy like Toussaint redshirt), there is no need to force Minor back against Indiana. He should be saved for Sparty and Iowa, then rested against Delaware State, then used the last 4 of the year.

James Burrill Angell

September 21st, 2009 at 3:12 PM ^

No knock against Carlos Brown. He's a good runner but Brian's point on the front page(although in a joking context) seems to be true if you watch Carlos. Minor can break tackles better than Brown. That said, if you could give an open hole, Brown is faster than Minor. The reality of Big Ten defenses is that you're going to at least have to break an arm tackle or two to get anywhere and Minor seems to be able to do that slightly better than Brown. That said, after Minor loosens the defense up a little, its nice to have a blazer like Brown with fresh legs to throw at a tired defense.


September 21st, 2009 at 1:43 PM ^

I actually like the way the we've been able to rotate guys on the two-deep (except for OL) on offense. For one, it keeps us fresh, like a line change in hockey. Also, as we've seen with the trend in the NFL, more teams are being situation specific- 3rd down backs, short-yardage backs, etc.- this takes advantage of say Carlos Brown's ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. I think when Brandon Minor is healthy though, he'll get the bulk of the important carries, but you'll still see Brown and Shaw still get significant snaps. I see it as a great way to create and maintain depth and just simply wear out an opponent with fresh legs.


September 21st, 2009 at 2:17 PM ^

Minor is gooder. And everyone always talks about Brown's top-end speed, but Minor doesn't get caught from behind, either. He's pretty damn fast for being 215 lbs. and being rated as a fullback coming out of high school.


September 21st, 2009 at 2:40 PM ^

Brown is one fast SOB but Minor is an overall better running back and a better blocker.

We will need Minor when we play against some of the better defensive teams in the conference. I think it's a very good move to sit him for now and let him get healthy.

I don't think it matters who the actual starter is. Once he his healthy Minor will get the bulk of the carries.


September 21st, 2009 at 3:10 PM ^

What a great position for us to be in. Think I'll just sit back and watch the discussion comfortable in the knowledge that there really is no wrong answer. It's all good, baby! for the defense...hmmmm....well...that's what's keeping me up at night.

the_big_house 500th

September 21st, 2009 at 3:49 PM ^

Brown did have a hell of a game against the Eagles this past Saturday putting up 179 yards on the ground and an 90 yard td run. But Minor is the right man for the starting position. He's got amazing power as he can blast his way through tackles and defensive lines to find gaps for big gains. Minor really impressed me last year in 2008 if nothing else did and Shaw's pretty quick too but I have to give the vote to Minor.


September 21st, 2009 at 4:00 PM ^

As someone mentioned earlier, going forward in the season it's going to be about blocking as much as speed, breaking tackles, etc. Good blocking is going to give our QBs time to open up the play book. Right now Minor is the best (at least between Brown, Shaw, etc) at blocking AND running the ball. That makes him more valuable to this offense.