Camp Battles: Running Backs

Already previewed what to expect as far as competiton at quarterback, now it’s time to move on to the running backs.

Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood are entrenched at the top two spots at running back, and won’t have to worry about their jobs being up for grabs. Ovie Mughelli isn’t going anywhere as well as far as the starting fullback position goes. Meaning that leaves probably two roster spots open to the rest of the team.

Most likely to grab one of those spots is Jason Snelling, who offers versatility both to play either fullback or running back. Snelling’s playing time increased as last season wore on, and assuming the coaching staff is still high on him, it’s unlikely he’ll be left out in the cold.

The other spot will come down in a battle between Thomas Brown and Verron Haynes. Brown has the edge, given that he was a draft pick by the team a year ago. Brown gives them another potential option on third downs as well as special teams. Haynes is a bigger back, that like Snelling has played some at fullback in the past, and is a capable receiver and blocker on third downs too.

But Haynes is set to go to trial in September for writing some bad checks when purchasing a car a few years back. And while it’s not a terrible black eye, it’s not likely to grant Haynes any favors when it comes down to roster decision time.

Snelling’s ability to play either running spot means the team only really has to keep four backs when most NFL teams keep five. But the fifth back is more likely to be Brown if one is kept. The team also still has the option of throwing Brown on the practice squad if need be.

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Aaron Freeman
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