It’s always important to maintain some perspective on things like trades. Jordan Howard has been connected to such rumors for months. Really ever since Matt Nagy took over as head coach. The primary reason being he’s not an ideal fit for the new offense the Bears are running. That may sound like a weak excuse. Then you realize that Howard is averaging 3.2 yards per carry to start the season and it’s hard not to wonder.
People continue to say it’s way too early to give up on him. He’s a proven, young player. There’s still plenty of time to get this thing figured out. This is true. However, he did face off against two of the worst run defenses in the league, Seattle and Arizona, and could do almost nothing against both. He hit bottom two weeks ago against the #3 Buccaneers run defense with 25 yards on 11 carries.
To be fair the blocking hasn’t been the best but still. Not every player can seamlessly change from one offensive system to another. The Bears drafted Howard to play in the Dowell Loggains offense. It shouldn’t surprise that he played so well in it. That offense and this new one under Nagy are different.
So when the trade rumors started up again, it’s important not to completely ignore them. That’s why the latest is interesting.
Clayton also mentions Chicago RB Jordan Howard as a sleeper to keep an eye on for the #Eagles.
— SPORTSRADIO 94WIP (@SportsRadioWIP) October 9, 2018
Jordan Howard to the Eagles is a fun idea but there are problems
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Clayton referenced the Eagles. The defending champions just lost their best running back Jay Ajayi to a torn ACL. He’s done for the year, leaving their backfield in a bad way. Not a good thing given how much of a pounding Carson Wentz has taken lately. They have to find a way to balance the offense. Howard would certainly look like a savior.
There’s one problem. Philadelphia runs a similar offense to Chicago. Doug Pederson, like Nagy, is a disciple of Andy Reid. So Howard would simply be changing jerseys, not systems. If any team would make sense as a trade partner at this point it’s Miami, the team the Bears are getting ready to play. They not only have the need for help in the backfield but also employ Howard’s former coordinator, Loggains.
Nagy: “Jordan Howard is a big part of this offense and I think that for us to continue to keep trying to grow, everybody in this offense has a role.”
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 10, 2018
This is not to say the Eagles wouldn’t do it. They’re desperate. Still, the odds aren’t favorable. Truth be told if a trade is going to happen, the Bears won’t do it in the middle of the season. They don’t have a ton of depth at running back and Tarik Cohen, for all his brilliance, is not a feature back. They may way until before free agency next year when they’ll have the proper time to find a replacement.
Nagy though remains insistent that Howard has a big role in the offense. It’s just going to vary from week to week on how he’s used. Perhaps the next couple weeks will tell a lot.