Everybody is going back and forth in a debate over the fate of Jordan Howard at this point. It’s odd. Here’s a running back that has given at least 900+ rushing yards to the team three-straight years and scored nine touchdowns last season. He’s a good running back and it seemed like head coach Matt Nagy found the blocking scheme that worked best late in the season for the Chicago Bears.
He’ll now have a full offseason to implement it properly. The truth is the Bears don’t need to replace Howard. He’s 24-years old and still on his rookie contract. He can be productive in this offense as part of the two-headed beast that is him and Tarik Cohen. Instead, it may be the other side of the equation. The obvious signs that Nagy would prefer to have a three-headed beast.
How else does one explain his constant usage of Taquan Mizzell during games over the course of the 2018 season? Here’s a guy brought in as emergency depth in the eyes of most and instead Nagy is giving him touches almost every week. He had 17 in nine games last year (not counting special teams) and one in the playoff game against Philadelphia. The fact it came before Cohen had a touch was the most baffling part of it.
2 drives, 0 touches for Tarik Cohen (1 target). Taquan Mizzell has 1 carry and 1 target.
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) January 6, 2019
Chicago Bears should focus on upgrading Mizzell rather than Jordan Howard
If the Bears head coach is so insistent on involving a back like Mizzell in the offense because he’s stubborn, then isn’t the best course of action to find somebody who is better than him? It shouldn’t be too hard. Free agency will feature names like Ty Montgomery or Jalen Richard who would fill that role far better than Mizzell. Or they could simply draft somebody like a Bryce Love out of Stanford.
Ryan Pace has already shown he has an eye for running back talent and how to find it in small places. He drafted Howard in the 5th round and Cohen in the 4th. He got Jeremy Langford in the 4th as well and he had a solid rookie year. He even had Raheem Mostert for a brief stint in 2016 before he went on to find life in San Francisco.
This is also overshadowing his work in New Orleans where he helped the Saints collect a slew of productive backs including Mark Ingram, Deuce McCallister, Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, and Chris Ivory. At this point, one would think he deserves the benefit of the doubt that he knows what he’s doing. The Bears will do what needs to be done.