Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

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Mothman
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Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

Post by Mothman » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:40 am

A nice, if brief, article about Toby Gerhart:

http://www.startribune.com/sports/vikin ... ml?refer=y
Gerhart has rushed for 61 yards on 11 carries in the first two preseason games. He also had some nice moments in relief of Peterson last season. He has come a long way from his first training camp two years ago when veterans went out of their way to pound on the rookie, even in non-contact drills.

"I just feel much more confident and relaxed," he said, adding that a better understanding of the offensive system enables him to be more "instinctual."

His running style is pretty straightforward, literally. He's a true power back who relies on brawn more than speed. He's a load to bring down once he gets up to speed or in a rhythm. He becomes stronger the more carries he gets, but that's difficult in a backup role.
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Re: Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

Post by dead_poet » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:54 am

GBFavreFan wrote:The announcers for the Buffalo game even said Adrian and Gerhart might be the best RB combo in the NFL. I hadn't even thought about them like that, but maybe they are?
I heard that too. At full strength, that might be true. Others that could say the same: Houston, Carolina, Chicago, New Orleans, SF

it's too bad we don't have the top 2 QBs in the league, though.
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Re: Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

Post by Eli » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:46 am

dead_poet wrote: I heard that too. At full strength, that might be true.
At full strength, Peterson gets 90+% of the carries, which is probably why few people have ever considered them to be a "combo". The Vikings have never used Gerhart as a change of pace back, just someone that subs while Peterson catches his breath.

This year it's likely to be a lot different, and maybe the Vikings will discover that they do have a potent RB combo. As Peterson gets older, never mind the injury, they'd be wise to reduce his carries.

I still think they should use Gerhart as a fullback, albeit one that gets more than the usual 10-15 carries per year that today's fullbacks are lucky to get. Line both he and Peterson up in the backfield and don't always give the ball to Peterson. I think it would give defenses a lot more to think about, would put a fast(er) blocker out in front of Peterson, and could be a deadly combo on screen plays.
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Re: Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

Post by Mothman » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:52 am

Eli wrote:At full strength, Peterson gets 90+% of the carries, which is probably why few people have ever considered them to be a "combo". The Vikings have never used Gerhart as a change of pace back, just someone that subs while Peterson catches his breath.
Just out of curiosity, how would you define the difference?
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Re: Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

Post by dead_poet » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:02 am

Eli wrote:I still think they should use Gerhart as a fullback, albeit one that gets more than the usual 10-15 carries per year that today's fullbacks are lucky to get.
That's for sure. I'd doubt fullbacks get more than 2-5 carries/game. But if Gerhart plays FB as you'd like and he's given the ball 17-20 times, that leaves about 10-15 for AD (max). It doesn't make a ton of sense to give your "fullback" as many or more carries than your starting $100m face-of-the-franchise running back. Unless you mean early on as AD is eased back into things as opposed to AD back to 100%.

I guess I'm in the camp that you feature AD when he's back to full strength in the same way you do Ray Rice, Arian Foster, Chris Johnson, etc. He's just so explosive and a true game-changer when healthy. But it's a nice problem to have when you have two capable backs.
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Re: Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

Post by Eli » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:04 am

Mothman wrote: Just out of curiosity, how would you define the difference?
More balance in carries between them.
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Re: Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

Post by Mothman » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:05 am

Eli wrote: More balance in carries between them.
Thanks, I just wasn't sure how you were distinguishing between the two roles.
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Re: Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

Post by Eli » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:55 am

dead_poet wrote: That's for sure. I'd doubt fullbacks get more than 2-5 carries/game. But if Gerhart plays FB as you'd like and he's given the ball 17-20 times, that leaves about 10-15 for AD (max).
I wouldn't suggest giving Gerhart the ball 17 times in a game where Peterson is healthy. But I think that the Vikings could be more creative than they've been, and use Gerhart more effectively.
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Re: Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

Post by Eli » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:06 pm

The first nine games of last season, before Peterson was hurt, should give you an idea of how little Gerhart was used by the Vikings as a running back.

Number of carries per game by the running backs.

Code: Select all

Wk 1 at San Dieogo Chargers
 Peterson 16
 Harvin 4
 Gerhart 2
 Webb 1

Wk 2 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
 Peterson 25
 Gerhart 2
 Harvin 2

Wk 3 vs Detroit Lions
 Peterson 17
 Gerhart 2
 Harvin 2

Wk 4 at Kansas City Chiefs
 Peterson 23
 Harvin 4
 Gerhart 2

Wk 5 vs Arizona Cardinals
 Peterson 29
 Gerhart 2
 Harvin 1
 Booker 1

Wk 6 at Chicago Bears
 Peterson 12
 Gerhart 1
 Harvin 1
 Booker 1
 Webb 1

Wk 7 vs Green Bay Packers
 Peterson 24
 Harvin 2
 Gerhart 1

Wk 8 at Carolina Panthers
 Peterson 20
 Gerhart 5 
 Harvin 4

Wk 10 at Green Bay Packers
 Peterson 14
 Harvin 3
 Booker 2
 Webb 1
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Re: Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

Post by Mothman » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:15 pm

Eli wrote:I wouldn't suggest giving Gerhart the ball 17 times in a game where Peterson is healthy. But I think that the Vikings could be more creative than they've been, and use Gerhart more effectively.
I think they will, especially now that he's a more proven, experienced player.
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Re: Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

Post by VikingLord » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:10 pm

The funny part is, Gerhart is better at blitz recognition and pickup than AD, better at blocking, and a more consistent receiver. While his running style isn't explosive per se, he maintains excellent form with the ball and, as a result, hasn't had any issues with defenders knocking it out. Gerhart isn't going to put up highlights like AD, but for the position he plays and the money they're paying him, he's more than adequate.
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Re: Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

Post by Just Me » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:21 pm

VikingLord wrote:Gerhart isn't going to put up highlights like AD, but for the position he plays and the money they're paying him, he's more than adequate.
The modern day Leroy Hoard - "If you need a yard, he'll get you 3. If you need 7 yards, he'll get you 3" Actually, Toby is better than that, but that quote about Hoard always cracked me up.
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Re: Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

Post by Texas Vike » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:17 pm

GBFavreFan wrote: I'm very confident in Toby whether AD plays or not and I thought it was a fantastic draft pick when we made it. The announcers for the Buffalo game even said Adrian and Gerhart might be the best RB combo in the NFL. I hadn't even thought about them like that, but maybe they are?
You mean PA, Paul Allen, aka "Voice of the Vikings"? Everything that comes out of his mouth is so exaggerated that you have to immediately take it with a grain of salt. I actually enjoy his enthusiasm, but he is so over the top Homerish with the Purple Kool-Aide it's just humorous.

AD and Gerhart aren't a combo at all. Gerhart is an excellent back up to Adrian and it's a good thing we have him since we are going to need him this year.

I like the idea that someone floated up thread about playing Toby as the FB and getting more creative. There's no better decoy than AD. You could get all 8 in the box leaning pretty heavily one way with a fake to AD. Screens to either of them would be tough to defend too. Toby's catch out of the backfield the other night was very slick.
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Re: Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

Post by Ohiovike » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:40 pm

Just Me wrote: The modern day Leroy Hoard - "If you need a yard, he'll get you 3. If you need 7 yards, he'll get you 3" Actually, Toby is better than that, but that quote about Hoard always cracked me up.
Lol, that's one of my favorite quotes about a player, and for some reason Leroy was one of my favorite players!
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Re: Gerhart showing he's more than ready to handle the load

Post by losperros » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:58 pm

VikingLord wrote:Gerhart isn't going to put up highlights like AD, but for the position he plays and the money they're paying him, he's more than adequate.
I know what you're saying, Edward, but I'm not sure Gerhart has better blitz recognition than AD, who seems to have impeccable vision when he runs. Peterson is fast, very fast, and the choices he makes while slicing and dicing through potential tacklers are computer-like quick.

That said, I'm really impressed with Gerhart and extremely grateful that he's a Viking. The guy is a big talent with tons of heart. If AD can come back completely healthy, these two guys can tear it up on the ground.

I agree with Eli that Gerhart really should be part of a RB tandem and not just a backup, if AD is healthy. Reduce some of the pounding Peterson takes and give the ball more to Gerhart. Imagine a defense trying to stay with those two if both RBs remain fairly fresh throughout a game.
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