Training camp for the Miami Dolphins is right around the corner and today we look at what Jordan Howard will bring.
Jordan Howard should pair well with Matt Breida in 2020 and the duo could provide a big change for the Miami Dolphins.
Not since the days of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown have the Dolphins had such a promising “one-two punch” at running back as they do heading into 2020.
After three good seasons in college (first two at UAB and the final year at Indiana), Jordan Howard was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 5th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Howard would go on to make the Pro Bowl in his rookie season after rushing for 1313 yards and 6 touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards-per-carry as a rookie. From there, however, he would see his numbers begin to diminish. Although his rushing touchdowns increased from six to nine, Howard’s YPC would fall to 4.1 the next season to 3.7 in 2018.
Entering the final year of his rookie deal, and with the emergence of Tarik Cohen, Howard was traded to Philadelphia in 2019. In Philadelphia, Howard had a bit of a ‘career resurgence’ in the Eagles “running back by committee” system; where he averaged 4.4 YPC behind a somewhat battered offense line and scored 6 rushing touchdowns.
In March, the Dolphins signed Howard hoping to jump-start their anemic running game. At 6’0″ and 224 pounds, Howard provides a powerful frame to go with his good vision for running holes. While he hasn’t been used much as a receiver, Howard offers enough versatility out of the backfield to keep defenses guessing.
Dolphins have a good tandem in Howard and Breida.
How can fans expect Jordan Howard to be used?
Expect a pretty even split in snaps between Howard and Breida. Since both backs can pick up the blitz pretty well, neither back is a liability on third down. History has shown that new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey prefers his spread offense to work with one RB and 4 WRs. However, having both backs on the field at the same time offers a unique versatility to the offense that could keep defenses off guard.
Don’t be surprised if you see Howard in the backfield and Breida at wide receiver one play and then Howard working as a lead blocker for Breida the next. In the end, Gailey will probably use both backs and then “go with the hot hand” for that specific game.
No matter how he’s used, Howard is immediately a top-2 back on this roster and could account for 4-6 touchdowns this season. (Last year, all Dolphins running backs combined for only five touchdowns.)