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Mailbag: Is there a type of RB McCarthy prefers?


Since Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard were inherited by Mike McCarthy and are now gone, is there a running-back type that McCarthy prefers? Is there one in the draft who is closest to that type? – Tracy Milliff/Arkadelphia, AR

Nick Harris: McCarthy worked with some talented running backs during his understudy before becoming a head coach, as Marcus Allen paved the way for Marty Schottenheimer's offenses when McCarthy was an offensive analyst in Kansas City, and Ricky Williams and Deuce McCallister each put together multiple 1,000-yard seasons in New Orleans when McCarthy was offensive coordinator. When he took the same job in San Francisco, he mentored a rookie Frank Gore. His head coaching career saw him coach Ahman Green, Ryan Grant, Eddie Lacy and Aaron Jones, to mention a few. What do all of these talented running backs that have all tallied a 1,000-yard season have in common? They're physical, inside runners that can break big plays between the tackles. I think when you factor that in, Braelon Allen out of Wisconsin makes the most sense under McCarthy. He's got the stocky frame at 6'1", 235 pounds and he is physically imposing in short yardage situations.

Mickey: From just looking at Mike's history, I'd say he is partial to both, and maybe at the same time or in one guy. He likes the versatility of a Zeke to be a power back who also can make people miss in the hole but also versatile enough to catch the ball out of the backfield. But he also likes the Pollard type, a speed guy who can run past people, but also can double as a receiver, either out of the backfield or flanked out wide. He caused a lot of problems when needing to use a Ty Montgomery back in Green Bay. How about then one of each at the same time. And since you are asking for his likes, McCarthy also likes to have a versatile fullback, one of the reasons Hunter Luepke made the 53-man roster last year. I'd think Texas running back Jonathan Brooks would fit the bill, though coming off that season-ending torn ACL. Nice size. Good speed. Power. Can catch the ball.

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