Running Back Revolution
In today's landscape, running backs are more situational, not as complete, with a few exceptions. When I played, I was expected to do it ALL – Run, catch, block, get the tough yardage including short yardage and goal line. I ran the same routes as the wide receivers and became a threat down the field. I was an every down back, never came out of the game. My mentors were Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Marcus Allen – guys who could do it all and were making plays even when they didn't have the ball, by blocks they picked up for their QB or their other teammates. We were work horses.
Running back used to be the most valued position aside from the quarterback and on some teams even more valuable. The decline in value came when coaches started using running backs by committee, in other words, multiple backs to fulfill one position. The game became more about the QB and less about the running back, leaving the FB position almost non-existent on some teams.
Offensive coordinators used to run the ball to set up the pass. Now teams run more of a spread offense which means the QB is in the shotgun and he either has one back or no backs back there with him.
I would like to see the return of the All-Around franchise running back. When you have one stud running back who can do everything the position calls for, you have an advantage because that players gets "lathered up" and has a chance to get a rhythm as well as wear down the defense. The only teams that are doing this consistently now are the Pittsburgh Steelers with Le'Veon Bell, the Buffalo Bills with LeSean McCoy and Dallas discovered what an every down back can do for them when they drafted Ezekiel Elliott in the first round and saw him become the league's leading rusher as a rookie and lead his team to the number one seed in the playoffs.