I love Emmitt and he has some good points but it may not apply to the roster and team we had in 2013. Emmitt never had a defense which gave up 600 yards, 40 1st downs, 8 consecutive scores, 5 straight possesions for a TD in a half or didn’t force punts in games:)
Our offense is designed to pass first. And our more talented players are at WR ,TE and QB. RB falls like 4th down that list .This is the offensive talent provided which dictates the scheme and priorities.
We had a chance to place more focus in 2013 draft on running game like in 2nd round with Lacy who won Rookie of the year sitting there but instead took Escobar.How would our top 3 RB's look with Murray, Lacy and Dunbar? That could have changed our focus on offense plus looking ahead to 2015 might not be held ransom by falling victim to an extended Murray contract which could not be affordable or sound business for the coming seasons with his history of injuries? Just saying we could have had more options with a sounder draft and focus with our immediate needs.
I was calling for Lacy as the top back in draft way before April feeling we needed more of a bruising back with Murray complementing him since we released Felix as I feel was the intial intention when we drafted Murray to compliment Felix . Murray IMO was not intended to be our starter and or workhorse but became so more out of necessity and poor draft choice with Felix. Murray's average per touch and impact were much greater in a supporting role.
Anyway,Murray has yet to play an entire season although this was the most games he’s stayed healthy thus far. The one compliment which looked promising in Camp and the brief look we had in games was Dunbar who we lost for the season. Murray I believe illustrated enough to consider investing in him beyond 2015 but NOT too much with his injury issues. A healthy Murray and Dunbar presents a 1-2 punch we haven’t seen since the Jones/Barber era which BTW was last time we had a 1,000 rusher in 2006 but without the brusier type of runner I felt we needed.
And this doesn’t even take into account what Randall could provide in his 2nd season. A continued upgrade on OL might enhance our confidence in the running game as well with now an All Pro at LT with Frederick in 2nd season and hopefully more added talent in upcoming draft while Free looked better in 2013.
The bigger issue IMO is needing a defense we can rely on to make stops and force punts where when we have a lead we can be more conservative sticking to the run not feeling we have to continue scoring to keep pace even with the lead. That alone could change our stratedy and enable us to commit more to the running game.