There is some hope for second-year second-round pick Joe Mixon in the backfield, but he has a lot of work to do after averaging a mere 3.5 yards per rush as a rookie. Mixon’s partner, Giovani Bernard, is a replacement-level veteran.
Richardson was a solid starter in support of top receiver Doug Baldwin, while Graham was one of the most dominant red-zone presences in the league.
And it’s not as though Wilson was considered to be well-supported in the first place. Now, he’ll be relying more heavily on Baldwin (a solid but often unspectacular No. 1 option), Tyler Lockett (high potential but has yet to shine), Brandon Marshall (no longer effective at the age of 34) and Jaron Brown (low catch rate the last three years in Arizona).
That was a really surreal moment for a guy like me, LeBlanc said. That was a wow moment. That was Jeter’s last season and he’s a guy who at that time was kind of bigger than baseball, so to be able to run out in Yankee Stadium and meet up with Derek Jeter and have him slap you on the butt and say, ‘Let’s have some fun’… it was pretty cool.
His run this season has been surreal, as well.
I went to a place where I’m comfortable, LeBlanc said. Comfort is huge. You see so many guys sign big contracts with new teams and they go there and they’re just not the same guy. There’s something about being comfortable in the game of baseball that allows you to go out and be yourself and be OK with being yourself.
Beyond that, there’s some talent with Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins and rookie Antonio Callaway lending support.
At tight end, there’s plenty of hope for the physically marvelous David Njoku and the underrated Darren Fells, while in the backfield they have three enticing options in veteran Carlos Hyde, rookie second-round pick Nick Chubb and impressive pass-catching back Duke Johnson.