The Colts have gotten younger all throughout the roster this offseason, and one spot they critically needed to do so was running back. They drafted Marlon Mack, then picked up Christine Michael in free agency. However, the general consensus is that he will not make it past the pre-season to see a spot on the final 53.
If Mack continues to impress in training camp, it may be in the Colts’ best interest to really take a long look at potentially starting him over Frank Gore. While many may find that idea blasphemous, Gore is at the age where he should not be used as the primary back. There is potential for a solid running back by committee approach with Gore and Mack. Robert Turbin could also contribute during short yardage situations and in the redzone.
Josh Ferguson has the attributes to be used as a third down back as well, he had several good plays out of the backfield catching the ball last season, and that bodes well for him as potentially being a third down back.
Gore doesn’t need to take a majority of the snaps this year. He has nothing left to prove. The Colts need to prepare for the future and the best way to do that is to lighten the load on Gore and let the younger players like Mack take the bulk of the load. This is likely the best way to utilize Gore and will benefit the team in the long run. Mack has often been referred to as a “home run hitter” and impressed coaches over the past few weeks at OTAs.
He was considered an under the radar player by many scouts throughout the NFL and really has potential to be the future of the Colts’ backfield. He averaged just under seven yards per carry in his junior year at South Florida, and in his first ever college game, he ran for over 250 yards. Mack was also an efficient pass catcher out of the backfield.
While it’s never a bad thing for a future hall of famer to take the majority of the workload, this season should be about helping groom Mack for the future.