New Colts QB Philip Rivers has a comparison for rookie running back Jonathan Taylor, but it’s not who you’d expect.
Turns out, though, that Rivers also has visions of seasons past in one of his other running backs in Indy’s three-headed backfield.
Rivers sat down for a media session on Wednesday after practice, and brought up an interesting point of contention: Is he the only one who sees a little bit of Michael Turner in the blistering Jonathan Taylor?
“They’re similar in size, and people forget how fast Michael Turner was, but he could really run,” Rivers told the gathered media. “Same with Jonathan.”
Don’t let the comparison underwhelm you, Colts fans — Prime Turner was pretty nice to have around.
During his short stint in San Diego by Rivers’ side, he relieved LaDanian Tomlinson (Marlon Mack, in this scenario?) and averaged an absurd 5.5 yards per carry in four seasons. He then moved on to Atlanta in 2008, becoming an immediate First-Team All-Pro. You’d take that, right?
Oh, and Turner is primarily a bruiser in your memory, but his 40-yard dash time was a sneaky fast 4.49 seconds in 2004. Taylor, on the other hand, blazed past that with a 4.39 mark this past year.
So, the comparison is Turner, but … better and faster. Does that sit a little better now, Indy?
Despite a crowded backfield picture, all current metrics still project Taylor to thrive in 2020, even if he’ll be starting the year as a change-of-pace threat like Turner.
This praise fell on all the right ears this week. Basically, it seems as if Chris Ballard has rebuilt Rivers’ dream backfield on the fly: bell cow, surprisingly swift bully, and scat back.
The veteran has fallen into an extremely favorable short-term situation in Indy. Perfect roll of the dice.