Football season is right around the corner and most NFL team’s training camps begin at the end of July. Everyone is craving for the season of gridiron battles to begin and training camp/pre-season are the excitement builders. It is that time of the year when the competition heats up and playing time is won or lost.
Former Duck, and current San Francisco 49ers running back, LaMichael James is hungry for an expanded role in the offense. The NCAA Heisman finalist did a solid job in a limited role during his rookie NFL campaign. I know he was not accustomed to the lack of touches and yearned for more opportunities. However, his usage was not a reflection of his talent but more of a reflection of how talented the team and his position were.
It is a difficult task to work your way up a depth chart when the two players above you are Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. Gore continues to be a constant force within the 49er offense and produce great results. Then you have backup Hunter who posted a 5.2 YPC average last year.
In the offseason James added ten pounds of muscle to aid in enduring the violent hits that occur in the pros. His game changing abilities are undeniable and Coach Harbaugh will look to utilize his Darren Sproles like skill set. Look for the Niners to get the ball into LaMichael’s hands more often, especially as leading receiver/playmaker Michael Crabtree is to miss significant time resulting from an achilles tear.