J.K. Dobbins has flashed big-time talent in his first two NFL games, but the Ravens are smart not to hand him too much work, too soon.
The Ravens spent a second-round pick on J.K. Dobbins because they believed he has the talent to lead their running game for years to come. That doesn’t mean he needs to become their No. 1 running back right away. Baltimore’s coaching staff is smart to limit his workload early in his rookie campaign.
Dobbins only has nine carries through two games which makes him the Ravens’ third-leading rusher in terms of attempts. Mark Ingram seems to be firmly entrenched as the team’s starter, and Gus Edwards continues to get steady work as his backup.
Dobbins has been efficient with his carries. He’s averaging 7.8 yards per rush and he’s already found the end zone twice on the young season. That impressive production has caused some NFL experts to suggest the Ravens should elevate Dobbins to the No. 1 spot in their running back room.
Ravens shouldn’t overthink their strategy with Dobbins
The Ravens are too smart of an organization to make that sort of rash decision. They understand that Dobbins is a player who can help them when they really need to play their best football. In other words, they will prioritize getting Dobbins ready to play a meaningful role in the playoffs over allowing him to rack up carries in the regular season.
It’s important that Baltimore not overexpose the rookie before the stretch run. The more tape that opponents have on running backs the better they understand their tendencies. Limiting Dobbins’ workload will allow him to surprise opponents for a longer period of time.
John Harbaugh and his offensive coaching staff also want to make sure their play-calling stays fresh all season long. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman is a genius when it comes to finding new ways to get his playmakers the ball in space. Putting too many of those innovative concepts on film during the regular season would give opposing defensive coordinators a better chance to stop them when the games really count.
Credit the Ravens for using discretion when it comes to their highly-rated rookie. Dobbins is a big part of the team’s present and future, but there’s no reason to rush him into the spotlight. Slowly integrating him into the starting lineup is the prudent course of action. It’s exactly how Dobbins and the Ravens will be best positioned for a lengthy playoff run.