Rich Campbell at the Chicago Tribune reviews the state of the running back position ahead of training camp. I’m going to pick a nit with the article (hey, what else is there to do right now?):
“[Jeremy] Langford practiced catching the ball during offseason workouts more than he did last season. [Ka’Deem] Carey also is working on his hands and his blocking techniques. The Bears probably can’t split either of them wide to create a mismatch against a linebacker like they could with [Matt] Forte, but they need them at least to contribute in conventional backfield roles.”
Actually the Bears did split Langford out wide on occasion last year and to my eye he did a reasonably good job.
My gut is telling me that both Langford and Carey are being under-estimated in terms of what they can do for the Bears. In particular, I’m aware that Langford’s 3.6 yards per carry wasn’t good last year. And, yes, he dropped a few passes. But according to the Bears each of these things is correctable and I tend to believe that.
When I look at a running back I want to see what kind of vision he has. Seeing the field and knowing where to go is instinctual. Unless the problem is something simple, like running with his head down, its something that you can’t teach. Langford seems to me like he has pretty good vision and as long as that’s the case, I think the chances are better than usual that he’ll show more good things as he applies the things he learned as a rookie entering his second year.