Bilal Powell’s emergence as the team’s lead back has come as a surprise to some, Kenny Carter (Powell’s position coach at Louisville) told Powell when the two had dinner together that for Powell, the third time is a charm. Mike Sielski of the Wall Street Journal wrote about how Powell’s dedication and hard work has led him to be the team’s lead back so far this season.
During their dinner together in July, Carter reminded Powell that the first three years of Powell’s college career, like his first two years with the Jets, had been pedestrian. It wasn’t until 2010, when the school hired Charlie Strong as its head coach and Strong made Powell the centerpiece of the program, that he blossomed, rushing for more than 1,400 yards and elevating himself into a viable NFL draft pick. The Jets selected him in the fourth round in 2011, and, well, it sure is nice for Rex Ryan to say now that they knew all along that Powell was this sort of player.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comThe article talks about how during summers he worked out back in Louisville with Heisman candidate Teddy Bridgewater as a way to work on his pass-catching skills.
In his third year with the Jets, the team found a competent offensive coordinator in Marty Mornhinweg who looks to be taking the pressure off the running game by using Geno Smith’s arm to keep safeties well back from the line of scrimmage. If Marty can continue to do that, the Jets will give Powell a little room to work with over the course of the season.
As of today, Powell ranks as Football Outsider’s 15th best running back, which is of course buoyed by Powell’s performance against the Bills. Even so, Powell has done nothing to disprove why he deserves to be the team’s lead back. Powell is a jack-of-all-trades and while he’s not going to replace Adrian Peterson as the league’s best, he is fully capable of starting and doing what the Jets need him to do against average defenses. Over the next month, the best run-stopping defensive line the Jets will face could be the Falcons, who rank 10th overall so far. With middling to bad run defenses on the docket, look for more good things from Powell in the coming weeks, starting with the 23rd ranked Titans defensive line.