GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 02: Beanie Wells #26 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the ball against the New York Giants at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. Giants won 31-27. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Beanie Wells made a statement to the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff, to the fans and to the league with last Sunday's Week 4 performance. He rushed for 137 yards and three touchdowns. He was the brightest spot in a heart-wrenching loss to the New York Giants. He was on local radio talking to Doug and Wolf recently and spoke about his performance this season and whether things have changed.
There was certainly one thing that changed for Beanie. He felt a little threatened by the drafting of Ryan Williams in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. When he heard the news, it served as motivation to work harder in the offseason. "Whenever somebody drafts another running back and somebody at the same position you definitely feel a little bit threatened," he explained. "You feel like the coaches don't think I can get the job done. That's how I felt."
He needed to come in this year and make a statement. Already were the whispers of being a bust, although it really is unfair. His rookie year was solid. Last year he hurt his knee, which "kind of lingered," as he described it. Whether that was a physical lingering or the mental lingering that happens when recovering from that sort of injury is not clear. Either way, last year he did not run the same.
Some have asked if he is running harder than before. "Not at all," is his response. "I think it is more comparable to how I ran my rookie year to how I am running now. I feel similar."
Last week he got a career-high 27 carries. I think we all know that we want to see more of that. It means several things. One, it takes the pressure off of Kevin Kolb. What it also does is mean that the Cardinals are in control of the game or at least close. Even he does not know if the increased number of carries was just a gameplan for that week or if it will continue.
"As the weeks go on I will know that. Sometimes it could be matchup or the coach could show that much dependability to give me that many carries. Either way I am just excited about it."
After all, it is exactly what he has wanted from day one -- to be the guy and to get the ball. He finally has his chance.
"I'm not looking back," said Beanie. "I am not worried about anything else other than the chance to get in and that's going out there and being productive and helping us win football games."
This weekend with the team in Minnesota he has the perfect chance to make another mark. He will be opposing (although never on the field at the same time) Adrian Peterson, considered by many, if not most, the premiere running back in the NFL today.
Another week this week like last will probably start getting him some national attention.
Attention is what he wants. By all means, let him get some.