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Beanie Wells Says He Has 'Two Strikes' Against Him, But Is That Even Fair?

On Chuck and Vince Live Show on AM 1060 the other day, Beanie Wells was interviewed and described the 2011 season as crucial for him as a member of the Arizona Cardinals. He said. "This is my third year and three strikes and you're out, and I'm definitely not striking out." A lot of us were disappointed with his 2010 season, but is is really fair to say that he already has two strikes against him?

2010 was the epitome of what critics of Wells envisioned happening to him. He was hurt for part of the season. In 2009, he hurt his ankle right at the beginning of training camp. 

What has magnified the issue is the drafting of Ryan Williams in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. It surprised Beanie that the Cardinals that the team would take another running back so high with the combo already on th team of Wells, Tim Hightower and LaRod Stephens-Howling

But let us not forget his rookie season. It was very productive. I would hardly call it a strike. He led the team in carries, rushing yards, averaged 4.5 YPC and scored seven TDs on the ground. 

Last year, I would agree was a strike. He publicly questioned the game strategy of the coaching staff (why the team was not running the ball more). He was hurt and not near as effective once on the field. He averaged only 3.4 yards a carry. 

He did make strides in one supposed weakness area. In limited opportunities, he improved his pass protection, as noted in the post earlier today.

Now, even though he is perhaps my favorite player on the team, I know that 2011 is crucial for him as a player. If he is to live up to the hype coming out of Ohio State. But I just think it is inaccurate to say that he has had two failed years. 

It would be a shame to let him go and see him become the player we thought he could be -- just like Garrison Hearst and Thomas Jones did after leaving Arizona.