We have heard it before from Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians -- running backs have to be able to pass block and pick up blitzers.
While he preaches that, he basically gives Andre Ellington a pass on that. In 2013, he was asked to do it on only 23 of his 414 snaps -- 5.6 percent of his snaps. In 2014, he does it more often -- 52 times in 545 snaps, good for 9.5 percent of the time.
But that rate is low compared to the other backs on the roster.
Let's look at the backs who got real playing time:
- Jonathan Dwyer -- eight in 48 snaps (16.7 percent)
- Robert Hughes -- 17 in 139 (12.2 percent)
- Marion Grice -- 25 in 97 snaps (25.8 percent)
- Stepfan Taylor -- 44 in 215 snaps (20.5 percent)
- Kerwynn Williams -- 12 in 91 snaps (13.2 percent)
There is good reason why Ellington hasn't. He is smaller and he battled injuries in 2014. Plus, at least in passing situations, the team has a couple of solid backs in pass protection.
But will wee see another increase in Ellington's pass blocking expectations? And what will be expected from the bigger David Johnson, at least in pass protection?