Ryquell Armstead ready to help Jaguars running game
By David Levin
When the Jaguars selected Temple running back Ryquell Armstead, they got a running back who runs with authority and wants to contribute right away.
The biggest thing I took away from the teleconference with Temple running back Ryquell Armstead immediately following the NFL Draft was his demeanor and the fact he already took about himself as a part of the Jacksonville Jaguars running game. He told those of us on the conference call he wanted to help his new team become a stronger running team.
I know Tom Coughlin, with his “run-first” mentality for this organization, must have fallen in love with him when he heard those words. Armstead knows he comes to a situation where Leonard Fournette is the established starter on offense, but that does not mean the rookie cannot take carries away from the other backs in the running back room.
Things might have gotten a bit more crowded for the Jaguars in that department, but adding Armstead, a punishing runner to the fold can only help this rushing attack get better.
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The Jaguars averaged only 107.7 yards a game last season, 19th in the NFL.
"“It was a big part of what we saw on film,” running backs coach Terry Robiskie told jaguars.com Saturday shortly Armstead’s name was announced in the fifth round. It’s a trait that should help him adapt to the punishment of the pro game quickly."
You cannot help but like a rookie who is ready to come to work and put in the effort to be the best and help a team, he is still acclimating to. Besides, the Jaguars are Armstead’s mother’s favorite team. It would appear to be a match made in NFL lore.
At 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds, Armstead figures to bruise a few defensive linemen and running backs along the way. Much like Fournette, he is built to run between the tackles and run through the opposition. If the Jaguars plan to continue to follow the same running style under first-year offensive coordinator John DiFilippo, Armstead will become a tremendous asset to the roster.
The Jaguars also have Alfred Blue, Benny Cunningham, Thomas Rawls and David Williams on the roster. With six backs in camp and reps to be had, who gets the rest of the carries after Flournette is where the real competition begins.
"“I’m a great inside-zone runner,” he said. “I’m a guy that can hit the home run as well. I’m a guy that’s very physical, a guy that can catch the ball, block out of the backfield.”"
Armstead ran for 2,812 yards and 34 touchdowns in four seasons at Temple. He rushed for 1,098 yards and 13 touchdowns on 210 carries this past season. That shows he grew as a runner as he matured as a player. Another trait the organization has to be pleased about.
Having Armstead follow Fournette’s career and knowing what he comes into with the Jaguars should make for an interesting camp, to begin with, this season.
"“He is a great back,” Armstead said. “He is a guy I idolized coming up throughout high school, watching him run angry and run violent. His high school highlight tape, he is not even getting tackled. That is something I take pride in. I wanted to be like him. Being able to come in and play with him is going to be unbelievable.”"