Originally posted on The Sports Post  |  Last updated 6/14/13
Will Ahmad Bradshaw be a difference-maker for the Colts? (Photo credit) Rarely does a signing in early June of an injury-prone running back who will be a complementary back to the previous season's starter matter much. But, the Indianapolis Colts signing of Ahmad Bradshaw on Tuesday will make a larger impact on the season than you may have originally thought when you saw the news flash on the "bottom line" of ESPN.  Vick Ballard, the Colts' starting running back last season, ran for 814 yards and only two touchdowns in his rookie campaign. It was a promising performance for the future, but one thing was clear at the end of the season: if the Colts wanted to duplicate last season's success again, they would have to sign a complementary back to take some of the pressure off of Ballard. The Colts ranked 22nd as a team in rushing last season and there is no way they will be able to go 11-5 again with that same low output in the rushing attack. They played one of the easiest schedules in the league last year and it does not look like they will enjoy the same luck this season.  They will meet up with San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, and Houston twice next season, which could easily be five losses right there. But, if the Colts did in fact beef up their offensive line, which they already have done, and bolster their rushing attack, they may have a chance at replicating last season's success. Signing Bradshaw was that last piece of the puzzle for success.  Although Bradshaw has only played a full season once in his seven year career, he is able to rack up big numbers in a limited amount of opportunities, like the 1,015 yards and six touchdowns he totaled last season. Adding Bradshaw to the backfield will give it more of an identity and confidence and will especially help Ballard be more productive since half of the load will now be on Bradshaw's shoulders.  And with a young quarterback like Andrew Luck at the helm, closely following a protective offensive line, a strong running attack is the most essential crutch. A powerful running attack keeps the defense honest and young quarterbacks need all of the advantages they can get. And last season, Luck did not always have that luxury. He ranked fifth last season in passing attempts and had a problem with making poor decisions, which the 18 interceptions are proof of, but maybe that was because he was forced to make too many decisions as a young quarterback. The position is the definition of a learning process, but when coaches throw young gunslingers into the fire with a poor rush attack, they are prone to make more mistakes than a young quarterback with an elite back lining up behind him.  And this will be the point of the article where I will compare Luck to Robert Griffin III. Guys, they went number one and two in the draft; they will be compared for the rest of their lives. Anyways, RG3 ranked 25th in attempts, while the Washington running game ranked 3rd in rush attempts. And in comparison, Griffin III only threw 5 interceptions. That right there is the difference between a strong and weak running game for a young quarterback.  And I'm not saying the addition of Bradshaw will transform the Colts running game into the 2012 Redskins attack overnight, but it will certainly improve it. And that improvement, along with the offensive line tweaks, will morph into a mightily improved Andrew Luck. A mightily improved Andrew Luck, well, that's just a scary thought.  By: Matt Levine Twitter: @Matt_TFJ Sign up for our newsletter for daily updates from The Sports Post!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

49ers’ Anthony Davis officially applies for reinstatement

Jordan speaks out against shootings, donates $2 million

Report: Cromartie may be forced to retire due to hip issue

Greg Jennings announces retirement from NFL

Vikings OT Phil Loadholt retires after seven seasons in NFL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Yankees, Cubs in 'final stages' of Chapman trade

Report: Fitzpatrick got ‘multiple contract offers’ from Jets

A-Rod: Ortiz deserves Fenway statue, street named after him

Report: Bosh's camp 'angry and suspicious of Heat's intentions'

JJ Watt pens dramatic letter to fans about back injury

Le’Veon Bell vows to win appeal: ‘I’m not going to miss games’

Cubs to acquire Aroldis Chapman from Yankees

Aldon Smith denies appearing in video with marijuana blunt

Twitter signs deal with to stream live MLB and NHL games

Julian Edelman is dating Adriana Lima?

NFL reportedly determines Peyton Manning didn't use PEDs

KD, Draymond Green booed in L.A. during Team USA exhibition

Top storyline for each NFL team heading into training camp

Eight MLB veterans that need to be traded before deadline

Andre the Giant drank six bottles of wine before match?

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker