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Arizona Cardinals’ Bruce Arians Pleased with His Healthy Running Backs So Far

August 6th, 2013 at 5:55 AM
By Steve Smith

'' photo (c) 2008, Seth Page - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Williams have been ailing so far in the early stages of Arizona Cardinals training camp. That's the bad news.

The good news is that there are three healthy running backs – Alfonso Smith and rookies Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington – that have looked very good so far during practices in Glendale.

With Mendenhall and Williams on the sideline, the healthy trio has received the benefit of more snaps in camp. Head coach Bruce Arians knows that is a huge advantage for them.

"They (Taylor and Ellington) are separating themselves from the rest of the pack, in that they are playing extremely good, especially in pass protection, " Arians told azcentral.com. "As is Alfonso. Alfonso is having a great camp. I think he’s making a really big step as far as making our football team.”

Smith is entering his fourth NFL season. The University of Kentucky product has a real chance to make an impact on a Red Birds squad that finished last in the NFL in rushing in 2012, averaging just 75.2 yards per game.

"Alfonso, he’s a downhill runner who is bringing it every time, as our safeties and linebackers have found out, " said Arians via azcentral.com. "He’s a pretty good wall to try and run through on pass protection.”

Arians has also been impressed with his pair of rookie running backs as well.

"Andre is a slasher who has made some great cuts in and outside. Doesn’t have quite the power Stef does," Arians explained. "Stepfan is a power back who has really good vision. He likes to run between the tackles.”

Cardinals fans can only hope that this talented trio can help boost Arizona's rushing attack back to respectability again.

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Tags: Alfonso Smith, Andre Ellington, Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, Football, NFL, Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Williams, Stepfan Taylor

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