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Toby Gerhart

A For Effort

23
August
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I cannot say that I am expecting much out of the Minnesota Vikings second round pick Toby Gerhart. Drafted from Stanford, in his senior season he finished second in the Heisman balloting to a true stud in Mark Ingram Jr. He wasn't too high on most peoples drafting lists entering his senior season, however he destroyed defenses in the Pac-10, and in the process put up some pretty gaudy numbers that were hard to ignore.


In his senior season, Gerhart led all running backs in rushing yards, touchdowns, and points scored, however, if I had to guess how his career would turn out, I think he will be happy he has that fancy degree from Stanford. He was a bruising running back in college, who never needed to use his speed to outrun defenders. Just ask Ron Dayne how that worked out in the NFL. Perhaps he would have gotten more of a taste for the pro game had he played in the ultra-competitive SEC like Ingram.


Unless you are a freak of nature physically, which Gerhart is far from, you cannot make it in the NFL simply by getting yards after contact. The reason being is that the missed tackles and attempted arm tackles that occur at the college game, are punishing hits and effective wrap ups in the pro game. Gerhart feasted on sub-par Pac-10 rushing defenses, and despite being known for his ?hard work? and ?extreme effort? he is simply too slow and lumbering to be a productive NFL back.


Gerhart's playing style got me thinking of something Charles Barkley recently said regarding players who are ?hard workers? in the NBA. He said, ?If you go out with a girl and they say she has a great personality, she's ugly. If they tell you a guy works hard, he can't play a lick. Same thing.? Everyone at the pro level in any sport must ?work hard? to get there.


Below is a very funny clip of Charles ripping Sammy Sosa




Lastly, keep in mind that the Vikings have an all-world running back in Adrian Peterson. The guy is bigger, faster and stronger than Gerhart, and he will be eating up the bulk of the carries for the Vikings. It is true that in today's game, a two running back system is desired, and the Vikings lost Peterson's tag team partner Chester Taylor to free agency. However, I would have much preferred a scat back to complement Peterson's power and agility.

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