Bears coach Matt Nagy believes Jordan Howard ‘can play all three downs’
The Chicago Bears have undergone much change to the coaching staff this offseason that was headlined by the addition of new head coach Matt Nagy, who is the former offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. In the months that have followed his arrival, he has quickly implemented his offensive system that he hopes can help lift the franchise back to the playoffs and possibly further.
Among those that he believes will highly benefit from his game plan is Pro Bowl running back Jordan Howard as the primary option out of the backfield. Nagy has made that clear that he plans on utilizing Howard as a three-down running back in the offense next season, according to Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com.
“There’s this notion that he is just a first- and second-down back, and I don’t believe that,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said Saturday at training camp. “Jordan can play all three downs. We’re going to do that. We’re going to use him and we’re going to use other guys on first and second down when we need to.
The 23-year-old has quickly established himself as the workhorse tail back in the offense as he’s coming off back-to-back 1,000 rushing yard campaign in his first two seasons in the league. This past year, he finished sixth with 1,122 rushing yards, third with nine rushing touchdowns and ninth with 70.1 rushing yards per game. This also includes toppling 100 rushing yards on the ground five times that was highlighted by a career-high 167 yards against the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 15.
This also made him the first player in franchise history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons while his 12 games with more than 100 rushing yards surpassing Hall of Famer Walter Payton (nine) for the most over the first two years in the league Howard has certainly showcased that he has the talent to be a bonafide star in the league that can be relied upon as the primary back despite the presence of Tarik Cohen.
All of this sets the table for him to grab a hold a major role in the offensive game plan next season and well beyond that.