Shotgun, spread offense helping Jags
Bill Musgrave's tweaks to the Jacksonville offense have already benefited QB Byron Leftwich.
Updated: October 26, 2004, 6:19 PM ETBy John Clayton | ESPN.com
Though his fantasy fans might not agree, Duce Staley loves the roles evolving in the Steelers backfield. Staley is the featured back, averaging 97 yards and 21 carries. Jerome Bettis gets the touchdown glory, being seven for nine in goal-line situations. Bettis says his vision from being a career inside runner makes him the right fit for the decision-making needed at the goal line. Staley doesn't miss the touchdowns because he's getting 20 carries a game for the first time since 1999.
The Ravens say Deion Sanders already has exceeded expectations for what he's giving them as a third cornerback, occasional receiver and return specialist. The plan was for him to take 30 snaps a game, but he had 41 Sunday against the Bills with no signs of wear on his hamstring. The Ravens marvel at how Sanders' reasonably small feet (size 9½) add to his speed, but his big hands make him adept at catching the ball.
The amazing part of the Vikings' NFL record streak of 16 consecutive games with a 4.0 team rushing average is that they've done it with four different backs -- Michael Bennett, Moe Williams, Onterrio Smith and Mewelde Moore. The record was 14 by the 1964-65 Browns, led by Jim Brown, and the 75-76 Steelers, led by Franco Harris. The Vikings design a simple running scheme, knowing Randy Moss draws an extra safety to pass coverage. Even without Moss, who missed all but two plays in Sunday's win over the Titans, Moore, the slippery rookie runner from Tulane, ran for 138 yards with a safety back in coverage.
John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Dolphins trade Martin to 49ers for draft pick
- Jags send former 1st-rounder Gabbert to SF
- Cowboys cut Pro-Bowler Ware; Broncos next?
- Sources: Talib gets $57M deal from Broncos