Williams and Stewart essentially proved their worth on the NFL market as slashers in a power rushing scheme. It's a different deal now.
When they ran out of the I-formation, the backs ran "downhill," as they say. They could quickly hit the designated hole and, with the right blocking, burst through the gates without hesitation.
But it has been a tricky adjustment for Williams and Stewart in the spread, read-option system that coordinator Rob Chudzinski installed last season to take advantage of the skills that Newton brought with him from Auburn.
On called running plays, rather than gearing up to attack a hole, the running backs must wait for Newton to read the defense and decide whether to keep the football or pitch it to his running back. The back might get the pitch. Or he might not get the football – and take a hit nonetheless from a defender leaving nothing to chance.
Oftentimes, when the back gets the pitch, a linebacker or defensive end is in his hip pocket, ready to tackle.
It also talks about how this scheme hurts our offensive linemen as well. We've all seen how good Williams and Stewart can be in an I-formation offense. They were the best ground tandem in the league. They haven't both all of a sudden forgotten how to run the ball. This scheme is killing their production. And it's killing our season.