Beanie Wells more Mr. Hyde than Dr. Jekyll
I want to see more. I want to see Beanie paint his face, scream and drive a metaphorical spear through open-field tacklers. I want to see Beanie lower the pads and lower the boom. I want to see Beanie get his pad-level down and force tacklers to dig in or suffer the consequences for their insolence. I want to see Beanie become a "Bad Man," as my mother would say, a man that smoked filterless cigarettes and bloodied his knuckles on the faces of all that would oppose him. I want to see Beanie Wells accept what he must become in order to realize all that God has given him. I want Beanie Wells to mature and accept the mantle of responsibility his talents demand.
And the best thing is Beanie Wells seems to want this too.
Ryan Williams seemed to be "pushing" Beanie, spurring him on in pursuit of fulfilling the potential that oozes from his pores. But Ryan Williams will not be around in 2011 to dig the spurs in Beanie's ribs. And truth be told, I don't think Beanie had to be spurred. I think Beanie understood what was going to be expected from him this fall; I think he used these expectations to fuel his constitution the way a bull laps at a spring of running water. Beanie Wells came to camp heavier (230) than he has ever been when wearing Big Red; yet many of us, including myself, believed he looked lighter, more explosive, quicker.
Beanie trained like a Bad Man, minus the smokes. He knows this is his third-season and running backs come with an expiration date. The clock is ticking on Beanie and if he's ever going to be what the Cards, NFL and Wells Clan thought he was going to be the time is now.
Beanie showed great promise his rookie season. He carried the ball 176 times, averaged 4.5-yards/carry and hit paydirt 7 times. These were impressive numbers but the number that stood out to me most was 16: he played in every game his rookie season. And that number silenced a lot of Beanie Wells' critics.
His second-year would be very different from his first. He missed three-games, fought injuries, averaged 3.4-yards/carry, scored twice and looked like a man that wasn't ready for prime-time. The whispers started and some of the pundits pointed their spiny, ruddy finger an howled, "I told you so."
This is the end. From where I'm sitting, this is the year Beanie exerts his dominance over the running-back position within the organization and turns the rest of the league into his personal playground.
Or he doesn't...
The early returns look promising. Beanie is running the football with authority, ownership and authenticity. The "Authentic Beanie" must continue to show this kind of passion and consistency. He must make its essence part of who he is and what he must become on Sunday. Beanie must acknowledge what he is: a rare back with size, strength, speed and a passion that must come from a spring as rare as his talent. As Edgar Allen Poe would write in his classic poem, Alone:
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
Beanie's the only one that can change the way he approaches the game. He must go through this transformation Alone.
Let's hope "Beanie's Spring" is the same stuff in Dr. Jekyll's beaker.