SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – It’s more apparent this season than ever before. Running the ball is just not as important in the NFL as it used to be. “There’s no dominant running game anymore,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew.
“If you look at all those linemen, all they do is pass protect now. Very seldom do they get in a three-point stance,” said Madden. “They’re straight up and they’re pass protecting. They don’t use their shoulders to block. They just use their hands and their head… It’s just not conducive to the run.”
Madden said short passes have largely taken the place of a running game. “A lot of those things that we call passes and go down as passes are what Bill Walsh started, just a pass in lieu of the run,” said Madden. “Just throw it out there on a bubble screen or throw a screen pass.”
The change has made a good quarterback more valuable than ever. “The game is all quarterback-oriented. The quarterback has to make all the plays,” Madden said. “You don’t have any way to help him anymore.”
Is Madden saddened by the shift away from the run? “Those days are over. But I don’t want to be one of those guys that sits around and says, you know, back in my day it was better… When I got out of coaching and broadcasting I said to myself, “Hey self, don’t ever do that stuff.'”