April 4, 2007

Practice Insider: Battle brewing at running back

Intense battle brewing at tailback (By Gene Williams, Warchant.com)

The fans and media are focused on the high profile race for starting quarterback job, but the better competition might be for the No. 2 spot at tailback.

Both Jamaal Edwards and Marcus Sims have flip-flopped on the depth chart a couple times since spring practice began. The way things have gone the last few practices, the depth chart jockeying will continue for the rest of the spring and probably into two-a-days.

"At Florida State you are going to have success but you are going to have to work hard to get on the field because there is a lot of good competition," Sims said. "I just feel like we just keep pushing each other to the limit and if we are not pushing each other then we are not making our team better."

"It is a battle but we are also helping each other," Edwards added. "If he needs something, I will help him, if I need something, I know he will tell me. So it is a battle but we are also teammates. We just want to make sure that we each work hard and push each other in a positive way."

When spring practice started last month, Sims was firmly entrenched as the No. 2 tailback on the depth chart behind Antone Smith. But Edwards, who didn't get a single carry last season, moved past Sims last week primarily because of his tougher running in practice.

"Jamaal had made the most improvement from last spring to here than any of them," head coach Bobby Bowden said. "Last year he danced too much but this year he is taking it up in there. I mentioned that to him a while ago, he's taking it up in there and is a lot tougher."

With Edwards banged up last weekend, Sims got his chance to bounce back and made the most of it rushing for 43 yards on eight carries in the scrimmage. On Wednesday, the Sims-Edwards battle continued with both turning in solid runs during the controlled mini-scrimmage.

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