Leonard ready to back up Martin - "one of the best I've been around"
It appears Brian Leonard will be the backup running back to Pro Bowler Doug Martin.
But Leonard, the seventh-year pro, knows that carries will likely be few and far between considering Martin is a do-everything kind of back.
"I've been around some good backs in my time, and he's definitely - by far - one of the best, probably top-two," says Leonard, who has played with Steven Jackson, Cedric Benson and Ray Rice. "He does everything. He can catch the ball, he can pick up protections, he's got great vision, good feet, quickness, good burst. He's really an all around back. He really has it all. Not many backs in this league have it all where they can pick up protections, he has all of it."
Martin had 319 carries for 1,454 yards as a rookie, to go along with 49 catches. Leonard, however, says he'll be ready when called upon.
"He's a good back, he does it all," Leonard said. "Whenever he gets tired, hopefully I can be the guy that goes in, and hopefully there's not a let-off. I think I can do it all too, maybe not the level of Doug, but I have all the tangibles, catching the ball, running the ball, and picking up protections, stuff like that."
Leonard says most of his time will be spent on special teams, something he's gained more experience in - and an appreciation for - the last few years.
"I've really embraced it," Leonard said. "Playing offense my whole life, I never played special teams in college, didn't play it the first couple years in the pros. In Cincinnati, I played all the special teams for all four years. At first it was like, 'Man, it's tougher than I thought.' But now, I just kind of embraced it. It's good. Hopefully it'll keep me in the league for a while."