Edgerrin James hits ground running
Edgerrin James wasn't happy about the situation. But he never stopped working, never lost confidence in his ability to run the football...
The Arizona Republic
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Edgerrin James wasn't happy about the situation. But he never stopped working, never lost confidence in his ability to run the football.
Now, after his first 100-yard performance since the season opener, the Cardinals enter the playoffs with more than just a dizzying passing attack.
They have a proud man who finally was let loose, and offensive linemen who aren't surprised they were able to run the ball effectively.
James' 100 yards on 14 carries, and Arizona's 111 rushing yards, came in a meaningless game against the Seahawks in a 34-21 victory Sunday.
But this was all about momentum and belief, with a playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons up next.
"This is when football starts," James said. "Everything is serious.
"You've got to practice hard. You've to practice with a purpose. One mistake can be the deciding factor."
To win a playoff game, the Cardinals realize they will need balance, not just an aerial circus act led by acrobatic receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
The Cardinals entered their final regular-season game ranked last in the NFL in rushing yards per carry.
James, who had 11 total carries in his eight previous games, averaged 7.1 yards a carry Sunday. His 35-yard run in the second half was his longest with the Cardinals and his longest since he had a 40-yard game with the Indianapolis Colts against the Chicago Bears in 2004.
James, who was told by running-backs coach Maurice Carthon before the game that he would be the featured back, passed Franco Harris and moved into 11th place in NFL career rushing yards. He has 12,121 yards.
That means a lot to James, who said he's far from done. He thinks his season is just beginning.
"Nobody wants to go home," he said. "When it comes to this time of the year, nobody is going to mind staying out longer, doing what it takes. We're three games away from Tampa. To play in the Super Bowl, that would be the biggest thing ever."
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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