Thomas Jones is a great example of how the NFL (and the media and DWFs) have far more patience for black players than White ones. Jones was a first round draft pick (7th overall) and was putrid his first three seasons with Arizona, rushing for 373 yards, 380 yards and 511 yards, with a yards per carry average those three seasons of 3.3, 3.4 and 3.7. He was then traded to Tampa, where his ypc average went up to 4.6, and then was traded to Chicago, where he finally became a thousand yard rusher, in his sixth season.
If by some miracle a White running back was drafted 7th overall as Jones was, he would be public enemy number one if he put up those kinds of numbers in his first three seasons. In fact he would most likely be out of the league by then, as running backs are expected to produce at a high level right away, unlike rookie quarterbacks, tight ends and wide receivers. But Jones was given repeated chances to develop, and he finally did and had a good career, to which he can thank the league’s Caste System.
Thomas Jones has to be THE worst back to reach 10,000 rushing yards and not even close to being one of the top backs when in his prime. He is a great example to bring up to DWFs of the double standard, or when they write off Whites as not having one thousand yard rushing seasons because lack of “explosiveness” “shake n bake…hip swivel” etc. They always say “there isn’t a White guy that can do what Chris Johnson can do,” and while I believe there are White guys capable of doing what Johnson does, it’s besides the point. In Thomas Jones we have a guy that had 10,000 rushing yards in his career with a 4.0 average, given over 2,700 carries. If you look at any of his highlights you will see a guy that was strictly downhill with no moves, and I mean really downhill, rarely did he run to the outside, his best runs came straight up the gut with great blocking. I wouldn’t even call them highlights. Shonn Greene of the Jets was recently compared to Thomas Jones, and it wasn’t a compliment, it was about how he is going to get only what the blocking gives you and nothing more.
Ron Dayne is another good example to bring up on how many chances a black player will get. He was in the league 7 years and they tried to heavily involve him each year but he was a huge bust for most of his NFL career.
It’s sickening but made me look something up — the amount of times a White player has received 300+ carries in a season, which would greatly aid in reaching a mark such as 10,000 career rushing yards. White RBs have received that many carries in only 3 seasons, which is how many 300+ carry seasons Thomas Jones had in his career (also coming just short two seasons in the 290 range).
Mark Van Eeghan had one and John Riggins had two. The amount of Whites with 350+ carries is just one, Riggins with 375 (also the only White with 10k+ career rushing yards), and there is no evidence to show Whites can’t handle the load, Riggins did that at age 34 and came back and carried for 324 times at 35 with an increase in ypc; Van Eeghan had 270 the next year and his ypc went up as well and still broke the 1k mark.
There’s only been a handful of seasons of White RBs with 270+ carries and not much higher when it comes to 250+, the minimum it would take to break 1k averaging 4.0 ypc. For instance Larry Csonka never broke the 250 mark in carries in a season (220 being the highest) but still had three thousand yard seasons (and one with less than 200 carries at 195). Craig James and Jim Taylor broke it once, Riggins broke it one other time with 260 and Steve Van Buren did with 263, and of course Hillis in 2010 with 270 when he became the first White running back in a quarter century to rush for a thousand yards.
I think the only guy to break 10,000 career rushing yards without a 300+ carry season is Warrick Dunn, who was 5’9 180 pounds (but still had 2,600+ career attempts), yet we are supposed to believe Danny Woodhead can’t carry the ball 200+ times at 5’8 195.
So it may be possible to hit 10k without a 300+ carry season but unlikley, definitely impossible to hit the 2k mark, so right now the only hope to hit the record books is postseason performance, which is when teams in the past have seemed to lean on their White backs in the past (Csonka, Riggins). So I am hoping the Chiefs can manage to make it to the playoffs now that Peyton Hillis is on that team. Hopefully Hillis can at least stay around that 250 carries mark, but would only need 220 to 230 to break 1,000 yards.
(Compiled from posts on the Caste Football discussion forum by Dwid and Don Wassall)