Marlon Mack returns to the Indianapolis Colts in a different position than the one he had a year ago.
At this time last year, Mack was the Colts' top running back. Since then, everything has changed.
The Colts drafted Jonathan Taylor to be a one-two punch with Mack. Then Mack blew out his Achilles in Week 1, ending his 2020 campaign before it got off the ground. Now Taylor, who galloped for 1,169 yards and 11 TDs as a rookie, is the clear lead back heading into 2021.
Mack re-signed with the Colts on a one-year contract to prove he could still be a difference-maker despite a likely diminished role. Instead of signing elsewhere with a potentially easier path to touches, Mack placed his faith in a coaching staff he knows and trusts.
"I know coach Frank (Reich) -- those guys are going to cook something good for us," Mack said, via the team's official website. "I know it is only one ball, but those guys are going to take care of each one of us. We know we are going to make it work.
"As long as we get to that one thing, that one main goal -- that Super Bowl -- I think we are going to all be good and happy with it."
Taylor, as Reich has noted this offseason, has earned the bulk of the workload. The former second-round pick displayed tackle-breaking burst and the ability to smash a home run on any touch. Taylor's load could leave Mack, Hines and Wilkins battling for scraps and mostly pass-catching downs.
Instead of fretting about his workload, Mack focuses on the talented backfield being able to dominate no matter who is in the game.
"This is going to be crazy because once one guy gets hot, it doesn't stop because the next guy is going to do the same thing, and the next guy -- like all of us have that one-play thing," Mack said. "We all can take one play, and it's going to pop for 60. So every team has to be on their toes because we are going to keep running, and they have to be prepared for it."
As much as fantasy football managers hate multiple good running backs on the same squad, a loaded backfield is a good problem to have for Reich. The Colts want to surround Carson Wentz with a steady run game in his first season in Indy. With injuries a veritable inevitability at the RB position, the Colts have confidence that if one player goes down, they have the talent not to miss a beat when the next man steps in.