Former Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara has taken the NFL by storm this season, dazzling with explosive runs, kick returns and chunk plays in the passing game. If you followed Tennessee football closely while Kamara was there, this is no surprise. He just had something special about him.
Kamara had this ability to bounce of of tacklers and keep his feet. His balance was something that I had honestly never seen before. The athleticism he has paired with that balance left little doubt that Alvin was going to be a star.
In a piece with Sports Illustrated, Kamara reflected back on his time at Tennessee. As you could imagine, he wasn’t happy sitting behind Jalen Hurd. He didn’t hold back in his quote.
“F---ed up” is how Kamara describes the football experience in Knoxville. Kamara is clearly a dynamic force on the field, but a coach must scheme for his abilities. To fully actualize his impact on the field, an offense needs to adapt around him, create specific packages and plays that utilize his rare versatility and skill set. Tennessee chose not to do that.
For two years he was the backup to Jalen Hurd, despite averaging 2.31 more yards per touch than the starter. Of course it was frustrating. But Kamara still believed that wherever he ended up in the NFL, whatever round he was drafted, it would work out. As long as I get the chance, he would tell friends before the draft, I’ll shine.
Kamara’s usage was just one of many coaching decisions that just didn’t make any sense to the average fan. His explosiveness was so obvious, yet he was seldom used when Hurd was in the picture. He registered just three touches against Florida in 2016, for example. It was obvious then, now it’s just infuriating to think about.
The full Sports Illustrated piece on Kamara is awesome. I would highly advise giving it a read. He and his Saints will take on the Panthers at 3:40 eastern on Sunday in the Wildcard round of the playoffs.