Running back Beanie Wells churns upfield against the Chiefs last weekend.
It was born of necessity, coach Ken Whisenhunt said. That's the reason Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells were in the lineup together for a couple of plays last weekend in Kansas City.
Jason Wright and LaRod Stephens-Howling were out with injuries, and there wasn't a lot of trust in Alfonso Smith, who had just been recently signed. So Hightower and Beanie briefly had some plays together in certain two-back sets.
"But it actually worked pretty good," Whisenhunt said, "so it's something we can definitely keep alive going forward."
Wells said it was "fun" to be on the field at the same time as Hightower. The backs, despite the loss to the Chiefs, produced in limited time at Kansas City. They combined to gain 101 yards on 20 carries.
Considering both players have said they would each like to get more playing time, having each on the field solves some of that dilemma. Against the Chiefs, the two played together on six plays. Four were in shotgun formation, two in the I-formation (with Hightower as up back). Half the plays were runs, all to Beanie – for five, three and 12 yards.
"I love being on the field with him," Hightower said. "I think we both, competitively, want to be on the field together and I think it helps our team out. You don't know who is getting the ball and I think we can do some things with it. I'm sure we will continue doing some of that."
Whisenhunt has talked often about mistakes – mental and physical – cropping up, and he said such things tend to increase when a team is on a losing streak.
"This game is a lot about confidence," Whisenhunt said. "It's about momentum. When you're making those mistakes and you give up plays like we have given up, it does affect the way you play, unfortunately. We've worked hard to keep our focus and not have that happen.
"It would be good for us to have some good things happen early. We could build off of that, but if it doesn't, we have to be strong enough that we can overcome it."
FITZ AS THE FRANCHISE
After a slow start, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has started piling up some numbers. His 55 catches for 691 yards and five touchdowns gives him more of a normal pace (88-1,106-8) this season and if he can have a really big game, he should put himself right back in the middle of Pro Bowl talk.
A big game Monday against the 49ers – as in, nine receptions – would give Fitzgerald one significant milestone: He would become the franchise's all-time leader in receptions. Currently, Fitzgerald is eight catches behind Anquan Boldin's 586.
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