Don't call Nyheim Hines a gadget guy.
There's a certain negative connotation — or it's at least a backhanded compliment — that comes with that term. It implies a player isn't good enough to truly play football and needs some sort of trickery to make an impact.
And Hines is anything but someone who needs a bag of tricks to be successful.
"I've never been a gadget guy. I hate when people call me that," Hines said. "I don't think I've ever been that. I've played running back my whole life and always been able to run the ball in between the tackles."
It's much more accurate to say Hines can do it all as a running back, which is where this week's Fun Fact takes us. It started here:
Hines is ahead of two Hall-of-Famers here — and Marshall Faulk is one of the best, if not the best, all-around running backs in NFL history. It's undoubtedly impressive. But what Hines has done in his first three years is even more impressive when you broaden the scope to NFL history.
As a refresher, here's what Hines has done his first three years:
- 2018: 85 rushes, 314 yards (3.7 Y/A), 2 TDs; 81 targets, 63 receptions, 425 yards (6.7 Y/R), 2 TDs
- 2019: 52 rushes, 199 yards (3.8 Y/A), 2 TDs; 58 targets, 44 receptions, 320 yards (7.3 Y/R)
- 2020: 89 rushes, 380 yards (4.3 Y/A), 3 TDs; 76 targets, 63 receptions, 482 yards (7.7 Y/R), 4 TDs
- Total: 226 rushes, 893 yards (4.0 Y/A), 7 TDs; 215 targets, 170 receptions, 1,227 yards (7.2 Y/R), 6 TDs
Only 34 players have had, as Hines did in 2018 and 2020, multiple seasons of 300+ rushing yards, 400+ receiving yards and 60+ receptions. Some names on the list:
- Marshall Faulk (5 - tied for NFL record with Roger Craig)
- Le'Veon Bell (4)
- Alvin Kamara (4)
- Tiki Barber (4)
- Marcus Allen (3)
- Christian McCaffrey (3)
- LaDanian Tomlinson (3)
- Matt Forte (3)
- Edgerrin James (2)
- Reggie Bush (2)
Only five active players are on that list — Bell, Kamara, McCaffrey, Hines and Duke Johnson.
And only 13 players including Hines have 300+ rushing yards, 400+ receiving yards and 60+ receptions in multiple seasons over their first three years in the NFL.
So don't call Hines a gadget guy. He's proven he can both run and catch as a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses out of the backfield.
"Every year I've been in the NFL I've heard all the thing, oh, gadget guy, too little to run in between the tackles," Hines said. "So I think last year was a good first step because I hate when people call me a gadget guy.
"I am not a gadget guy. I'm a football player."