On Now
Coming Up
  • Tue., May. 26, 2015 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM CDT Green Bay Packers Blood Drive

    Green Bay Packers Blood Drive

    Sponsor code – Packers

  • Wed., May. 27, 2015 8:00 AM CDT Mentor-Protégé Program Training Camp The Green Bay Packers Mentor-Protégé Program will hold its next training camp session on Wednesday, May 27, at 8 a.m. at the Legends Club in the Lambeau Field Atrium.
  • Thu., May. 28, 2015 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM CDT Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Three of the Packers’ upcoming OTA practices will be open to the public at Clarke Hinkle Field.

    The three open practices, weather permitting, will take place on May 28, June 2 and June 10. All practices are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.

  • Thu., May. 28, 2015 1:35 PM - 2:05 PM CDT Live Mike McCarthy press conf.

    Head Coach Mike McCarthy available in Media Auditorium

  • Sun., May. 31, 2015 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM CDT Packers Coaching School

    The Green Bay Packers are set to host the team’s second annual “Green Bay Packers Coaching School” at Lambeau Field on Sunday, May 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    The complimentary coaching school has a curriculum exclusively designed for youth football coaches, and can accommodate a maximum of 300 coaches. The event will feature innovative classroom sessions in the Lambeau Field Atrium, as well as on-field football instruction from top local high school and youth football coaches in the Don Hutson Center.

  • Tue., Jun. 02, 2015 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM CDT Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Three of the Packers’ upcoming OTA practices will be open to the public at Clarke Hinkle Field.

    The three open practices, weather permitting, will take place on May 28, June 2 and June 10. All practices are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.

News

Print
RSS

Alex Green geared up for roster competition

Posted Jul 1, 2013

Healthier now, third-year Packers RB prepared for competitive training camp

GREEN BAY—With a draft-and-develop team, the following scenario often unfolds, and it’s inherent in the philosophy.

The “drafted” begin competing with young players who are still “developing.” It’s precisely what is occurring in the Packers’ offensive backfield, and it’s why Mike McCarthy was confident in proclaiming to the media in “big letters” as OTAs wrapped up that Green Bay’s ground game would improve in 2013.

Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin are the drafted, with Angelo Pease an undrafted rookie. DuJuan Harris, Alex Green and James Starks are still developing. There aren’t enough handoffs, or roster spots to go around, and every player involved knows it.

“It’s going to be very competitive,” Green said of the upcoming training camp. “Every back on the roster is capable of being a contributor to the offense, from the drafted to free agents. It’s going to be good for everybody. It’s going to push everybody in the backfield to get better.”

Himself included, Green believes. Now that he’s another year removed from reconstructive knee surgery, the third-round pick in 2011 may be the biggest wildcard in this competition.

He got his chance to be the feature back last season when Cedric Benson was lost for the year in Week 5, and despite how he felt at the time, Green’s rebuilt knee wasn’t ready for the workload.

He had 20-plus carries in three straight games (Weeks 6-8, a stretch that coincided with the one-year anniversary of his torn ACL), and as the year wore on, the knee wore down. A late-season concussion led to a full week of inactivity, which only created more stiffness and soreness, and Green didn’t play in the regular-season finale or the two playoff games.

He finished with a team-high 464 yards but averaged just 3.4 yards per carry. Only two of 135 rushes went for longer than 15 yards. The numbers were disappointing, but Green didn’t consider it a lost year by any means.

“It was a great learning experience,” he said, before elaborating on what he learned. “My aiming point through the holes, the reads, watching the safety rotations. Just slowing the game down a little bit and letting the game come to me and being patient.

“They were little things I didn’t really learn before I got here.”

Green continued to apply those lessons during OTAs. He and Starks got their share of reps with the No. 1 offense, with Harris sidelined and the rookies still learning the system.

Whether the depth chart stays like that for the start of training camp isn’t known, but it’s also irrelevant. The competition starts in earnest then.

Now that he was healthy enough to participate in his first offseason program and, unlike last year, he won’t have his attentions in camp divided between football and rehab, Green can’t wait.

“I’ll still be the same guy, giving it my all. It just might be a little more this year now that I’m healthy,” he said. “You have to get better every day and put the pressure on the guys upstairs to make their decisions.”

Barring injury, Lacy and Franklin as second- and fourth-round draft picks, are roster locks. The spark Harris provided down the stretch last season excited the offensive coaches. Starks, the 2010 playoff hero as a rookie, is still trying to get through one season healthy, and, neither last nor least, there’s Green, promising more to offer than a year ago.

He’s not naïve. He knows what’s at stake. He can’t really be the “same guy” in 2013 or he won’t have a 2013, at least not in Green Bay.

The “developing” needs to take hold now, because the “drafted” have begun their development, too.

“It’s going to get down to the nitty and gritty, but we’re all tuned in, especially the older guys like me, Starks,” Green said. “We understand, but at the same time, we’re not going to lie down and roll over. We’re going to continue to fight and see how it turns out.”

 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Vonnie Holliday had to 'bring it'

    (7:08) Posted 18 hours ago

    In this edition of Alumni Spotlight, Packers.com Senior Writer Mike Spofford sat down with former Packers defensive linemen Vonnie Holliday. Holliday talks about his arrival to the Packers and playing along side Reggie White, as well as his immediate impact as a rookie, and his standout five-sack performance against the Buffalo Bills in 2002.

  • Video Ask Vic: Favre let it rip

    (2:29) Posted May 21, 2015

    In this 'Video Ask Vic,' Packers.com Editor Vic Ketchman talks about Brett Favre's legacy and if he could play in any other eras.

  • Top 100 Players of 2015: Julius Peppers (No. 71)

    (3:27) Posted May 20, 2015

    Green Bay Packers linebacker Julius Peppers is voted the 71st-best player in the NFL by his peers on "Top 100 Players of 2015."