On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Jun. 20, 2015 12:00 PM CDT Kenny Chesney/Jason Aldean concert Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney have announced that their tours, The Burn It Down Tour and The Big Revival Tour presented by Corona Light, will collide for 10 stadium shows next summer, including Lambeau Field on Saturday, June 20, 2015.  More on-sale information and special guests will be revealed over the coming weeks.
  • Mon., Jul. 13, 2015 7:00 AM CDT Packers Hall of Fame Inc. Golf Classic

    The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. Golf Classic is set for Monday, July 13, 2015, at The Bull in Sheboygan Falls, WI. Those interested in participating in the event can contact Holly Borga (920-965-6986; hollyb@packershalloffame.com) for more information.

  • Sat., Jul. 18, 2015 7:00 PM CDT Brett Favre's Packers HOF Induction Banquet

    The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. will induct former Packers quarterback Brett Favre at the 45th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet. The event will also feature the retirement of Favre’s No. 4. This dual recognition is an honor that is unprecedented in Green Bay Packers history. The banquet will be held on Saturday, July 18, 2015, in the Lambeau Field Atrium.

News

Print
RSS

Countdown to camp: Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin offer hope at RB

Posted Jul 15, 2013

Competition will be intense in training camp

Packers running back Eddie Lacy at OTA practice. VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

The following is the second installment in a series of stories that’ll examine the Packers’ roster position by position. This installment examines the running backs.

GREEN BAY—It’ll be one of the feature attractions of training camp, and it might put the big play back into the Packers offense.

Rookie draft picks Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin join holdover James Starks, Alex Green and DuJuan Harris in a running backs competition this summer that has been promised by Head Coach Mike McCarthy to produce a better result than in 2012.

“We’ll be better; I promise you. You can write that down,” McCarthy told reporters following a OTAs practice in June.

The Packers were 20th in the league in rushing last season. What seemed to be missing the most in the Packers’ rushing attack was the respect from opposing defenses that would cause them to commit an extra defender to the line of scrimmage. Opponents trained their attention on Aaron Rodgers and denying the big pass play, and the Packers’ running game failed to drag opponents out of that strategy.

“If we can get them to add a player to the box, that’ll help the pass game,” Packers Running Backs Coach Alex Van Pelt said.

In that pursuit, the Packers selected Lacy in the second round and Franklin in the fourth round of this past spring’s draft. Lacy is a big, hard-charging inside runner; Franklin has open-field skills that produced 1,700 yards rushing at UCLA last year.

“They’re going to help us. They add competition to the room. They’re two different styles of runners. They’ll add two different styles to the room,” Van Pelt said.

In his fourth season, Starks hopes to regain the promise he displayed as a rookie in the Packers’ run to the Super Bowl title three years ago. He was productive in 2011 while sharing carries with Ryan Grant, but injuries dogged Starks throughout 2012.

Green was in his comeback season last year from knee reconstruction in his rookie season, 2011. It’s expected that he’ll be fully recovered and ready to defend his starter’s status, which he had to surrender late in the season to Harris, who showed quickness and burst in the final few games of the season.

Fullback John Kuhn remains a special assignment type of runner, and undrafted rookie free agent Angelo Pease also joins the competition.

Should Packers running backs improve the position, as McCarthy promised, quarterback Aaron Rodgers could find one fewer deep defender in the coverage, and that would allow more space for Packers receivers to get open deep, as they did in 2011. Rodgers’ yards per pass attempt declined by nearly a yard and a half last year.

“It had an effect,” Offensive Coordinator Tom Clements said of the Packers’ inability to scare teams with the run. “In previous years, our action pass game was better.

“We want to run the ball better. If we do run the ball better, we’ll probably run the ball more. It’ll prevent the defense from teeing off on the passer. We have to be effective running the ball,” Clements said.

Previously featured in "Countdown to camp":
QBs - Rodgers on pace for greatness

 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Signature Snaps: Top 5 Running Plays

    (2:59) Posted 12 hours ago

    Packers.com has compiled a series of "Signature Snaps," various Top 5 lists of big plays from the 2014 season. In this week's installment, we focus on the top five running plays from the season in chronological order.

  • McCarthy: 2015 team will not bear burden of 2014

    (30:49) Posted Jan 28, 2015

    Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy held his season-ending press conference Wednesday. McCarthy recapped the 2014 season and talked about the team's goals for 2015.

  • Video Ask Vic: My Favorite Game

    (2:04) Posted Jan 27, 2015

    In this 'Video Ask Vic,' packers.com editor Vic Ketchman looks back on his favorite moments of the Packers' 2014 season.