On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Mar. 07, 2015 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM CST Project Play 60

    ‘Project Play 60’, the Green Bay Packers’ event that is focused on getting kids out of the house to enjoy non-strenuous physical activity, is set for Saturday, March 7.

    The free community event is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will take place in both the Lambeau Field Atrium and the Legends Club on the fourth floor. Parking will be free for guests participating in Project Play 60, and attendees may enter the Atrium through the Oneida Nation Gate, American Family Insurance Gate or Miller Lite Gate.

  • Sat., Mar. 07, 2015 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM CST Johnnie Gray appearance NO MORE Violence Fundraiser
  • Mon., Mar. 23, 2015 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM CDT Sam Barrington appearance Sister Bay Lions Club Youth Night
  • Tue., Apr. 14, 2015 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM CDT Tailgate Tour (Menomonie)

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the 10th anniversary ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 14-18. This year’s tour includes three stops in western Wisconsin, in addition to stops in southern and eastern Wisconsin, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Andrew Quarless, Micah Hyde and Casey Hayward, and Packers alumni Gilbert Brown, Antonio Freeman and Bill Schroeder. The tour will also feature special alumni in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Tailgate Tour, Dave Robinson and Jerry Kramer.

  • Wed., Apr. 15, 2015 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM CDT Tailgate Tour (Prairie du Chien)

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the 10th anniversary ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 14-18. This year’s tour includes three stops in western Wisconsin, in addition to stops in southern and eastern Wisconsin, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Andrew Quarless, Micah Hyde and Casey Hayward, and Packers alumni Gilbert Brown, Antonio Freeman and Bill Schroeder. The tour will also feature special alumni in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Tailgate Tour, Dave Robinson and Jerry Kramer.

  • Thu., Apr. 16, 2015 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM CDT Tailgate Tour (Baraboo)

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the 10th anniversary ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 14-18. This year’s tour includes three stops in western Wisconsin, in addition to stops in southern and eastern Wisconsin, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Andrew Quarless, Micah Hyde and Casey Hayward, and Packers alumni Gilbert Brown, Antonio Freeman and Bill Schroeder. The tour will also feature special alumni in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Tailgate Tour, Dave Robinson and Jerry Kramer.

News

Print
RSS

Grant, Starks offer quality, but what about depth at RB?

Posted Apr 1, 2011

If and when training camp begins, the stage will be set for a high-profile battle between Ryan Grant and James Starks for the starting running back job. Grant’s recovery from last year’s season-ending ankle injury and Starks’ late-season emergence as a featured runner give the Packers a feeling of security at the running back position, but overall numbers would seem to be lacking.

Behind Grant and Starks are Brandon Jackson, an accomplished pass-blocker who contributes in the run and pass games, utility back John Kuhn and Dimitri Nance, who was signed off the Falcons’ practice squad last Sept. following Grant’s injury.

Quality? Yes. Depth. Not exactly, and that’s why the Packers can be expected to add to their stable of running backs in either the draft, undrafted free agency or both.

Let’s start with the quality.

Grant was coming off his best season as a pro when he was lost for the season in the opener in Philadelphia last year. Grant had put together consecutive 1,200-yard rushing seasons and was the perfect complement to an Aaron Rodgers-led offense that clearly wants to lean on the pass and use the run to establish balance.

Will he have made a full recovery from ankle surgery? Can he hold off Starks? Those are the two questions Grant will have to answer in 2011.

Starks came out of nowhere late in the season to emerge as a force in the offense. He had a breakout game in the playoff win in Philadelphia.

A sixth-round pick out of Buffalo last year, Starks has the size and speed to suggest he has a future as a featured runner. He’s a player to watch in the Packers’ future.

Jackson is an offensive-minded coach’s dream. You can trust him to make all of the blitz pickups and find a way to drift into the flat and offer the quarterback a safety valve.

Kuhn became somewhat of a Mike McCarthy invention and developed a cult following last season. Kuhn can play running back or fullback. He’s a block-a-lot, run-and-catch-a-little player who fits into a specific role. He’s one of the brushes with which McCarthy “paints.”

Korey Hall and Quinn Johnson are pure fullbacks and are being groomed for their roles as blockers. Hall is also one of the Packers’ top special teams players. Johnson is pure power. He’s a road-grading blocker who offers the same type of power as a short-yardage and goal-line runner.

Jackson and Kuhn are scheduled to become free agents; under the old rules they would become unrestricted free agents and that’s where the guessing game begins. What are the Packers’ plans for retaining one or both of those players? Will those plans depend on what the Packers do in the draft?

The latter question is what makes running back an intriguing position in this year’s draft. The crop of running backs in this draft isn’t star-studded, but it has some depth to it and the top of the class seems to fit nicely with where the Packers are picking in the first two rounds. 

Vic Ketchman is a veteran of 39 NFL seasons and has covered the Steelers and Jaguars prior to coming to Green Bay.

 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Frank Winters: Ol' Bag o' Donuts

    (7:45) Posted 3 hours ago

    Packers.com's Senior Writer Mike Spofford sat down with former Packers center Frank Winters, who talked about snapping the ball to QB Brett Favre, playing in two Super Bowls, and being inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame.

  • Bob Harlan on Brett Favre's Hall of Fame ceremony

    (15:16) Posted Feb 27, 2015

    Green Bay Packers Chairman Emeritus Bob Harlan talked about former QB Brett Favre's legacy in Green Bay and the announcement of additional viewing opportunities for fans to see his Packers Hall of Fame ceremony.

  • Biggest obstacle for Packers to win Super Bowl?

    (2:48) Posted Feb 27, 2015

    The "NFL AM" crew debates what's the biggest obstacle for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to get another ring.