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Packers nation is gaga about Eddie Lacy

Posted Aug 19, 2013

Is the rookie running back from Alabama the missing link?

Dan from Waupun, WI

I guess Lacy is the running man. It looked like a whole different team. Was Lacy the missing link?

The running game was the missing link last season. We knew that. We talked all season about double-high safeties taking away the big play. How do you bring one of those safeties to the line of scrimmage? You run the ball. Yes, Eddie Lacy will have been the missing link if he runs this season as he did on Saturday night.

Leonardo from London, England

What do you think of Mulumba’s performance? Do you think he could be given a shot at the outside linebacker position opposite Matthews?

I think Andy Mulumba’s pursuit of a roster spot intensified on Saturday night. I think your second question is taking it a little too far at this point in time.

Jake from Hyde Park, UT

Vic, everyone is talking about how well Eddie Lacy ran the ball against the Rams, and rightfully so. When I went back and re-watched the game, however, his work in pass-protection seemed equally as impressive. I saw him picking up free rushers as well as chipping on the defensive end to help Don Barclay. I liked his physicality.

My inbox from the weekend is an Eddie Lacy love fest. He’s king of Packers nation today, mostly because he ran through half the Rams defense on that 15-yard gain in the first quarter of Saturday’s game. That run gives the Packers offense a dimension it didn’t enjoy last season; it gives the Packers offense the dimension of power. Soft? Not now. You’ve made another worthy observation, that Lacy is a roadblock in pass protection. Yes, he’s good in blitz pick up because he has the ability to drop anchor and absorb the contact from an onrushing linebacker. Scatbacks can’t do that; only power backs have the anchor to do that. Power comes in many forms. It can be expressed every bit as much in blitz pick up as it can in a pads-down run. Maurice Jones-Drew will be forever famous for his blitz pickup on Shawne Merriman. He flattened him. That kind of thing gets around the league and people stop calling you soft.

Jonathon from Sun Prairie, WI

On August 16, you answered a question regarding wild-card teams getting hot at the right time and winning it all. In that answer you pointed out great QBs as the common thread and that today’s rules make playing the position easier than ever. How do you feel some of the historically great QBs of past NFL eras would do in today’s QB friendly league?

They’d be even greater. They would play longer and with fewer injuries in a game that offers more protection, they’d throw more touchdowns in a game that would afford them far more pass attempts, and they’d throw fewer interceptions in a game whose rules forbid bump-and-run coverage. Bart Starr’s stats would be twice what they are, and Johnny Unitas’ stats would be right there with Tom Brady’s and Peyton Manning’s. The biggest difference would be seen in the Milt Plums of the world. In today’s game, you could move mountains with the Milt Plums.

Alex from Byron, MN

Vic, I’ve read a lot about some of the different players who did well during the game against the Rams, but I didn’t hear anything about Bakhtiari. How did he do?

Other than for the sack he allowed, I thought he played very well. He got beat on an inside move by Robert Quinn. When I initially saw the sack, I thought it was some kind of a delayed blitz, but it was an inside move and that doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it would had Bakhtiari been beaten around the edge. Inside moves often get caught in traffic. At the least, the quarterback sees it coming, as Aaron Rodgers did. It’s the one around the blindside edge that’s troublesome. That’s the one that produces fumbles.

Randy from Medicine Hat, Alberta

Is the preseason game with the Seahawks a must-win game, or is it a must-win game only from a psychological standpoint? Can a preseason game ever truly be must-win?

No, no, no. A preseason game is a must-evaluate, a must-improve and a must-stay-healthy, but it is never, ever a must-win.

Drew from New Ulm, MN

Eddie Lacy running through people, Jermichael Finley looking confident, Mason Crosby making kicks, Micah Hyde playing strong after an early mistake, Johnny Jolly taking another step in his possible comeback: Tell me, Vic, what’s not to like about the Packers after this game?

The only thing I don’t like is that our pendulum seems to have swung too far to the other side. After the loss to Arizona, my inbox was in the depths of despair. Today, it’s giddy. That’s too much of a swing from one preseason game to another. Packers fans have a wonderfully innocent excitability – it’s one of the personality traits that make them winsome – but I fear we’re creating an expectation that will send us back down to the depths of despair the next time the team doesn’t play as well.

CB Micah Hyde

Chris from Kenosha, WI

I like the energy the team brought on Saturday; they seemed a ton better than last week. Do you think they might move Hyde to safety? House look like he stepped up and Hyde looks like he might be the kind of hard hitting but a little slow player the secondary needs.

First of all, yours is the only question that even mentioned Davon House, and I thought he turned in a much-improved performance on Saturday. When Casey Hayward and Tramon Williams return from their injuries, the Packers are going to be loaded at cornerback, and that’s something every team in the league wishes it could say. After seeing Micah Hyde tackle, and observing his instincts and ball skills, there’s no doubt in my mind he could play safety, but cornerback is the more important position and when you have a guy who looks like he might be a big-time player for you at cornerback, you keep him there until you don’t need him. In today’s game, it’s difficult to imagine not needing a talented cornerback.

Peter from Ames, IA

Hey Vic, I’m sure you noticed this but the Rams linebackers were biting hard on the Packers play action after Lacy was bruising his way through their defense. Sign of things to come?

If he continues to run as he did on Saturday, yeah, it’s a sign of what’s ahead. Defenses fear, truly fear, power backs and speed receivers. That’s the combination you want on offense: a power back and a speed receiver. One complements the other.

Matt from Omaha, NE

Vic, why are there two cut days? Why have a cut day four days prior to having another one? Why not just have one cut day?

It’s provided for in the CBA. The players association wants two cut days because it provides for two markets for acquiring players. Teams are less likely to claim or sign a player that’s been released in final cuts; they have their own players they want to keep, and they would’ve had no time to work with a new player before the season begins. With a cut prior to the last preseason game, teams interested in a player that might address a position at which a team has need would be more likely to claim or sign a player that addressed that need.

Nathan from Denver, CO

Why does the boxscore from Saturday’s game credit Andy Mulumba, not Jake Stoneburner, with the TD catch?

For the same reason the press box announcer continually referred to Robert Francois as Robert Francis. It’s the preseason.

Alex from Berkeley, CA

I’ve always noticed that when the ball is intercepted in the end zone, the defender always attempts to run it out, unless they are already on the ground. Is this something that is coached?

It’s usually because the guys that have just become the defense were the offense, and they don’t tackle very well. Ask James Harrison. The Packers actually involve offensive players in a tackling drill in training camp. I’ve never seen that anywhere else.

Mark from Phoenix, AZ

Do you really think Vince Young will bring a new dimension to the Packers offense and, if so, why?

Mostly, Young brings a dimension of experience to the backup quarterback position, and it breeds a degree of confidence in the head coach that he’s got a guy on the field that’s been there before.

Rick from Wauwatosa, WI

I’m a little annoyed at what I’m perceiving to be a little arrogance and snobbishness in some of your responses to questions. Like this: “I’m stunned fans aren’t obsessing about this injury, as they seem to do about every other little sprain and strain.” You’ve done this a few times with fans comments, and it makes you look like a know-it-all. You’ve spent 98 of your 100 years in other organizations in the NFL. You come to Green Bay and you think you’ve got something to say about Packers fans? Who do you think you are?

“I am the greatest. Fifteen times I told the clown what round he’s going down, and this chump ain’t no different. He’ll fall in eight to prove that I’m great, and if he keeps talking jive, I’ll cut it to five.”

DE Johnny Jolly

Bill from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Do you think Johnny Jolly picked up that spin move on his interception from Eddy Lacy?

No, he got it from his parents. Jolly has some of the lightest feet of any defensive lineman I’ve ever covered.

David from St. Louis, MO

Vic, did you see my sign welcoming you to St. Louis? I could provide a picture.

That’s not necessary. I didn’t see it, but I heard about it. It made me blush.

Matt from Rensselaer, NY

Looks like that toe problem is really hampering Eddie Lacy.

Don’t curse this, please. This is big. This guy can be the difference maker, because the running game goes to all three phases of the game. It sells play action and creates big-play opportunities in the passing game. It dominates time of possession and helps keep the defense fresh. It complements special teams in the way it allows an offense to play the field-position game. Toe? What toe?

Shalom from Austin, TX

Is it okay to get excited about Eddie Lacy yet?

Yeah, but let’s do it quietly, please?

Will from Reno, NV

I watched Eddie Lacy run against the Rams and I think he might be the next AP?

Never heard of him.


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