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Blind faith???

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Pack93z, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    I hope rolling the bones on Mo and Jackson pay off for the Pack this year :cross:

    Seems like he is working as hard as he can to become Da Man... that is good to see :thumbsup:

    The Great Unknown


    The great unknown in the backfield

    Morency out to prove he's able
    By ROB REISCHEL
    Special to Packer Plus
    Posted: June 13, 2007
    Green Bay - Before we go much further, let's get one thing clear. Crystal clear.

    The Green Bay Packers have no idea just what to expect out of running back Vernand Morency in 2007.

    Oh, the powers that be - guys like general manager Ted Thompson, head coach Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Joe Philbin - are hopeful that Morency can become an every-down back and replace the production Ahman Green took with him to Houston. But deep down, that remains nothing more than blind faith.

    Until the pads go on, September rolls along and Morency's workload becomes greater than at any other time in his three-year NFL career, the Packers won't fully know if they have a featured back or a nice role player in Morency.

    "I know they're hoping he'll be their guy," an NFL scout who's team plays Green Bay this season, said on Monday. "But right now, how can they be sure? They can't, because he's never done it for a full season. So to me, they've got big questions at running back."

    Few would argue.

    Green got the big-money deal he was looking for from Houston and took his 8,491 career rushing yards south. The Packers then failed to land Marshawn Lynch - a player they coveted - in April's draft.

    Of the glut of players in the running back mix, Morency (5-10, 220) is the front-runner and has worked with the No. 1 offense the entire off-season. But in Morency's first two NFL seasons, he's averaged just 71 carries per year and no one truly has a clue how many touches he's capable of.

    "I think he's using more of that to motivate him a little bit," Packers running backs coach Edgar Bennett said. "People don't see him as an every-down guy, and I think that's just motivation for him."

    Morency, who came to Green Bay in a trade for Samkon Gado last season, seems incredibly motivated. Ask anyone in Packerland about Morency, and the first thing they mention is his work ethic.

    Morency has been a fixture at Packer headquarters this off-season. He's put on eight pounds of muscle and perhaps gotten even quicker as he readies for a run to be the lead dog.

    "I tell you what, I've been seeing his work ethic this whole off-season and he's really worked hard to take the load," Packers fullback Brandon Miree said. "I think he'll be ready."

    Through it all, the somewhat surly Morency has done it with a chip on his shoulder.

    Morency, who spent three years in the Colorado Rockies farm system, is already 27 years old. And Morency knows he might never have an opportunity like this again.

    "My thing is I'm going to come out here and compete every single day. If I do that, sky's the limit," he said. "My thing is I want to be one of the best backs in the National Football League. That's me. I'm going to work hard every single day and get that done."

    Morency has tons to prove, though, before his name enters any discussion of the league's better backs.

    It's been five years now, since Morency stopped playing baseball. And in that time, he's been the featured ball carrier for just one season.

    Morency backed up Tatum Bell for two years at Oklahoma State. Then, when Morency took the reigns his junior year, he showed he could take a pounding, rushing 258 times for 1,474 yards and 12 touchdowns.

    Morency had just 46 rushes as a rookie, though, when he backed up Dominick Davis in Houston. Then last year serving primarily as Green's understudy, Morency had 96 carries.

    Morency has averaged a solid 4.4 yards per carry during his two NFL seasons. And the Packers fully believe if Morency is asked to become a 20-carry per game back, he's more than capable of handling it.

    "I think No. 1 he's in much better shape," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said of Morency. "I shouldn't say shape because he wasn't out of shape when he came here, I think he's physically advanced more than when he arrived last year.

    "He's stronger, maybe even a little quicker. He has a total understanding of the offense now as opposed to learning it on the run throughout the season last year. I'm very excited about him.

    "He had a number of big plays for us when he did have the opportunity. I think we can expand with him in the passing game, the checkdown part of it and the third down. Once again, I think he's a guy who sees the opportunity and has to take full advantage of it."

    Morency had some opportunities last season, but couldn't fully capitalize.

    Morency started for an injured Green at Philadelphia in Week 3, and had 32 total touches (26 rushes, 6 receptions) and accounted for 118 combined yards.

    "I felt great after Philly," Morency said. "It was a physical ball game. I was ready to go the next week. I felt fine. I was ready to go the next week, so that's not an issue. I'm a ballplayer."

    Morency, who fumbled once against the Eagles, also fumbled early the following week against St. Louis. And McCarthy gave Morency a quick hook and went with Noah Herron instead.

    Those fumbles raised some concerns among the coaching staff. And Morency later suffered a lower back injury and missed two games.

    By the end of the season, though, Morency seemed to have regained some trust. And the biggest reason why was the Packers' 17-9 victory over Detroit on Dec. 17 in which Morency had a pair of impressive touchdown runs.

    First, Morency had a 14-yard TD run in which he dragged two Lions defenders into the end zone. Then, late in the contest with the Packers clinging to a 10-9 lead, Morency had a gorgeous 21-yard TD.

    On the play, Morency exploded through a big hole up the middle. Lions safety Kenoy Kennedy came up to make the tackle, but at the 16-yard line, Morency made a gorgeous cut to the right that left Kennedy grabbing air.

    Cornerback Dré Bly was the only player left to stop Morency. But Bly was too far inside and Morency raced to the right corner of the end zone for the game-changing score.

    "He's got really good feet and he's elusive," Philbin said. "He's got some shake to him, so that's one of the things if you look maybe a year ago at Ahman, he was physical, a slasher, putting the pads down, knock-you-back type of a runner.

    "Whereas Mo is kind of a guy, he's going to get to that aiming point. He's got a little short area quickness, he's really very good. So I do think he made some things happen on his own and hopefully we open up some bigger holes for him this year."

    Morency will be a much different type of back than Green was. While Green would try running defenders over just as often as he would attempt to make them miss, Morency has a bit more shake to him.

    Morency has good instincts, sees cut-back lanes well and does a nice job finding the hole. Morency is a one-cut runner who seems to be a natural fit in Green Bay's system. And much like Green, Morency has good hands and could be a major weapon in the passing game.

    "With Mo, that's one of his strongest attributes is catching the ball out of the backfield," Bennett said. "Excellent quickness, can create space. When you've got a guy that quick with speed and he can create space on his own, we can use that and take advantage of that. You can kind of get excited about things like that."

    Morency is certainly excited about the chance that awaits him.

    Morency knows about backs like Green, Kansas City's Priest Holmes and St. Louis' Steven Jackson who waited their turn, then made the most of their big chance. Morency believes he can be next in line.

    "In due time, eventually," he said. "And how do you do that? It's not about talking. It's about going out there and busting your rear end every single day.

    "I love watching (wide receiver) Donald Driver practice every single day. He can catch a 2-yard route and take it to the house every single day. He's being where I want to go. It's a great opportunity."

    Whether Morency is up to the challenge will be a major factor in how the Packers fare in 2007.
     
  2. packerfan1245

    packerfan1245 Cheesehead

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    Morency is such a good fit in our scheme, he will do well. He needs to prove himself yes, but I think he already did do that partially. His 1st game against phili, he did decent. Then he got better and better. Not to mention hes a beast now.
     
  3. warhawk

    warhawk Cheesehead

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    Mo came in here last year late and really had to learn out there on the grass during the season what it was he was supposed to do. His instincts allowed him to shake loose for more big runs than what Green produced.

    It appears he's worked his butt off, has a better grasp of what he's supposed to do, and, is naturally equipped for the system. I also expect that his number will be called more to catch the ball and it's nice to hear Bennett talk about his ability on the receiving end of it.

    With the ofensive line all coming back I would expect more opportunities for cutbacks with better backside cut blocks and with Mo's ability to cutback I can see some big runs reeled off.
     
  4. Green_Bay_Packers

    Green_Bay_Packers Cheesehead

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    yeah i have to agree with you.
     
  5. yooperfan

    yooperfan Cheesehead

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    I like what I saw of Mo last year and I believe if our O-line has improved and Mo stays healthy, he will open some eyes this year.

    I took blind faith to the extreme during the 70's and 80's; every coach was the next Lombardi and every draft was great, success was right around the corner.
     
  6. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    I don't have blind faith in anything. I either like something or hate something,and have my REASONS(thus not blind) behind it.

    I like Mo.

    My reasons: Better average than Ahman last year. Showed great bursts lasts year(with what many call a horrible o-line). This offseason he stayed in GB and gained solid muscle mass which shows me his passion and seriousness of making the starting job his.
     
  7. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    And it WAS "right around the corner!" ...............of course, that was a LOOOOOOOONG 20 year corner! :rotflmao:
    Seriously, i think Morency is gonna be great. He will get the chance to prove me right or wrong this season.
     
  8. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    Sort of blind faith with regards to..

    >endurance (can he hold up being 'da man'),
    >never carried the ball in the pros more than last year 90+ carries & became niched up,
    >can he become the reciever out of the backfield
    >can he pick up the blitz

    But I agree we will never know until he gets his shot.. so far he looks like he is giving it everything he can... as a fan that is all you can ask for :thumbsup:
     
  9. Tileman

    Tileman Cheesehead

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    I love Blind Faith, Clapton, Winwood, Baker, just a great group
     
  10. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    I liked "Butcher, Baker, Candlestick maker" myself!
    (Baker was in BOTH!) :rotflmao:
     
  11. porky88

    porky88 Cheesehead

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    I entirely disagree with this article. Morency could be the same back he was last year and if the offensive line comes together, he'll run for over 1000 yards. The offensive line is where the success of the running game is going to be determine. Not with Morency or Brandon Jackson. Watch the offensive line. If they fail, Morency will. If they succeed, Morency will.
     
  12. Lare

    Lare Cheesehead

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    As I've said before, the Packers are going to miss the blocking & blitz pickup abilities of Green & Henderson much more than they will their offensive production. I think Morency will be fine rushing and catching the ball, but if he and Miree can't pick up the blitz it'll be a long year for the Packers and Brett Favre.
     
  13. Tileman

    Tileman Cheesehead

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    Can't argue with that :thumbsup:
     

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