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Brandon Jackson - Bigger and more Badass.

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by PackOne, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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    It doesn't take a peek at the scale to notice running back Brandon Jackson is bigger and buffer than he was when he arrived in Green Bay as a rookie last May.

    Jackson said Wednesday he's added 10 to 15 pounds of "the right kind of weight" during the offseason, and his wide 5-foot-10 frame is carrying 220 pounds, 8 more than his listed weight in 2007.

    Players tend to shed pounds through offseason practices as their lifting regimen lightens, so a bulkier physique in June doesn't always, ahem, carry much weight come September. But Packers strength and conditioning coach Rock Gullickson is correct when he says Jackson looks like a different guy than he was a year ago, and Jackson sees the progress, too.

    "Mentally and physically," Jackson said. "I put on a little weight. It's great. I can run with it and everything. And on the mental side, I know my plays, I study a lot, just to stay refreshed on everything."

    None of which is to say Jackson is going to push Ryan Grant for the starting job in training camp, though he has taken the lion's share of first-team reps this spring while Grant awaits a contract resolution.

    But coaches have raved about how the former second-round draft pick has built off of a largely disappointing rookie season.

    "Tremendous, in the weight room as well as in the meeting rooms," running backs coach Edgar Bennett said of Jackson's progress. "Just his confidence level, knowing his assignments, knowing other people's assignments. You can definitely tell that the kid, he's mature, he's growing up, and he's definitely taking ownership. He's doing all the little things, coming in early and staying late. He's an attention-to-detail kind of guy."

    The value of having two capable backs was evident during the New York Giants' championship run last season. After leading rusher Derrick Ward landed on injured reserve in early December, power back Brandon Jacobs elevated his game and little Ahmad Bradshaw emerged from obscurity to rush for a team-high 208 yards at a 4.3-yard average in the postseason.

    The other candidates to spell Grant aren't inspiring. Injuries have dogged Vernand Morency and DeShawn Wynn, Noah Herron is a career backup coming off a knee injury, and first-year pro Corey White and undrafted rookie Kregg Lumpkin haven't appeared in an NFL game. Those five have a combined 1,202 career yards — little more than the 1,186 Grant posted in the regular season and playoffs last season.

    The Packers thought enough of Jackson last year to draft him 63rd overall out of Nebraska. He started the first three games last season but gained only 97 yards on 38 carries (2.6 average), then had a shin injury and was inactive the next four weeks. Jackson had only 17 more carries until the regular-season finale against Detroit, in which he gained 113 yards on 20 carries.

    After spending about two months with his family at home in Horn Lake, Miss., Jackson returned for the start of the offseason strength and conditioning program in mid-March with a more aggressive attitude.

    "I had in my mind that, 'I want to do way better than last year. I want to come in with a lot of motivation,'" Jackson said. "Even in the weight room, because that's where it starts. So, you've got to have a mind-set that, 'I'm going to do this,' and no slacking or anything."

    Gullickson described Jackson's physical growth as "real solid" and ranked him among the five most-improved Packers in the offseason program.

    His added strength, combined with improved understanding of the scheme, may make the difference for Jackson in pass blocking — a weakness that kept him behind Morency as a third-down back for much of last season.

    "Just being in tune with what we're doing, for planning purposes, and not making mental errors I think is the biggest thing" for Jackson, quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "Picking up blitzes, he's always been good at that. But just knowing where the guys are coming from and being able to understand our scheme and what we're trying to do, I think he's doing a lot better job at that."


    http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com...20080608/PKR01/806080637/1057/PKR&located=RSS
     
  2. packerfan1245

    packerfan1245 Cheesehead

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    With Jackson and Grant, We should not have a problem at running back. Glad to see he has improved.
     
  3. Andy

    Andy Cheesehead

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    Grant and Jackson should be a great 1-2 combination. But who will be the number 3 HB? You will have Noah Herron, DeShawn Wynn, Vernand Morency and others battling for the job. My money is on Herron, if he is all the way back from his knee injury. Wynn has potential, but he doesn't look like he has done the stuff he needed to do in the weight room like Jackson has. Morency, if healthy, could be okay. But Herron is also great on special teams, and I think a lot of jobs will be based on what a guy can do there. Plus, Herron is a great teammate, and he is great off the field as well. Not just stopping burglaries, but doing other things as well like visiting our troops and other community work.
     
  4. bigfog

    bigfog Cheesehead

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    Sounds like he'll be pushing Grant for playing time, and maybe pushing some other guys out the door.
     
  5. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    I think it was Aaron Rodgers (or Coach McCarthy?) that stated B-Jack was the most improved player in terms of catching the ball.

    So far, with B-Jack apparently improving his blitz pick-ups and being a better pass catcher, he seems to have taken over the role that V-Mo had last year.

    I've read a couple of draft site reports on the Packers that stated B-Jack was extremely raw coming out of college, but had good potential. Seeing as B-Jack is only 22, I'm excited to see exactly what he can offer our Offense, especially in the screen game.
     
  6. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

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    i seem to remember the last running back we had from Nebraska... was pretty good at running that screen.

    we get that screen going like we used to ... and its gonna be a fun year.

    5 WRs set. Screen. Zone run game. Yac. i love this team.
     
  7. Krazygangsta

    Krazygangsta Cheesehead

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    That's what happens when u got TT
     
  8. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    I'm rooting for Herron now. Earlier, I was thinking it would be Wynn, but Wynn isn't a worker. Herron is. So I'm hoping it's Herron.
     
  9. porky88

    porky88 Cheesehead

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    I've been saying Herron for a while now. I thought he was better than Brandon Jackson too but after hearing this and watching NFL Network say something about Jackson impressing, I'm beginning to change my mind. I haven't seen him yet but everything I've read and heard has been encouraging.

    I still think it's likely the Packers go with 6 backs on this years roster. 2 FB's and 4 RB's. That leaves Morency as the odd man out in my opinion.
     
  10. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    I think Mo is outta here.

    Zombie said in another thread that he wouldn't be surprised to see B-Jack take some of Grant's carries.

    As for myself, I wouldn't be all that surprised if he started to steal some of Grant's job. After recently re-watching some of early last season's games, from before Grant's breakout, Jackson looked impressive. He's seriously explosive through the hole, and hearing about him starting to break tackles and turn on the A.B.'s along the sidelines has me starting to wonder....
     
  11. favre2driver

    favre2driver Cheesehead

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    Jackson will be the definet 3rd down back, and will probably get a couple regular carries on 1st and 2nd down.
     
  12. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    It's funny. At around the middle of the '07 season, I was thinking Jackson was a bust.

    Then, by the end of the season, Jackson was my #2 with Wynn being my #3.

    Now I'm rooting for Grant, Jackson, Herron.

    Porky said we'll have 6 RBs - 4 HBs and 2 FBs. Who will be our 4th HB? I think right now the top 5 look like Grant, Jackson, Herron, Wynn, and Morency, but one of those 5 don't make the team.
     

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