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Grant taking handoffs.

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by PackOne, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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  2. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    i'm worried he's going to rus-tee! at the beginning of the season.
     
  3. Brooks87

    Brooks87 Cheesehead

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    Good to hear
     
  4. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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  5. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    I'm more concerned about him being tackled than him taking handoffs. Hell, I can take handoffs, but id cry like a girl if Atari Bigby hit me.
     
  6. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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    http://www.wisinfo.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar ... 0880824039

    Grant "Expects to be Sharp"

    By Pete Dougherty
    pdougher@greenbaypressgazette.com


    Without Ryan Grant, the Green Bay Packers’ running game through three preseason games hasn’t been the disaster it was last year at this time.



    But despite the growth of Brandon Jackson in his second year, he isn’t the runner Grant was the second half of last season.

    Grant was back on the practice field on Sunday afternoon, recovered from the hamstring injury that kept him out of the first three preseason games. He'll make his 2008 debut in Thursday night's exhibition finale against the Tennessee Titans. He also missed the first week of training camp while his contract negotiations were finished, then strained his hamstring his second day back on the practice field.

    Grant’s return should give juice to a run game that’s been pedestrian the last two games.

    “I’d think so,” said John Schneider, a Packers director-football operations. “He added juice to the run game last year when he came here.”

    Jackson started all three preseason games in Grant’s place and is the team’s No. 2 back because of improved decisiveness and strength in his play. But in the last two games, against San Francisco and Denver, he ran for only 29 yards on 11 carries (a 2.6-yard average).

    The Packers didn’t run the ball frequently — those 11 carries came in just more than four quarters of play, or a little more than a full game — and the starting offensive line deserves its share of the responsibility for those poor results.

    But the Packers agreed this summer to negotiate a long-term deal with Grant for a reason — because he gives them a something no one else on the roster can. After rushing for 929 yards in the final 10 games last season, he finally agreed to a four-year contract earlier this month that will pay him $20 million, plus up to another $10 million in escalators depending on his performance.

    Grant, 25, was worth the significant investment because he’s a physical, 226-pound runner in his prime and is good for the Packers’ zone-run scheme, which requires patience in reading blocks and decisiveness when a lane opens.

    “He’s a good fit for the zone scheme because he’s such a strong one-cut guy,” Schneider said. “He’s an aggressive one-cut runner and he has excellent vision and he runs the ball hard. He’s a bigger man, too.”

    Coach Mike McCarthy said Sunday he wants to see Grant get through the week of practice before determining how much he’ll play against Tennessee. The best guess is Grant will play as long as the Packers’ No. 1 offense is on the field, which probably will be only a couple of series.

    The biggest issue is getting Grant as sharp as possible for the opener against Minnesota. Many teams give their top back only a few carries in the preseason to keep them from accumulating hits. San Diego doesn’t play its top back, LaDainian Tomlinson, at all in the preseason. However, Grant also has missed extensive practice time because of the injury, so McCarthy probably will want him to get several carries against the Titans.

    “I’m a professional No. 1, so I expect to be very sharp,” Grant said after Sunday’s practice. “The coaches know mentally I’m preparing. I prepared last week like I was playing in the game. I’m going through the same type of quizzes, watching film. I’m still going over the game plan, I’m still going over the scheme Denver played, and now I’ll do the same thing with Tennessee regardless of how much I end up playing. I’m going to prepare like I’m playing the whole game.”

    Grant said his injury wasn’t severe — he characterized it as a hamstring strain rather than a pull, which causes a player to limp off the field — but the Packers were concerned enough to sideline him for 2½ weeks.

    “I have opened up, I felt good,” Grant said.

    Grant also betrayed no frustration that his contract wasn’t finished before the start of camp — missing that first week of practices might have left him more susceptible to injury when he signed.

    His unusual career circumstances — he’s entering his fourth year out of college but has only one accrued season in the NFL — made his negotiations potentially difficult.

    But his contract was hardly a blockbuster, and there’s reason to think the sides could have reached terms on a similar deal just before the start of camp if General Manager Ted Thompson had pushed negotiations.

    “It’s all hindsight,” Grant said. “That’s over with. My mind is so far from there.”
     

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