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Morency setting pace in backfield

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, May 25, 2007.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    By LORI NICKEL
    lnickel@journalsentinel.com
    Posted: May 20, 2007

    Green Bay - There were times last year when Vernand Morency felt as if he were running into oncoming traffic on I-43 with a football cradled in his arm and no idea which way to go.


    "I'm going to take what the defense gives me and eventually a big play will occur. You've just got to be patient. You can't hit a home run every play." - Vernand Morency











    Traded from Houston, the running back arrived in Green Bay in mid-September. He'd missed all of training camp in Green Bay. He had no experience running behind Green Bay's inexperienced offensive line. He was entirely new to the Packers' offensive plays.

    He'd think a certain lineman would block a defender, only to see someone else block him. Or, not. And all Morency could do was wing it.

    Then Ahman Green hurt his hamstring and Morency was pushed into the starting role with little more than his cleats, a good instinct and lot of private confidence. Against Philadelphia on Oct. 2, he carried the ball 26 times for 99 yards.

    In 14 games last year, Morency ran for 421 yards in 91 carries, or 4.6 yards per carry.

    "Ever since peewee football, I always had a pretty high average," Morency said. "When I was at Oklahoma State I was second in the nation in yards per carry. In Houston I averaged over 4 yards. Here, my thing is, I'm going to take what the defense gives me and eventually a big play will occur. You've just got to be patient. You can't hit a home run every play."

    If the 27-year-old, third-year pro could do that on the fly, imagine what he might do with some time to prepare.

    In the three-day, four-practice Packers minicamp that concluded Sunday in the Don Hutson Center, Morency held a slight edge over the other backs in the competition to fill the starting running back job left vacant by Green's departure in free agency. Part of the reason is because coaches were impressed at what he could do behind that offensive line that struggled early in the year.

    "He's got really good feet. He's elusive. He's got some shake to him," offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. "Ahman, he was physical, a slasher, putting the pads down, knock-you-back type of a runner.

    " 'Mo' is going to get to that aiming point."

    Coach Mike McCarthy acknowledged last week that Morency was a top candidate based on what he did last year. But he was also quick to point out Sunday that "no jobs were won and lost today or this weekend. So opportunity is abundant throughout our football team."

    The backfield is the most competitive and intriguing position the Packers have this spring. Six backs are fighting for most likely three roster spots.

    Three of the competitors were unable to participate in camp: rookie second-round draft pick Brandon Jackson, who was in Los Angeles for endorsement deals the National Football League required him to attend, as well as second-year back Arliss Beach and rookie seventh-round draft pick DeShawn Wynn, who sat out with injuries.

    Third-year back Noah Herron and second-year back P.J. Pope shared time running practice snaps in camp, with Morency on the first unit.

    After deciding who makes the cut in August, the Packers will also have to decide how they'll run in 2007, with one back carrying the load, or by committee.

    Morency stands 5 feet 10 inches and weighs 212 pounds and almost disappears in practice runs, he's so low to the ground. But he won't look like Green did in a Packers uniform. Green was a punishing back with the frame to deliver blows to linebackers.

    Morency has to prove he can handle that kind of a load, and all the pounding, to be dependable.

    "I'll be fine. I'm a beast, so I'm looking forward to it," Morency said.

    Said McCarthy: "He's physically advanced, more than when he arrived last year. He's stronger. He may be 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."

    Working with the linemen has proved to be invaluable, even though the Packers had more passing than running repetitions this camp.

    "You just hope 'Mo' has more familiarity with what we're doing," Philbin said. "As I told our players this morning, you don't have pads on, it's more passing if you examine how many runs we got in practice today in a team setting. It's not very many. So you're going to do the best you can with those jog-throughs in the beginning, simulating our run game. All those backs, P.J., Noah, they just need as many reps as we can give them."
     
  2. Woodson_fan

    Woodson_fan Cheesehead

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    On pft.com it said he added 10 pounds of muscle over the offseason.
     
  3. MassPackersFan

    MassPackersFan Cheesehead

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    Have you seen pictures of him? He looks jacked now... let me see what I can find....

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Green_Bay_Packers

    Green_Bay_Packers Cheesehead

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    wow he does look very muscular
     
  5. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    looks like jamal lewis after he got out of prison.
     
  6. packerfan1245

    packerfan1245 Cheesehead

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    Get me some tape, cuz i'm ripped!
     
  7. Green_Bay_Packers

    Green_Bay_Packers Cheesehead

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  8. Green_Bay_Packers

    Green_Bay_Packers Cheesehead

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    after reading about him on wiki why was he dealing drugs? he was doing very well for the Ravens
     
  9. gopackgo

    gopackgo Cheesehead

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    Had to feed the family.
     
  10. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    You read it here, folks!!!

    McCarthy has put Brett on notice!!! Rodgers has abundant opportunity!!!!

    TT and MM hate Brett and want him to lose his starting job!!!!!


    RABBLE!! RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!!!
     
  11. Lare

    Lare Cheesehead

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    I'm guessing Morency will have every opportunity to be the starting RB if for no other reason than there's no other viable candidate to replace him. Jackson will get some reps because he's a fairly high draft pick, but it will take him some time to learn the system. The others will get some reps but were probably practice squad players and undrafted rookies for a reason.

    I'm not saying this is good, bad or indifferent, just that it is what it is. We only improve from within anymore, or if/when the 11-12 players we draft every year can contribute.
     

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