1. Welcome to Green Bay Packers NFL Football Forum & Community!

    Packer Forum is one of the largest online communities for the Green Bay Packers. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Runningback Situation

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Arthur Squires, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. Arthur Squires

    Arthur Squires Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2016
    Messages:
    467
    Ratings:
    +93
    Everybody knows by now the struggles with Lacy and his attempt to confront the problem with P90X. What I'm interested in discussing is the future of the position going forward.

    First off let's start off with James Starks. This is simple. He is very familiar with the system and playbook. He's shown to still be dangerous to break the big gain wether by run or screen pass, which seems to be his best threat. He's not banged up or worn down. But all that said I still think they overpaid a bit. He's signed for 2 seasons.

    Lacy has shown to be a dominant runner that can make a QBs job much easier. His drop off last year opens up some questions. If he returns to form and has another 1,000 yard 10 TD season, does the market swing up too steep for the Packers taste? Would he take a home team discount? This I know for sure, if he has a career year say 1,400yds 12Tds. That would be a nail in the coffin for GreenBay. He would definitely see some lucrative numbers flying his way.

    Then there is John Crockett. Proven to be explosive in college at North Dakota St, but yet to be given chance to show skills at next level. He should be chomping at the bit to show his worth this preseason. Eyes will be on him to win that 3rd spot. I dont see any breakout UDFAs that they brought in at halfback.

    There are so many scenarios running in my head and no way to figure them out. What do you other fans think about the future of our running game?
     
  2. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,792
    Ratings:
    +2,175
    I'd be willing to offer Lacy a team friendly contract right now, something that will make him richer than he's ever been but won't hurt us bad if he busts. Something back loaded with a modest signing bonus with some incentives. I know some people don't even want to do that now because of a lack of trust in Lacy, and I'm not sure Lacy would want to do that anyway.

    Starks has a pretty heavy cap hit in 2017 IIRC. If Lacy is back in 2017, I wouldn't expect Starks to be. If Lacy walks after 2016, it's anybody's guess as to where they would go from there. My best guess is Starks would stay another year and they'd draft another RB in the mid rounds to split carries with Starks in 2017 and be groomed as the future starter.

    No idea about Crockett. Best case scenario he ends up being the future, worst case he doesn't even make the team this year. Most likely scenario he is one of the many 3rd RBs that comes and eventually goes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  3. sschind

    sschind Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,003
    Ratings:
    +509
    I think the Starks deal was clearly an insurance policy in case Lacy either balloons up again or breaks out big time. either way the Packers may be willing to move on. Starks may not be that glamorous but I do think he can get the job done and we have him for 1 more year in case we have to break in a new rookie. I think that's why next years salary and cap hit seem a bit out of whack. If we need him to be the starter while we bring someone else up to speed he is a cheap one. If we don't need him because lacy gets another deal we can move on. I just don't see Lacy takinga very team friendly deal right now unless he has no confidence in himself or has no plans to continue to work hard. There are those who question his dedication and to be honest if he were to accept something along the lines of what adambr2 suggested I might too. It may look like he is just taking whatever he can get. If the guy is truly determined to prove himself I don't know why he would settle without a chance to do it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. gopkrs

    gopkrs Cheesehead

    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    Messages:
    336
    Ratings:
    +99
    I think Eddie does well in 1...2 punch situation. He might be too big and too slow to be in the huddle all of the time. And yes, some of the problem was his weight but some of the problem was the run blocking in front of him. He is awfully tough to bring down when he gets to the 2nd level. So far Crockett has impressed. And I'm a Starks fan. He is a gamer and really pulled through in the Super Bowl year.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    12,692
    Ratings:
    +6,642
    I've said it repeatedly this offseason that the Packers should be extremely reluctant to offer Lacy a lucrative long-term contract no matter how he performs in 2016. If he puts up great numbers next season I wouldn't trust him to stay motivated once he has been given a lot of money. On the other hand there's absolutely no reason to re-sign him should he once again have trouble staying in shape or not perform up to expectations.

    I expect Starks to stay in Green Bay for the 2017 season and the Packers to draft another running back sharing carries with him.

    No idea who will end up being the third RB but Crockett has the inside track on the job because of his knowledge of the system.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. yooperpackfan

    yooperpackfan Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Messages:
    1,148
    Ratings:
    +568
    I hope Lacy has a fabulous year, but I'm not in favor of signing him to a second contract.
    I like Starks when he's not dropping the ball.
    I would really like to see more of Crockett this year.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    12,692
    Ratings:
    +6,642
    Starks issues with holding on to the ball last season was surprising as he only fumbled the ball five times on 460 touches over his first five seasons in the league.

    With the Packers offense centered around the passing game I don't expect the third running back to get significant playing time.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Eli Haugen

    Eli Haugen Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,532
    Ratings:
    +255
    I think Montgomery/Cobbs ability to run out of the backfield, gives us a lot of flexability. But we need a RB to finish out Rodgers career. I believe we have him. I also think it would be crazy to go back to the drawing board at this stage of the game...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    7,801
    Ratings:
    +3,746
    I would not go to sleep entirely on Brandon Burks, though nodding off from time to time might be excused.

    There are a lot of similarities between Burks and DuJuan Harris, starting with Troy State. As we recall, Harris was the starting RB going into 2013 until he blew his knee. Compare and contrast the measurables taking particular note of the bench lifts:

    http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=122284&draftyear=2016&genpos=RB

    http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=70264&draftyear=2011&genpos=RB

    These are/were small, quick runners who can hide behind the line, picking the hole or bouncing it outside. Both had/have good upper body strength as evidenced by the bench lifts. Burks is probably the quicker runner with better elusiveness and instincts at the line; Harris was surprisingly effective for a small back banging north-south. Harris had the better long speed.

    Here's some Burks tape; note the change-of-direction quickness at the line, and the fact he looks pretty good catching screens. Though I've not seen him pass block, the NFL.com report gives him some credit for it.

    While clearly not a high priority, I can't help but think the Packers are looking for that change-of-pace element on the cheap to complement between-the-tackle runners that they sought out in Harris, Alex Green and Johnathan Franklin in recent years.

    Burks is also a bright, engaging guy with an evident love of the game. He's seems to have a nice mix of pride in accomplishment while also having the kind of humility where some of the things he's done surprises even himself:



    He fits the "Packer Guy" profile judging from that interview.

    I wouldn't go into this kind of depth on a UDFA under the radar if I were more impressed with Crockett. He's in the Starks mold. A between-the-tackles guy who runs high. The rationale behind having him is the fact Lacy and Starks are year-to-year, so having a guy in the wings who can recreate some of that productivity is reasonable.

    However, when I compare Crockett to Starks, I see Starks-lite. Crockett's not as dynamic in space. His college tape showed a good pass catcher, but again not as dynamic as Starks. I have not noted his pass blocks with the Packers, if there were any, but his pass blocking in his college tape was pretty dreadful. In Crockett I see a guy who's vanilla/serviceable, but not anybody you'd likely want to see step up to your #2.

    Here's a thought. McCarthy has recently noted that Crockett needs to make that second year jump, noting that he needs to step it up on special teams, evidently not impressed with his 16 ST snaps in 2 games last season.

    When you get down to it, the #3 RB has to make a ST contribution otherwise he's just taking up space on the game day active roster, and if Crockett is not Starks-in-waiting there's not much point in keeping him other than on practice squad if he can't get it done on special teams.

    So here's a thought. The Packers need a gunner with Goodson on suspension. I'm having trouble seeing a bench player among the likely roster candidates to fill that role. Maybe Montgomery, but we don't even know if he can play week 1. Rollins, eh, maybe. While a short running back with 4.55 speed is atypical for the position, I would note that Burks has the kind of short distance elusiveness to avoid the block while having the upper body strength to get off the block when it happens. The first hurdle for special teams is "want to". Burks strikes me as the kind of guy who will do whatever it takes. There might even be a search for 2 gunners coming out of the gate if Janis doesn't make the cut.

    Why such an interest in gunners that hardly anybody pays attention to? Because gunner play is the key factor in whether you contain kick and punt returns, particular punts. Good vs. bad gunner play amounts to significant field position yards over the course of a season.

    So, go back to nodding and we'll see what transpires in preseason. The Packer offense may be just too big for Burks coming out the gate...when rookies' heads are swimming with concepts, instincts get dulled. Or maybe not in this case.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. PikeBadger

    PikeBadger Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    1,391
    Ratings:
    +459
    Starks has been terrific here. Much much better than anyone would've reasonably expected when he was drafted. It's clear that Rodgers is very comfortable with him in the backfield and he's been one of those valuable role-players that has developed a diversified skill set. I'm glad the Packers resigned him and I don't think his contract is out of bounds at all. We're getting by dirt cheap at the runninback/fullback positions right now.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    7,801
    Ratings:
    +3,746
    I don't think it's generally understood that some analysts assigned Starks a draft status as high as the 2nd. round after his junior year. He missed his entire senior year with a shoulder injury, which was the cause of him dropping in the draft.

    So, that a healthy Starks (which has often not been the case) would perform the way he has really is not much of a surprise.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. brandon2348

    brandon2348 GO PACK GO!

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,689
    Ratings:
    +441
    I like everything you said but I don't see Goodson making the roster. The guy I think that will surprise and take the roll your discussing as "gunner" replacing Goodson is "Josh Hawkins." 4.3 speed with "ball skills" and "instincts."

    damn I love this roster.


     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  13. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    3,523
    Ratings:
    +1,992
    Stark's health has been buoyed by the emergence of Eddie Lacy. I'm not sure that either one could stay injury free if asked to take the majority of Packers carries.

    The Packers RB situation is pretty good. Even if Lacy has a big year, one has to remember that RBs are not as en vogue in the NFL right now, and Eddie will have weight and potential injury issues assigned to him by other teams. Big bruising RBs have a very short shelf life in the NFL. I was just reminded of this last night as Mrs. El Guapo and I watched the Football Life for Christian Okoye.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Eli Haugen

    Eli Haugen Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,532
    Ratings:
    +255
    I dont think he met his potential early on. He had/has receiving skills that have not really been tapped. Especially early on. And that was because he was twitchy. He got the ball in his hands and ran like he was on fire. Spazzy, and uncalculated... Same with Alex Green IMO. As a veteran , and a back up, Starks has settled down, and he has really shined. Im very happy that he is finishing strong. I think he could play a couple more years past his current contract. Low miles and all.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    3,523
    Ratings:
    +1,992
    Where Starks really excelled his first two seasons was in falling forward for an extra yard or two on every run. That's not the case anymore but he's refined other aspects as Eli pointed out.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Eli Haugen

    Eli Haugen Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,532
    Ratings:
    +255
    I built a log home for Bill Kenney down in KC.House was Lake of Ozarks. Kenney (The QB) reminded me he threw for 4000 yds one season. LOL But everyone remembers Okoye. LOL Great guy. Brought BBQ and beer/soda to job site on Sundays. We had sunday ticket in our camper on site. So we could watch our Packers. He would hang out with us rough neck kids, and watch football sometimes....Good times
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    7,801
    Ratings:
    +3,746
    I find it startling that one could forget Starks' performance in the 2010 run in making the assessment that he did not "meet his potential early on". If that late season and playoff run was all you knew about him, you'd say he was an upper round pick and a rookie of the year candidate if playoffs were considered. After that, it was a couple of years of serial injuries, whereby I designated him Mr. Knee Spain.

    As a runner, I don't see much difference between now and then. At times he shows more patience, at times not. He doesn't run quite as high as often, but we should still characterize him as a high runner. He's always been a north-south guy who will bounce outside the tackle and get downhill, but he'll never be confused with cut-back runners or guys who beat the defense to the edge.

    "Spazzy?" I'd say that might have applied to his receiving play early on. You'd see him out of position or turned around, which always surprises me in backs since angle of release and timing in turning for the ball is not rocket science. He contributed to making Rodgers look like a guy with poor touch on the screen throw. His route running has markedly improved from pretty poor. His pass blocking has improved to adequate, maybe a shade better, from not so hot early on.

    The difference between Starks then and Starks now is polish in the secondary aspects of the position...route running and pass blocking. It took more than the usual number of years to exhibit that polish, but his ability as a runner awarded him more patience than usual. In McCarthy's world, you need to do all three, and between the lack of polish and the injuries he spent a lot of time on the bench.

    But to say the potential was not exhibited early, based on that 2010 run, is a remarkable instance of forgetfulness.

    By the way, I see no comparison between Starks and Green. I'd put Starks more on the "punishing" end of the spectrum, a guy who can move the pile from time to time, and then make hay if he gets into the second level.

    Green was a soft runner and purely a space player. If you go back and look at his college highlights, all those long runs that padded the stats were draws you could drive a car through out of a spread offense. Once at the second level, he was pretty nifty. The challenge in the NFL is getting to the second level in the first place and this ain't Hawaii and car-sized holes are awfully hard to come by. The inability to get into the second level disqualifies a runner for the NFL, and that was the case with Green.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Eli Haugen

    Eli Haugen Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,532
    Ratings:
    +255
    He came in as a total after thought. The offense was destroying defenses through the air, WITHOUT a running game. When he came in he had open field ahead of him. And opposing teams couldnt let Rodgers loose to try and stop him.
     
  19. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    7,801
    Ratings:
    +3,746
    You obviously have no recollection of the 2010 season. No Starks, no ring.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Eli Haugen

    Eli Haugen Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,532
    Ratings:
    +255
    Oh I remember. He blew the top off. GB was blowing out almost everybody. But some teams were built to play us and without a running game to keep them honest. They beat us. When starks broke out at the end of the season, he had defenses scared. Like I said. They couldnt cover GB without a running game. A fast, solid RB running free while everyone was in coverage, was the dagger. Defenses didnt figure out how to stop us until a year later...

    If we had a Marshall Faulk instead of a spaztic 2nd year RB in way over his head... I doubt the NFL could have figured it out ever...
     
  21. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    7,801
    Ratings:
    +3,746
    Well, that was confusing and substantially self-contradictory.
     
  22. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    7,801
    Ratings:
    +3,746
    The pendulum has started swinging back the other way in the last couple of years. You see it in the draft; you see it recent contracts for RBs who have gone past the proverbial "4th year wall".
     
  23. Arthur Squires

    Arthur Squires Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2016
    Messages:
    467
    Ratings:
    +93
    Yeah but we all said that about Raijon Neal last season when Crockett was battling him for the 3rd spot!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  24. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    12,692
    Ratings:
    +6,642
    It would be even more crazy to hand out a ton of money to a running back that has had troubles staying motivated and in shape.

    I'm absolutely convinced Janis will make the team based on his performance on special teams.

    $3 million per season for a backup running back is a lot of money. Too mich in my opinion.

    I think you're mixing up the Super Bowl winning season with the one in 2011.
     
  25. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    7,801
    Ratings:
    +3,746
    Dunno. These clips, and another mashup with that annoying hip hop baller sh*t background music, don't show us much about his hips. In the NFL, if he ain't got fluid hips you cannot acquit, at least at CB. From the little I've seen, free safety is another possibility given that the safety position is awfully thin.

    I don't think a DB could make this roster on ST alone. Banjo's utility is strictly special teams. Goodson, assuming he returns, was already heading in that direction. More than one ST specialist in a position group makes for depth vulnerability.

    We'll get a better idea of who has roster potential in preseason.

    I wish I could be so enthralled with the roster. There are a number of core players another year older and the team "deeper in debt", to paraphrase Tennessee Ernie Ford, beside notable question marks regarding several years worth of upper round draft picks. Come to think of it, somebody should do a playa hip hop take on "16 Tons"...something like "16 b*tches and wudayagit? Another day older and deeper in debt." But I digress. ;)
     

Share This Page