Anyone who’s watched the Green Bay Packers lately knows they don’t run the ball much, despite having what some would consider two front-line running backs in Ryan Grant and James Starks.
Anyone who looks at the stats and the dynamic that’s unfolding knows this — despite being the starter, Ryan Grant has taken a backseat to James Starks. Case in point, Grant has 69 carries on the season and Starks has 109.
Had rookie Alex Green not been lost for the season, those numbers would probably be slightly lower for both backs, although we suspect they’d be disproportionately lower for Grant.
Now, coach Mike McCarthy is saying he wants to work undrafted rookie Brandon Saine, who was promoted from the practice squad when Green went down, into the offense.
Saine is raw, but fast and apparently tougher than anyone thought coming out of college. Word is, he’s a solid blocker and was quick to pick up the offense. In other words, he’s ideal to fill the role the Packers had in mind for Green — third-down back.
Although he’s more likely to catch passes in that role than get carries, if Saine performs well, there’s no reason to believe he won’t make the occasional appearance on downs other than third. I hate to use the term, but he could be a decent change-of-pace back when compared to the hard-running Starks and the cut-and-go Grant.
If that happens, where do those carries come from?
I’ll tell you where they’re not coming from — James Starks, who’s averaging 4.6 per carry and, if you haven’t noticed, runs motherfuckers over more often than not.
They’re coming from Ryan Grant and his 3.6 yards per carry.
I realize this may be heresy to some people, but the Packers obviously don’t consider Grant a feature back anymore. When you take into account his contract is up after the season, it’s pretty obvious.
We’re seeing the last days of Ryan Grant as a member of the Green Bay Packers.
Grant had a couple of decent years, and looked explosive once upon a time, but those days are over. He looks just plain slow and too easy to tackle, except for the Bears game when he actually looked decent. Otherwise, it’s been all Starks this year.
Still bugs me that Grant watches himself on the big screen after every tackle.
But Ryan Grant says that he bleeds green & gold in all of those Roberk Haack Diamond ads.
Every time I see Starks stumbling like a drunk through what little holes the line can make for him, I yearn for the days when we had a real feature back and a semblance of a running game.
Ryan Grant is still good (you see flashes) but you gotta admit that it is hard to prove that when your line doesn’t block for the six times you touch the ball.
Sorry,but it would seem that your the drunk stumbling aroung trying to watch a game.
Yeah, I yearn for the days we were 4-4 as well. Get real.
I seem to remember Grant renewed his contract and took a pay cut earlier in the season
I can see him exiting in the next couple years making room for a young back. He is a great north to south back but age is a factor for the position.
Obviously Grant is a little rusty after being out last year and Starks has younger legs, but when Grant gets met in the backfield by defenders every time he carries, I have a problem blaming him for that. Same thing with Brandon Jackson last year. The run blocking was pathetic. Until it got better toward the end of the year when all of sudden Starks gets in and benefits. Jackson looked better too the few times he carried the ball later in the year. I’m not saying Starks sucks and Grant is awesome but I would like to see them both get better plays to run from and the O-line do it’s job better. It is hard to judge a player when his sample of work is smaller and smaller each week.
Grant’s field vision sucks. He is always running into his linemans backs. I think this rather than speed or injury is the reason he is a less effective runner. Also a reason why he is not great at catching the ball and making people mis in the open field. He puts his head down and runs in one direction; until somebody touches him and he falls down.
Way to jinx Starks! Now we could be stuck with Grant as the feature back.
Hopefully he’s young and not too injured.. we’ll find out today.