That’s not a bad one-two punch. And it looks like the Green Bay Packers are about to confirm it — Eddie Lacy is the No. 1 running back and DuJuan Harris is the No. 2.
After Lacy’s performance on Saturday night (8 carries, 40 yards, bull in a china shop, running motherfuckers over like nobody’s business), it would be hard to argue. Harris hasn’t seen preseason action yet after starting camp on the physically unable to perform list.
And even though coach Mike McCarthy proclaimed Harris his No. 1 back prior to his return, this was probably a foregone conclusion. Even though Harris was a badass as the end of last season, when he got his first dose of extensive playing time, you don’t draft a guy in the second round to sit on the bench.
Unless that guy is Brandon Jackson, right Big Ted?
The only real question was whether Harris would be able to beat out Johnathan Franklin, who the Packers drafted in the fourth round, and to a lesser extent, holdovers Alex Green and James Starks.
Franklin started camp fast, but hasn’t looked like anything other than a third-down back since then. He’s averaged only 2.9 yards per carry during the preseason and word out of Green Bay is he hasn’t picked up the zone rushing attack the Packers employ.
“He was still trying to feel his way into the position, especially in our outside zone plays we were kind of tight in our tracks,” said Alex Van Pelt, the Packers’ running backs coach. “If we’re off (at running back), that messes up everybody up front on the offensive line. But we got that cleaned up this past week.”
Okay, but at this point, it looks like the only question is what happens to Green, Starks and maybe even fullback John Kuhn.
Green has been on the trade block and the Packers tried to trade Starks during the draft. We’re going to guess there won’t be any takers for either of these guys on the trade market because neither have been at all impressive during preseason action.
So that brings it down to the question of whether the Packers keep four running backs — with Green or Starks being the fourth — and ditch Kuhn, who doesn’t have much of a role on offense anymore.
We know you all like to yell “Kuuuuuuuuuuuhn” during the games, but do the Packers really need a fullback — especially one who can’t convert a 3rd-and-1? And besides that, you know how hard it is for Big Ted to part with guys he drafted highly… *cough* A.J. *cough* Hawk.
Green was a third rounder in 2011.
Then again, the Packers kept three fullbacks on the roster as recently as 2010. They very well may keep four running backs, Kuhn and their usual five tight ends.
I predict Starks is gone. I see more upside right now with Alex Green. It’s not that Starks doesn’t have the talent, but he has never been able to fully remove himself from the doghouse he’s occupied most of his career in GB.
Starks just can’t be day-in day-out consistent in his assignments and at some point you have to let a player like that go.
I’d say get rid of Kuhn and have Starks and Green play special teams. If Eddie Lacy can’t pick up 3rd and 1, our OLine is the one who sucks.
How many running backs do you need? You have to let either Green or Starks go. Id bet DD’s illegitimate children that its Starks.
Also as much as I hate to ever recommend getting rid of a white guy, Kuhn really doesnt have much of a role anymore either. So ditch Starks AND Kuhn.
I think the answer lies in who pass protects the best given our uncertainty at the O Line. That guy is probably Kuhn, but he has a much heftier price tag than Franklin, Green, or Starks.
All the backs have pass protected pretty well so far this preseason. Lacy was more than adequate last week.
That means Kuhn is expendable. He is useless running the ball, and I would rather have the ball dumped to Lacy, Harris, Green or Franklin than him.
You trade, or cut if you have to, Green or Starks. They are similar backs. Green MIGHT have some trade value, especially if the Packers can showcase him a little more in the final two games.
I have been a Starks fan, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he was successful somewhere else. But I think it is time for a reset.
Agree in full. As much as I like Kuhn, his greatest positives as a blocker and dump off pass catcher, particularly on 3rd down, are not that fantastic. I would not be surprised if Mulligan could be as good as a run blocker and Lacy close to or equivalent run blocker, as well as a much better short yardage back (I can’t recall how many times Kuhn has been stuffed on the FB Dive on 3rd and short or goal). Furthermore, all of the RBs (except perhaps Starks) are more talented and explosive (obviously) receivers.
As for Starks, still a fan of his hard running style, but he fumbles much too often and of course, can’t stay healthy. Green is more explosive, and has looked a bit better this preseason, doesn’t seem to have the same fumbling issues, and is more explosive but still has issues finding lanes (when they’re there), just isn’t as powerful as Starks, Not sure he can stay healthy either.
Would like to see the Packers keep 4 RBs, just in case, and would personally rather they keep Green (unless someone is willing to give up something for him, perhaps a 7th-round pick). That or keep Pease on the PS and promote him if someone is injured, though he’s still an unknown commodity.
I think people underestimate the importance of (good) run blocking. The backs need help. The special ones can make a line look ok, Like Rodgers has done. Lacy and Harris seem to be those guys with a combination of speed and power, and Lacy’s awesome spin moves…….Lets do this thing!!!…Is it Friday yet?
Anybody see that Le’veon Bell hurt his foot? Weren’t the Steelers one of those teams that passed on Lacy because of his foot? Ironic
I don’t think anybody trades for Green or Starks.
Green is still having problems with the knee — who’s going to give up anything for that? Plus, he’s just a bunch of flopping hair as he bounces of one guy’s back, and then another.
Starks doesn’t get it. He’s got three people all over him, and he doesn’t go down. Flailing around, not covering the ball, fumbling the ball. When he runs, it looks like someone playing Twister: it’s awkward.
…and Kuhn. Can’t do the 3rd-n-short thing, two tackles on Special Teams. Dump him.
I’m OK with Lacy & Harris as # 1 & #2, in either order…..
Still like Harris over Lacy at this time until Lacy proves he can carry over success he has previously had at the position I would go for the guy who sells used cars in the offseason to have more success this year.
I don’t think Green and Starks are even relevant anymore, unless they are trying to trade them, I think they will be cut. Angelo Pease is a project and I doubt any other team would be interested in him, so I would keep him on the practice squad for now. Fullback is mostly an extinct position but I think Kuhn has his uses.