Parting Notes on Eddie Lacy’s Time in Green Bay
Though the Seattle Seahawks now must deal with the challenge that is Eddie Lacy, the Green Bay Packers ought to at least go back and review its relationship with this potential superstar. Maybe they’ll learn something that they can apply down the road.
Lacy squandered a great deal of talent and potential by eating too much. His weight certainly reduced his ability as a running back – just think of the force he could have been, and might still prove to be, with the Seahawks had he not been carrying from 30 to 40 pounds in excess weight – which for someone 5’10 ½” should have been at most 220 pounds. I would think that 230 would be the upper limit of acceptability.
In addition, it is more likely than not that his being overweight contributed to his injuries, and primarily to ankle stresses and strains that hampered him throughout most of his four years in Green Bay.
Eddie’s weight was but one symptom of this player’s immaturity, or if you prefer irresponsibility. You might recall the missed curfew that caused the Packers to part ways with his buddy Alonzo Harris.
And do you remember when Aaron Rodgers leveled criticism at those on the team who were not adequately focused or dedicated to their jobs? He mentioned something about players spending too much time glued to their iPads and tablets. I recall one source indicating that this criticism was primarily directed at Lacy.
But my purpose isn’t so much to rag on Lacy, as it is to question the team for allowing this unfortunate situation to continue right up to this unfortunate but inevitable breakup.
As to Lacy’s weight, some commenters have indicated this problem dates back to his days at Alabama. I hadn’t heard that and couldn’t find evidence of it. At the NFL combine in early 2013, he officially was measured at 5’11’ and 231 pounds – which is already past his optimum.
In a very long post about Lacy’s weight, I felt what he could best handle was from 225 to 230 pounds. I would now amend that to 220 – Marshawn Lynch, who had similarly huge thighs, was the same height and played at 215.
I’ve watched tape of Lacy during his career at Alabama, and Lacy doesn’t appear to be overweight. I have my doubts that Alabama coach Nick Saban would have tolerated it. But if the problem had already surfaced during Lacy’s college days, that’s all the more reason for the Packers to have been proactive when they hired him. The Packers could have put stipulations in his contract that assured that Lacy would not be overweight – or he would not play and his pay would be greatly diminished.
Instead of addressing the problem, and perhaps applying some tough love, coach Mike McCarthy tolerated it for three years. In fact, he consistently denied the entire time that Lacy’s weight was negatively affecting his performance. McCarthy waited until after the 2015 season before finally calling Lacy out for being overweight and out of shape.
Lacy responded by associating himself with P90X founder Tony Horton, but that turned out to be a lot of hype. Prior to the start of the 2016 regular season, my eyes told me he was the heaviest he’d ever been as a Packer.
Yesterday, we had ex-Packer Greg Jennings, now a Fox Sports analyst, talking about the opportunities Eddie had in Green Bay: “And he wasted it away, because he was unwilling to commit to his personal training. His health. And to that team. It was the ultimate sign of selfishness.”
So, even without any contractual safeguards, the blame ultimately must fall on Mike McCarthy – though that amounts to the pot calling the kettle black. What might McCarthy have done? Surely by 2015, how about weekly weigh-ins, and declaring him inactive for each game he is overweight? How about him being accompanied and monitored 24/7 by someone assigned to oversee every ounce of food or drink he consumes? How about being put on a strict diet, and being closely monitored?
Act like a juvenile – be treated like one. Act like a professional…
The signing by Seattle piques my interest. Coach Pete Carroll is known as a loosey-goosey coach. Is he going to sit back and trust Lacy to discipline himself? I doubt it. I would expect that they already have strict provisions and penalties in Lacy’s contract to incentivize him to keep down his weight.
If Lacy blows his chance with the Seahawks, I’ll admit the guy’s a hopeless case. But if he resolves his weight issues in Seattle, that will lead me to conclude that Green Bay’s coaches and front office dropped the ball, big time, on this one.
It’s a shame because I, like almost everyone, find him a really likable guy.