The guys that are currently in charge of molding the Green Bay Packers’ inexperienced running backs are an interesting lot.
Two men are being charged with turning Ty Montgomery and a bunch of rookies into a serviceable rushing crew. Yes, we’re leaving out fullbacks for the purpose of this discussion.
Aaron Ripkowski isn’t going to lead the Packers in rushing in 2017.
Montgomery is entering his first full season as a running back. We know he can run and catch, but his inexperience as a blocker kept him off the field for too many snaps in 2016. One focus of this offseason was trying to remedy that.
Behind Montgomery are three rookie draft picks.
Who’s being tasked with whipping these guys into shape? Let’s start with the former player.
You may not recall this, but Jackson was actually the leading rusher on the Packers’ last Super Bowl team. Of course, he only had 703 yards and averaged a measly 3.7 yards per carry. Jackson was a second-round pick out of Nebraska in 2007 and some might say he was a bust.
His Packers’ career lasted four years, he rushed for a total of 1,329 yards and seven touchdowns. He played one more year with Cleveland and then his playing career was over.
Jackson is now a coaching intern with the Packers. You might wonder what qualifies a guy with no coaching background and very little NFL rushing success to be in that position.
Although not much of rusher, Jackson was a decent receiver (43 for 342 in 2010) and was said to be one of the best blockers the team has had at the position in the McCarthy era. The latter obviously has its value for all the guys and the former will surely have value for some of the rookies.
Sirmans is the Packers’ actual running backs coach. He was hired prior to the 2016 season after St. Louis canned their entire offensive staff.
Although he was a running back in college (Maine), unlike Jackson, he never played in the pros. Sirmans went directly into coaching instead. So what does a guy who never played in the pros know about teaching pros how to be great running backs?
We don’t know Sirmans’ recipe, but we do know this. Prior to joining the Packers he had great success with rookies backs.
In 2015, he coached Todd Gurley, who ran for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns in 13 games. If you play fantasy football or live on the west coast, you know what Gurley did last year: 885 and six in 16 games, with a 3.2 yard average.
In 2014, Sirmans got a team-high 765 yards out of rookie Tre Mason in 12 games. Mason is now out of the league.
In 2013, he got 973 yards and seven touchdowns out of rookie Zac Stacy in 14 games. Stacy now is also out of the league.
This guy can seemingly turn nothing into something, which is kind of what he’ll have to do with the Packers this year.
In addition to the three rookies the Packers drafted, Montgomery is much like a rookie, as he hasn’t played the position for even a full year yet.
We have high hopes for Montgomery. We’ll see about the rest, but they seemingly couldn’t be in better hands.
Just because a guy didn’t have much success in the league doesn’t mean they can’t coach. Jesus Christ…. Bill Belichek was an all pro right?
Kato you have to be one if the biggest tools around.. so entertaining
I know Edgar Bennett is the offensive coordinator and has to have an interest in all aspects of the offense. You do have to believe he still takes a special interest in the running backs. So I would probably also put Edgar in the group of running back coaches. If nothing else he is a very interested party that can add some experience in coaching and on field experience.
The below quote from Edgar says what he thinks about a running backs importance in protecting QB #1.
“He’s an extremely intelligent guy who picked up the system. And a big part of that is pass protection. That’s the No. 1 thing. Can you pick up our scheme and the blocking we’re doing? Because before you can do anything, before you can carry the football, you have to protect the quarterback. That’s No. 1.”
I’m still waiting for you to say something useful football wise….
I still can’t believe they didn’t get Lacey under control and let him go.
Lacy couldn’t get Lacy under control. He’s a grown man, i think. If he doesn’t have a come to Jesus moment, he’ll be out of the league in a year or two.