Green Bay Packers 2010 Player Evaluations – Offense – John Kuhn

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1) Introduction: Kuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhn! It’s surprising that John Kuhn has risen up to be a folk hero with the Green Bay Packers fan base considering it wasn’t even a lock that he would had made the team in 2010. In 2009 the Packers made a highly unusual move by drafting a fullback, and in the 5th round to boot. That created a log jam with incumbents Korey Hall and Kuhn. In a even more unusual move, the Packers chose to retain all 3 for the 2010 season which is surprising since many teams only have one. With the injury to starting running back Ryan Grant in week 1, John Kuhn basically switched to running back for the first half of the season before going back to full back for the second half of the season with the emergence of rookie running back James Starks. But by then Kuhn had not only enamored himself with the fans but also to the offense as he became the primary short yardage back and also clutch goal line receiver for the Packers.

2) Profile:

John Kuhn

Position: FB
Height: 6-0    Weight: 255 lbs.

Born: September 9, 1982 in York, PA
College: Shippensburg

3) Expectations coming into the season for that player: Starter. Kuhn figured to see significant playing time as the starting fullback for the Packers (although Korey Hall typically was listed as the starting fullback Kuhn seemed to be on the field more often), one of the few teams that actually runs the traditional I formation consistently. Kuhn also figured to play on special teams, and even when he became a focal point of the running game he still was on kick offs and as the personal protector for punter Tim Mathsay for punts.

4) Player’s highlights/lowlights: His highlight was undoubtedly during week 4 against the Detroit Lions, where he covered for the fact that Aaron Rodgers was having an off day by essentially running out the clock on his own on the last drive of the game. It is perhaps the only time in the season where they running game came out clutch and won the game for the Packers.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: After Grant’s injury Kuhn saw his numbers rise to 84 attempts for 281 yards, almost a 500% increase from his career attempts and yardage. He also developed into the Packer’s short yardage specialist, winning the vast majority of times where he was asked to get the first down or the touchdown. He also still played on special teams, one of the few players on the special teams squad who not only played from the beginning to the end of the season but also consistently.

6) Player’s contributions during the 6-win end-of-season run: His other significant highlight was during week 16 against the New York Giants where he ran in two touchdowns and caught another, where he was involved in 50% of the team’s points. But by the end of the season, Kuhn saw his playing time at running back diminish with the emergence of rookie running back James Starks where in several games he didn’t get an attempt and in all other cases did not contribute significantly in the running attack. He did however see much time as a blocker, often in tandem with Korey Hall or Quinn Johnson in the “old school” wishbone running formations.

Season Report Card:

(B+) Level of expectations met during the season
(C+) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(C-) Contributions to team’s success during the playoff run (last 6 games)

Overall Grade for the year: C+

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Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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  • Pete Kliman

    I always thought we needed a power back as a change of pace and to counter that harsh Green Bay weather. Kuhn became that back this past season. He is a jack of all trades that is essential to the success of the O and to the spirit of the team. A must resign.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      Ironically I thought the Packers would have benefited from a change of pace back, but more of a “Darren Sproles”. Well I think the running back core would be pretty hard to deal with with two hard nosed every down backs in Grant and Starks, a short yardage fullback in Kuhn, and a shifty pass catching running back that maybe could help in the return game.

  • Chad Toporski

    I thought Kuhn was at least a B- player. He made a lot of first downs for the team, and – as you said – still played the role of blocker and special teamer. And though he couldn’t really “move the piles” like some big power backs can, his motor never stopped running and he did show some maneuverability.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      Yah but the Packers essentially phased him out during the post-season, mostly cause they decided to just let Rodgers throw it, but also because I think Starks was a bigger perceived threat than Kuhn. Is Kuhn a good short yardage back? Certainly, but was he as important to the team as Bryan Bulaga?

      • Chad Toporski

        I’d say he was as important and performed as well as Bulaga. But of course we’re just nitpicking between a C+ and a B-, so I think we can agree to disagree on this one. ;-)

  • ELong

    Wow, – “C”, really? This guy played his heart out and did all that was asked of him. You have to weigh in his opportunities and the fact he is a fullback that was asked to be a half back. I also think the times he didn’t move the pile was also because everyone in the stadium knew what play MM was going to call, and he could only run right as College was largely ineffective in the run game. At least a B here all the way.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      The grading does not take into account his heart (too hard to grade :P). Keep in mind that 1/3 of the grade is based on the post season, and you have to admit that Kuhn really didn’t factor in the running game during the post season: 6 attempts for 5 yards. Yes he did score a rushing and passing touchdown in Atlanta, but this was the “Aaron Rodgers’ clinic” game and at some point you could tell that the Falcons had stopped trying.