12

June

Alex Green: Fitting Into the Packers’ Offense in 2012

Green Bay Packers Alex Green

Will Alex Green be able to contribute in 2012?

Alex Green didn’t have much of a rookie season, registering 17 yards from scrimmage on three carries and one reception before tearing his ACL. The injury that cost Green the majority of his season and the beginning of this offseason isn’t keeping Green from entering 2012 with full confidence.

While many expected the Packers to add a running back during the draft, the team stayed pat with their current stable before adding a few backs as undrafted free agents.

“Not drafting a running back showed they have some faith in me,” Green said in Pete Dougherty’s article for the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “We’ll see how things turn out when training camp comes around.”

The Packers are looking to enter the 2012 season with James Starks, Brandon Saine and Alex Green as their running backs.

There is some question as to whether Green will be ready by the time training camp goes around. If Green can’t get fully back to full strength, he may start the year on the Physical Unable to Perform list, eliminating him from the first six games of the season. If it becomes clear that Green won’t be ready, the Packers should have Ryan Grant on speed dial trying to bring him back into the mix.

Regardless of when Green is fully back from the ACL injury, he should have an opportunity to be a contributor in the Packers offense. Each of these running backs has something different to offer when they step onto the field.

One thing that Green brings to the table is his size. Despite being 2-inches shorter than James Starks, Green is the heaviest of the trio of backs. He is a physical, always moving forward back, but still possess speed necessary to elude tacklers and get into open space. Starks has shown some ability to absorb contact, but his frame just doesn’t compare to Green’s. Starks is more the balanced back of the three, while Brandon Saine did a good job in the passing game last season catching 10 passes for 69 yards in his eight appearances.

Despite the record breaking season that the offense put together, they were largely one dimensional behind the incredible play of Aaron Rodgers. The running game left much to be offered, but was masked by the high point production and efficiency of the offense as a whole.

With this collection of backs, the Packers have an opportunity to incorporate the positives of each back into the offense. Instead of relying on one back to carry the ball 20 times a game, the Packers can go to a more situational or matchup-based type of revolving door at the position. Mike McCarthy has had incredibly amounts of success with creating mismatches. That situation also leaves the possibility of one running back making it impossible to keep off the field and gaining feature back status.

For Green, the injury issue remains a huge question mark. He was plagued by injuries during his time at Butte College and at Hawaii. The first step in becoming a significant member of the Packers’ offense is getting healthy and being able to maintain that health.

If Green can control of his health situation, he could become the guy that is impossible to take off the field. While the Packers’ passing game attacks you with speed and quickness, Green will add a physicality that the Packers haven’t consistently had in their running game for quite some time.

At Hawaii, Green mostly faced nickel and dime defenses because of the team’s potent passing attack. This is where he had most of his success using his size and speed to force his way into space and exploit. With the Packers, Green should face similar defenses based on the team’s passing attack and multiple wide receiver sets. With more cornerbacks on the field trying to cover receivers, that leaves less big bodies to take down Green.

The Packers have and look likely to continue to give Green every opportunity to become an integral part of the Packers’ offense this season. It boils down to Green getting healthy, staying healthy and taking advantage of the opportunities given.

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Michael is a sports writer currently attending Seattle University. You can follow Michael on Twitter .

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11 Responses to “Alex Green: Fitting Into the Packers’ Offense in 2012”

  1. Bubbaloo says:

    Alex Green, potential over proven commodity? This one has me a little miffed. Green’s history of injuries is a HUGE question mark. As cheap as Ryan Grant could be had, I think he’d be cheap insurance.

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    • Bubbaloo says:

      Add in Starks’ injury history and it makes you wonder.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Just goes to further prove how unimportant the running game is to Mike McCarthy. As Edgar Bennett said when he was running backs coach, “the two main things we ask our running backs to do is be able to protect the QB and not fumble.” I guess if they happen to gain some rushing yards, that’s just gravy.

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      • Tarynfor12 Tarynfor12 says:

        MM uses run plays to dictate a level of honesty from a defense and is very essential.The yardage gained may be at the lower end of importance,but unimportant is a false belief.
        Perhaps the unwillingness to pay for a Ferrari lends credence to this but the using of simple Chevys is all thats needed when used correctly.

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  2. chris k says:

    James Starks is more physical than Green! I would agree though that Green offers more potential down the road….

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  3. Big T says:

    Get rid of our injury prone running backs and buy one durable one. Anyone can look good for a play or two, only the studs play the whole season. Dump the mamby pamby injury boys and go after the men.

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    • Maybe that points to what TT and MM are after in a running. Stock up on cheap, young guys that can each fill a role rather then relying on one player at a position so often ravaged by injury.

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    • Oppy says:

      It’s really hard to take anyone seriously who refers to ANY NFL running back as “mamby pamby”. ;)

      Say what you will, NFL RB’s take a bigger beating than just about anyone outside of MMA. Injuries do happen, even to “the men”.

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  4. fatalflaw says:

    well, green’s ‘stats’ are over 5 yds/carry for last season, not too bad!

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  5. fatalflaw says:

    i was being ironic, Stevie!

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