Which Packers RB Will Have the “Hot Hand” the Rest of the Season?

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Ryan Grant
Could Ryan Grant be the hot hand Mike McCarthy talks about?

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said during his Wednesday news conference that he will continue to stick with the “hot hand” at running back.

Usually when a coach says something like that it means he has a number of options at the position, which often means he has no options because he has a bunch of guys that don’t stand out and aren’t very good.

 

I don’t think that’s necessarily the case with the Packers running backs. Each guys brings a little something to the table, even if they aren’t a full meal.

 

With Alex Green returning from a concussion, McCarthy has another option as he experiments early in games to try and find somebody with that hot hand.

None of these guys will ever be confused with Adrian Peterson, but there are at least some viable options now. Whoever gets the nod will be running behind an offensive line that appears to be more aggressive thanks to the addition of Evan Dietrich-Smith at center and Don Barclay at right tackle.

Ryan Grant
Can Grant really keep this up? He actually looks like he’s got a little something left. Grant is usually good when the thermometer starts plummeting, but what he’s done so far has come out of nowhere. When he fumbled against the Bears, I thought he might wind up back on his couch. But McCarthy put him back out there and that confidence has paid off.

Alex Green
My money is on Green being the hot guy. I like what he brings as a receiver and if he’s patient enough, he can hit holes with authority. There’s some newfound power on the offensive line with Dietrich-Smith and Barclay. Let’s see what Green can do with 10-15 carries behind those big guys.

DuJuan Harris
This guy cracks me up. He takes the handoff, ducks his already short frame behind his linemen, then explodes out of nowhere through a crack up front. Patience and explosiveness, two of the most important traits a running back can have, appear to be no problem for Harris.

James Starks
Should we even include Starks as an option? If Grant, Green or Harris catch fire, should McCarthy even bother giving Starks another shot? If he does get another shot, how many carries can we expect before he’s back on the trainer’s table? So many questions…

 

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam\\\'s writing on the Packers here.

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  • Wagszilla

    Grant has improved every game since he’s been back but I still haven’t been greatly impressed by his running. Once he gets hit, he goes down like a sack of potatoes.

    He did have a couple great blitz pickups though so I can’t be too down on the guy.

    My money is on Green as well but I’d really like to see the Packers work some short pass plays to Harris into the gameplan during the bye week.

    • cow42

      “…during the bye week”.

      let’s not get aead of ourselves.

  • Sally Field

    Just touch Grant’s ankles and he falls over.

  • FITZCORE1252

    Oh nimrod, let’s hear your big prediction this week (lemme guess, queens by 14+). Or did you finally get out of that game after repeatedly looking like a tool?

    GBP 4 LIFE

    • cow42

      here you go fitzdick…

      N-house in dome
      +
      EDS in dome
      +
      Barclay in dome
      +
      No Cobb
      +
      Inevitable Neal injury
      _______________________

      Packers 17
      Vikings 20

      Home team has more at stake.

      Yup – my predictions have been a smudge off as of late. But the big one is still right on target…

      49’ers 24
      Pats 17

      should be a good one.

  • PatMc

    I asked Santa all I want for next christmas is a healthy running back: I hope that TT spends a 2 or 3 on a Monte Ball who can add consistency to the running game.

    Not a later round RB who has torn ACL’s, MCL’s and turf toes. Of course we might try Latimore who will be ready for 2014.

  • Lou

    Green is starting to set up his blocks, he runs hard, holds onto the football, and can pick up the blitz. Harris is now and always will be a spot player (change of pace back). Grant has lost nothing, he is a hard nosed straight ahead runner that does not get caught from behind (go back and look) and has Rodgers trust. Anyone that runs for 200 yards in a playoff game (snow globe vs. Seattle) can be counted on.

  • FITZCORE1252

    Thanks nimrod! Pack by 17 it is!

  • FITZCORE1252

    And why on earth are you name calling? What have I ever done to you nimrod?

  • Sandmike

    It should be interesting to see if the retooling of the O-line pays dividends in the running game this week. With run upgrades Barclay and Smith alongside Sitton, Add Crabtree, their best blocking TE back from injury this week and they should be able to run to the right against soft coverages, opening up the passing game. I think the backs will continue to split carries based on game situations.

    • cow42

      Barclay is NOT a run “upgrade” over Bulaga.

  • FITZCORE1252

    Barclay didn’t replace Bulaga.

    • cow42

      Barclay is currently playing in Bulaga’s spot.

      Thus… Barclay has “replaced” Bulaga.

      The fact that Lang played there before Barclay is irrelevant.

      • Gruntmonkey

        Nah Cow, Barclay came & took that spot from Lang, so he is replacing him there. Bulaga would have had to have been playing to be replaced. Even then, Lang was only filling-in for Bulaga, Barclay Replaced Lang as the fill-in. To spell it out farther Barclay has replaced Lang as Bulaga’s back up.

  • FITZCORE1252

    Wow… You really are a Ding-Bat. Barclay replaced Lang. F-A-C-T! Just because this “F-A-C-T” doesn’t jive with your incessant whining doesn’t mean it’s not a ‘F-A-C-T”. Bulaga->Lang->Barclay… I know I can’t, but it’s just so tempting to try to fix stupid!

    Sandmike: You are 100% correct. Don is a run upgrade over “Lang” at RT. Astute observation. That said, Lang is gonna be a solid LG for years to come. Hopefully, with the GREEN BAY PACKERS.

  • Shavager

    I’m thinking Grant will be gangbusters with opportunity, he makes the cut and goes when Green runs east-west and hesitates too long to hit the hole sometimes. DuJuan Harris will be ace in hole against defenses in 4th qtr with tired legs, his small size gives him quickness in hole to get open daylight. Hope this run game continues to improve–it could easily be a big factor keeping drives going, opposing offenses on bench, especially late in games with slim lead.

  • Gruntmonkey

    I’m excited to see this line as they go forward. It seems like every year it takes time for the pack’s line to gel and this years line is still freshly assembled on Barclay’s side.