What Route Will Packers Take at Running Back?

Packers RB DuJuan Harris
Packers RB DuJuan Harris
Packers RB DuJuan Harris

For the third consecutive season, the Green Bay Packers failed to have a 1,000-yard running back.

To start the season, the Packers surprised many by signing veteran Cedric Benson and making him the starter. Benson was supposed to be “the guy” in the backfield. And while he added another dimension to the offense, he suffered a Lisfranc injury Oct. 7 against Indianapolis and was sidelined for the rest of the season.

In all likelihood, Benson will not return next season.

Second-year running back Alex Green stepped in and filled Benson’s shoes as the starter. Green showed flashes but failed to make the most of his opportunity.

So when James Starks was ready to return, the team gave him a shot as the primary ball carrier. Starks was more effective than Green, but a late-season knee injury threatened his season. Facing the possibility of putting Starks on injured reserve, the team needed a backup plan.

In comes Ryan Grant–the guy the Packers showed no interest in re-signing when he was an unrestricted free agent last summer. But desperate times called for desperate measures. Grant carried the ball 20 times for 80 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Tennessee Titans, perhaps the best game by a Packers running back all season.

But ultimately, the Packers went with second-year player DuJuan Harris, whom they called up from the practice squad Dec. 1. Harris was likely the team’s most consistent option in the backfield but may be best-suited for a change-of-pace role within the offense.

This begs the question–Who will be the Packers’ starting running back next season?

Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel suggests that the Packers are “seeking (a) leading man at running back.” There are several veteran runners scheduled to become free agents.

Among the unrestricted free agents the Packers could go after are St. Louis’ Steven Jackson, Miami’s Reggie Bush, Dallas’ Felix Jones and the New York Jets’ Shonn Greene. Jackson would be ideal, but the Packers would probably only be interested in him in the secondary market given he will be 30 in July.

The Packers have been tied to Jackson for some time, but he’s certainly declining athletically. Bush fell 14 yards short of his second-straight 1,000-yard season, and he’ll likely be too expensive for the Packers. Jones and Greene both have shown flashes, but neither player has lived up to their draft position.

There is a possibility that the Packers could find a hidden gem late in the draft. Washington drafted Alfred Morris in the sixth round of last year’s draft, and he went on to rush for 1,613 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rookie. However, rarely does a late-round running back have so much success in his first NFL season.

The Packers could spend a high draft pick on a running back if the right guy is on the board. There isn’t a “can’t-miss” guy at the top of this year’s class–nobody like Trent Richardson last year and certainly no Adrian Peterson.

Alabama’s Eddie Lacy has a chance to crack the first round, depending on how he performs at offseason workouts. Lacy ran all over Notre Dame in the National Championship, totaling 157 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns on just 22 touches. He’s a big, physical runner and appears ready to be an every-down back in the NFL.

Perhaps the Packers feel running back is one of their biggest deficiencies. Before the team’s regular-season finale at Minnesota, Mike McCarthy said, “We don’t have a starting running back.”

Another possibility is North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard, who may be the most versatile runner in the draft. Bernard missed his freshman season at UNC with a torn ACL but was the focal point of the Tar Heels’ offense when he was in the lineup.

While most teams at the college level don’t get their running backs involved much in the passing game, Bernard caught 45 passes as a redshirt freshman and 47 as a redshirt sophomore. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry in his first season and 6.7 yards per carry in his second season at Chapel Hill.

Bernard’s versatility extends to special teams as well, where he returned 16 punts for 263 yards and a pair of touchdowns last season. With the Packers possibly revoking Randall Cobb’s return duties, they could be in the market for another return man to compete with Jeremy Ross. Bernard could help in that capacity, unless he were to run away with the starting running back job as a rookie.

There are a handful of other running backs that could come off the board in the first couple rounds. Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, Stanford’s Stepfan Taylor, Clemson’s Andre Ellington and Oklahoma State’s Joseph Randle all bring different things to the table.

South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore is in a unique position after shattering his knee this past season. Lattimore was one of the most productive backs in the country and appeared headed to be a first-round selection prior to the injury.

The Packers certainly face a tough decision at the position. It could be a rookie, it could be a veteran free agent acquisition, or it could be DuJuan Harris or someone else already on the roster. Brandon Saine could also figure into the team’s plans next season.

With all the uncertainty surrounding Dom Capers and the defense, it’s easy to overlook some of the other question marks the Packers face this offseason. Adding a reliable starting running back would vastly improve the Packers’ offense.

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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  • http://www.enytb.com Ed Frye

    How can TT be considered such a great GM when, after 8 years of drafting, his team lacks a starting RB and goes into the season with an over-the-hill FA at C and nor real back-ups at any position on the OL. Throw in a defense that is full of holes. I just don’t get it. Does he get a pass because he lucked into AR and CMIII and a SB win? The Pack had no business even makingf the play-offs that year. They backed in by the most unlikely unhappening in other games on the day of the season. Then, AR and Starkes played perfect football for the next 3.5 games. And now, 2 years later, it is proven this team is riddled with holes and hardly an elite championship team. It lacks speed, size and physicality throughout. The current hope is that Nick Perry isn’t Vernon Gholston. And what has happened to Tramon Williams? He was one of the league’s top CBs in 2010, got a big contract and has disappeared since. He plays the run like a coward.

    • Art

      Agree with everything you said Ed, like I wrote your myself post. I’m very upset with MM and have been for a few years, even the SB year. That year we were 9 – 6 and as you said needed the help of a play or two in other games (first time I cheered for Philly in a game). Last year we were one and done at home with a bye. This year, with the second easiest schedule, except for Houston we were never on the winning side of a blowout (let’s forget Tennessee that even Wisconsin can beat). And too many games we had to hold out breath against teams that we prematurely booked as a win. Irrelevant that we won the division and held the two spot for a week till the last week. Bottom line, the Packers were good, but not great. And with MM’s often bonehead play calling, not that exciting to watch either. His calls are predictable and DC’s defense is too. And don’t get me started on DC! I don’t want to get MM appalled at me! It’s a shame that we have not been able to account for a great running back on the Packers squad, a crucial position for over three years.

      • Idahopacker

        Man I get tired of all you experts out there why are you not working for a pro football team to be the GM or Head Coach. Like oh lets say Kansas city since you are an expert. Our team has had winning records for many years and made the playoffs. There is so much parity in this league it generally who does not lose players to injury. Further I am almost willing to bet you couldn’t even pass the Professional Football Physical just out of college both of you guys.

    • Oppy

      One scout, ONE, somewhere, says Perry’s college tape reminds him of Vernon Gholston, and suddenly it’s “the current hope” he’s not.

      Don’t let one opinion make things so dire.

      A Sportswriter somewhere needed to spruce up his article.

    • Oppy

      “No real Backups at any position on the OL”.

      Wow, I here I thought that EDS played well at C and Don Barclay performed quite well at RT.

      • Gary

        Ed & Art, think again guys. Look at the record that TT & MM have & think of what they did so with so many injuries (i.e wins & loses, beating the Bears again & again & again – yes!, division championships, & a Superbowl). Other teams would love to have this leadership tandem. I don’t always agree with everything these men have done, but I’m so happy to have these men at the wheel of this ship. Can you image being a Raiders fan or a Brown fan or some other fan of a perennial loser? We Packer fans have it so good. Right now, we can look to the future with a smile. These other fans can’t.

        • Scott 1956

          Gary, That’s pretty stupid! We should be happy that we have, possibly, the best QB in the NFL, and that we should be happy just to get to the playoffs? And when we get there we get our defense destroyed and McCarthy can’t help himself and calls all passes after halftime? That both line are sub-par? having watched football for 50 years, I can actually tell good football from bad, and I’m not a coach or GM. And many here also see the same things!

  • GBPDAN

    Aaron Rodgers and the Packers Offense absolutely need a reliable , quality , running back. Teams are daring us to run the ball and the packers need to make them pay for staying in the tampa two all game. A quality running game would help Arod and his receivers become that much more deadly

    • Corporate cheesehead

      Wanna know how to keep Adrian Peterson under a 1000 yards next year?
      Step One: Have TT trade for AP.
      Step Two: MM ‘commits’ to the running game just like last year and the second half of the niners game.
      And presto… AP has his first under 1000 yard season…

      MM just can’t help himself …

  • Lucas

    The back-ups at OL played this season.

    I’m not sure how trading up is lucking into CMIII.

  • Oppy

    I know I’m a shameless Green promoter, but..

    Starks simply was NOT more effective than Green- he was actually slightly LESS effective.

  • Ron LC

    They’re waiting for hte next Darian Foster to pop up at 5. Until then the perpetual revolving door continues to go on.

  • http://gogglechrome madtowne

    It’s difficult to get through a season
    unscathed by injury. Lord knows we’ve
    had our share.

    O Line- Sherrod,Bulaga out.Saturday
    done.
    RB- Benson,Saine out.Green & Starks
    hurt all season
    D Line- Worthy out
    LB- Perry,Bishop,Williams out
    DB- Woodson,Shields mostly out

    And there are others that have missed
    playing time- Matthews,Jennings,Nelson

    It’s difficult to win when half of your
    starting lineup is out..and yet we won
    the division & finished among the top
    8 teams in the league.

    Maybe next season nobody gets hurt…
    Knock on wood!

    Add another solid draft and…

    GO YOU PACKERS…GO…GO!

  • Razer

    I think that it is obvious that this team and this offense needs a run game. Dujuan Harris showed us the advantages of a dangerous back who can get through to the next level. Harris is not an every down back and the rest of the running back roster can’t stay on the field. Benson has too many miles on his 30 year old body and Starks is the dumbest, most fragile back in the NFC. We will have to draft a talented back.

    The problem that the Packers will have is that TT will not commit a high round pick and we don’t seem to have a scout who can assess RB talent. Virtually every team has some talent at RB while we are picking through the cast-offs from other teams. What up with that. We ran for years with Ryan Grant, a ‘B’ grade overflow of the Giants. Now it is a 30 year old Benson or a car salesman from Florida. It will get us through but really, can’t we find an Alfred Morris, Arian Foster or Frank Gore. We really need to step up our scouting game or maybe we just need to commit to drafting talent for a serious running game.

    • James david Marsh

      TT takes what is there in the draft while trying to adress all of the teams needs. I believe that talent has been added everywhere. I worry about the loss of people in his department. RB will be addressed.

      • Scott 1956

        If this team is so talented, how come both lines are below average? How come our LB’s, outside of CMIII, can’t contain and can’t rush the passer? How come we continue to have one of the worst rushing teams in the league? So far the only real strong points of this team are WR’s and DB’s and Rodgers. Rodgers can make up for a lot of weaknesses against weak teams, but in the playoffs, you need more of a complete team. And the Packers don’t have it!

  • frozentundra91

    When Rodgers and McCarthy both said that running the ball is about attempts and not yards I knew this team was doomed. I’m no football expert by any means but that is about as wrong as you can be in my eyes. All year we had to hear about cover two like it was some new age fad sweeping the league. It’s been around for years. Wanna know how to beat cover two? Run the ball, it’s not that hard. When the Packers couldn’t run the ball against six man boxes I didn’t think they would even make the playoffs. Thank you TT for finding Dujuan Harris. Is it a mystery that the Redskins, Vikings, Seahawks, Niners, all run-dominant teams, made it into the playoffs? The arrogance of the Packers is overwhelming sometimes. I’m sorry, I bleed green and gold but when you say you don’t have to run the ball for yards that’s about as stupid as you can possibly be. If the Packers ever get a pro-bowl caliber running back I don’t think defenses will truly be able to stop the Packers. It really surprises me that TT has not figured this out.

    On to the draft. Is this the year TT commits a high pick to a rb? No rb in this draft is probably worth a 1st round pick. TT could go ilb or maybe d-line in the 1st imo. Second round it gets interesting. If Bernard or Lacey drops close to the Packers or at their spot they should grab him. If you haven’t seen Bernard play check him out on Youtube, Lacey as well(although he is more well known). Bernard is a touchdown threat every time he touches the ball and Lacey is a pounder. How about Ball in the third or fourth? Ball would run great in the Packer’s zone blocking scheme. Ball probably has the best vision and cut-back ability of any back in the draft.

    Again, I don’t mean to sound like I’m getting down on TT or the Packers because they have done a great job in the last few years(especially with all of the injuries), but the whole not drafting a running back higher than the third round is something that I don’t understand.
    Go Pack

    • Lucas

      Profootball Focus has done extensive research on the subject of yards/carry vs. attempts/game. The strongest correlation in winning was actually attempts/game. Surprising, I know.

      • frozentundra91

        The one thing that I have noticed is that teams don’t respect the Packer’s running game. Stats are great and everything but I don’t think that they always tell the whole story. If your only running the ball for two yards a carry, teams are not going to commit more bodies to stopping the run and in effect helping to open up the passing game. Look at the Jaguars-Packers game this year at Lambeau. The Packers couldn’t run the ball against six man fronts and the Jaguar’s defense kept the game close for much longer than it should have been. I don’t know, my opinion is just that you have to be able to run well enough to keep teams honest.

        I’ve noticed that a lot of people are split on this subject. Thanks for commenting.

        • Art

          Jacksonville ( 1- 4 at the time)kept the game close because they had their offense on the field more than the Packers, had more passing years, same number of rushing years and this with a QB named Blaine Gabbert. Jacksonville ended up with 341 total yards. 1 – 4! I won’t say “good game DC” because MM may get appalled.

          • frozentundra91

            Our defense certainly didn’t play its best game. However, the reason I chose to mention that game is because A-Rod didn’t carry the offense. When A-Rod has even an average game, the Packers struggle to win. They didn’t even rush for 70 yards I believe. The offense plays a role in time of possession. When you can’t run the ball situationally and get 1st downs you put your defense in a tough spot. The Packers need to be able to run the ball better next season because teams sell out to stop the pass.
            Go Pack

        • James david Marsh

          QB Starr won those games with Passing Rating Differential not GB wining with a run game (3.5 yards per carry). Winning in the NFL has always been about wining the passing rating differential.

  • PatMc

    The RB’s have all been hurt because the OL doesn’t have the big uglies needed to push the other big uglies out of the way.

    Too many 3rd and short’s were wasted on long throws to no where.

    Take the first 3 Picks: Frederick, Monte Ball then RT from Wisconsin. The OL will be set and the running game will emerge.

    Of course TT will need to tell MM/Rodgers that there will NOT be any passes on 3rd and short unless it is less than 5 yards for the FIRST DOWN.

    I predict 3 SB’s in next 5 years with this cast.

  • Mark gast

    I vote for upgrading then offensive line. If that gets fixed the running backs have bigger holes, Rodgers doesn’t get sacked as much, and the defense stays off the field as time consuming drives get extended.

    • frozentundra91

      Where do you upgrade the offensive line? Bulaga is expected to return, he’s a first round pick and a pro bowl caliber player. Josh Sitton is a pro bowler. TJ Lang is signed long-term. Newhouse has greatly improved and Sherrod, a first round pick, could challenge for the starting left tackle spot. EDS is not a liability at center. Is center worth a first round pick? In the nfl running backs have to be able to make plays. No nfl offensive line is going to be able to do what teams like Wisconsin, Alabama, Staford, etc. do. Also, Rodgers takes many more sacks than he needs to.

      • frozentundra91

        One more thing: I’m not trying to make it sound like the Packers have the best o-line in the nfl and that nothing needs to be changed. I think the addition of a good guard to challenge Lang could go a long way. However, I have heard from so many people that the o-line needs 3 or 4 picks. To those people I say look at the Packer’s last three playoff exits. ILB, RB, DE, WR, TE are all bigger needs imo.

        • PatMc

          We agree. I think a 1st round pick or high second to get the kid from Wisconsin: Frederick who plays guard and Center. He can back up the 3 starters: EDS, Lang and Sitton and learn the Offense. Then in 4th quarters he can come in to help RUN the football and save EDS wear and tear. Monte Ball in the Third and use the 2nd for the best DL to eventually replace Pickett.

          4-7 can be wr’s, rb’s or whatever.

          • PatMc

            I also agree that Tackle (both sides) depending on health is in good shape.

            WR is still full even with driver and Jennings leaving (probably). Probably use one of the 4-7 to find another gem.

            TE is full – I expect TT to trade one of them by end of draft.

            DL needs a big body to replace picket in next year or so.

            LB’s 4-7 should have a few good LB to come in and compete. Maybe trade Hawk to get a high 3 or 4 (or low 2 or 3).

            DB’s are great position.

        • Anthony Coleman

          Marshall Newhouse struggles all of the time, Sherrod still hasn’t lived up to expectations, Don Barclay is a back-up at best..the Line struggled before Bulaga got hurt, They don’t push DLinemen back at the line of scrimmage. Any football person knows you have to win at the Line for the ground game to work and to win the battle protecting the quarterback. The Packers need to draft a feature back to work with D. Harris and a Olinemen to take Marshalls spot. They also need help on The DLine so a DT makes sense. GO PACK!!!!

  • White92

    I really don’t see why Harris can’t be the guy. He was easily the most dynamic guy the Packers had this year. So he’s short. That in itself doesn’t mean he can’t be a featured back.

    • Dobber

      Too true. There are a lot of “little” backs out there…MJD is the first that comes to mind. He’s a different kind of animal, of course.

      In this case, the Packers aren’t likely to hand anyone the ball 20 times per game on a regular basis, so the argument that Harris couldn’t take the pounding isn’t so significant. He could easily be a Darren Sproles type…look at how much better the Saints offense is when that guy is in the lineup.

  • http://www.HawgNSonsTV.Com HawgNSonsTV

    Just RUN bay bay!

  • Scott 1956

    They could have AP and McCarthy wouldn’t use him. It’s the same thing every year. 3-4 games into the season, McCarthy will call 2 games in which he hardly calls a running play, the fans and media call him on it, then he has a press conference, in which he states that we MUST run the ball more. For a few weeks he does, then he goes right back to throwing every down when the game gets close! He only calls running plays to give the WR’s a little rest!

    • Lucas

      Are you really suggesting that “we” have that much influence on the coach? MM is of stronger mind than that.

      • Scott 1956

        MM feels pressure just like any other coach! When it goes bad, he feels pressure! If he didn’t feel pressure, why does the same thing happen EVERY YEAR?

  • Scott 1956

    One last thing, you cannot run the ball behind that below average Offensive Line! Everytime we play a team with a good defensive line, it looks like they’re men and the Packers O-Line are boys!

  • FITZCORE1252

    Jackson was on Total Access yesterday, he said he’s still got a year remaining on his contract. Idk, maybe he’s wrong.

    Bush would be filthy in this offense… Ball would look good in green and gold as well. Harris screams ‘3rd down back’, I like what he brings to the table.

    GBP 4 LIFE

  • Chad Lundberg

    I’ve never felt we had a problem at running back. I have always felt that we have a terrible terrible Offensive line coach who doesn’t know how to properly teach his players to properly run block.

    The run blocking has to change before the player at running back changes.

    • Lucas

      Anybody see a relationship between the running game success and the slight change in more power concepts? We started pulling guards and double teaming…seems like the philosophy change had something to do with the success along with the DuJuan addition.
      I’ve never seen the team employ the zone blocking concept as well as the Terrell Davis Bronco days.
      My vote, either get a new o-line zone blocking guru in here or go with even more of the power game concepts.

    • Anthony Coleman

      Remember how our Oline blocked when Ahman Green was at the top of his game with Rivera,Clifton,Tausher,Whale and Flannagan?(AT least thats who I think it was at that time)
      They were great, they won the battle at the line of scrimmage and pushed DLinemen around and opened HUGE holes for green to run threw.

  • Since ’61

    I believe that the Packers will have seven draft this year. I would draft 2 big nasties for the O- line and 2 running backs. The other picks can go to the defense, but the running game needs to be the priority in this draft. Thanks, Since ’61.

  • Dobber

    Cedric Benson was a lousy fit in GB. When he was in the game, you knew he was limited in terms of how he would be used. Not an outside runner, doesn’t catch the ball, isn’t going to get much more than what is blocked for him.

    The NFL has appeared to move away from those backs who carry 25 times and into platoons and situational players: the kind of players you hope to find in rounds 3-5. If you can find the rare 3-down, bellcow runner in the draft, you have to take him.

    The question is: what do you need a starting RB to do in your offense for it to be at its most productive? Best case scenario, you have a 3-down back so you don’t telegraph tendencies and a good backup because these guys are always getting dinged.

  • Oppy

    Here’s the Packers’ view on the RB position in the modern NFL:

    We’d love to have a great running attack, it’s a big part of winning football.

    But, premium RB’s get paid ridiculous money in what is currently a league all about passing.

    Not only do they get paid big money, but they have a short shelf life because they peak early, and get run into the ground. They spend a lot of time injured.

    Therefore; do not draft a RB high, it’s ultimately not good use of cap space. You pay a ton for a kid that will be frequently beaten up and injured and will have his skills peak right at the same time his contract is up, and usually right as he hits either a plateau or as he’s regressing- it’s a steep ascent and fall at RB without much sustained production, typically.

    And, hey, here’s a way to combat all those negatives: Sign a stable of decent RBs on the cheap who all bring something different to the table. This splits the workload (saves on wear and tear) and theoretically can keep them all healthy and productive, you can therefore keep them in the system longer (because they’re not chewed up and spit out physically), and they never get the single-back type numbers to demand a huge payday. Oh, and you’re never one injury away from losing your entire ground gameplan.

    IMO, this is a core philosophy of the Packers. It’s not going to change. I do believe if a premier back slips and is truly the BPA (this would have to include considerations to cap cost as well), the Packers may take a RB with a higher pick, but he’d have to be one special back at a slotting where the talent at all other positions has dropped off significantly.

    • Rob

      Ditto to the Packers’ receiver philosophy.

  • Stroh

    Harris was a revelation late in the year, but he much more suited to a limited role as a part time player. I don’t think he can handle the pounding of touching it more than 8-10 times a game. Green didn’t look the same after the ACL and will be given another year to see what he can do. Starks, as much as I like his physical style, can’t stay on the field. Time to move on w/o him. I would bring Benson back w/ Green and Harris and give Green every chance to be the primary RB w/ Benson as his proven backup.

    If they Packers want to draft a RB, I would take Ball over the rest. Yes, I’m a Badger fan, but his vision and cutting ability make him a great fit IMO for the Packers. Have him put on a few LB’s and get to the 220 range and he could be the best RB the Pack has had since Ahman Green. Ball plays and runs w/ a physical nature and that along w/ the # of carries he had at Wis, means he’ll have a 5-6 year career at most. In the 3rd he would be a Great value, more likely have to use a 2nd on him tho.

    I completely agree w/ Oppy about RB shelf-life and productivity. Not too many RB last beyond 30 and most are done by that point. Not much point in giving another contract to a 28 yr old RB.

    • Bird Dog Uni

      Hey Stroh ~ : ) I love Harris… Think he’s going to be a great asset, but, I agree we need another RB. I don’t want an old FA that we’ll have to pay! I will go with whatever TT thinks… If it’s Ball I’m cool, but there are a ton of guys that could be had in the 3rd round and I would invite at least 3 UDFA’s to camp again this year! Maybe we get lucky! : )

      • Dobber

        The Packer offense isn’t geared toward the RB position in general. It’s unusual for any of these guys to get more than 10-15 carries per game. It’s just as important that the backs can block and catch.

        Montee Ball is at his best around 215 and was slow and less dynamic when heavier. He’s shown that he can be a physical back at 215 at the major college level. We’d have to see how that translates to the NFL, but he’s a 3-down back assuming he can learn blitz-pickup.

        • Stroh

          Agree to an extent about Ball not being as good when he was heavier. THing is that was at 230 or 235, so hard to know how he would be at 220. I think he would still be quick enough at 220 and better able to handle the punishment. Ball actually is a guy that delivers the punishment at time too. If we can get Ball, then Benson is expendable. Only reason to keep him is if we don’t draft a RB relatively high imo.

          BDU likes his RB’s oversized. He likes LaVeon Bell and loved Gerhart. I don’t care for either.

          • Dobber

            True on Ball, but there are plenty of NFL regulars at the RB position who play at 215. Would Ball really need to add weight?…this presumes that the 215 pound list weight wasn’t inflated, of course.

            I think Benson is expendable, regardless. His skill package is potentially limiting in the offense.

            • Stroh

              Benson had never played in a zone blocking scheme. IMO he was just hitting his stride and getting comfortable w/ it. I don’t know if I wanna count on him as the feature RB, but would love to have him as a backup. He and Starks are the only guys that run w/ good authority. Would rather see a RB drafted in the 3rd or 4th, but I damn sure would rather have Benson that LaVeon Bell. I think he’ll be a bust. Benson isn’t going to cost anything either, just the vets min and we even get a salary reduction against the cap. Benson was hitting his stride and getting better every week, he in no way would limit the offense next year.

          • Bird Dog Uni

            Correction: BDU likes his RB’s to be able to gain a YARD on 3rd and 1! :) I like Le’Veon Bell because he’s projected as a 4th round pick, and that means we can use 1st-3rd rounders on DL/OL/LB! :) Think the combination of Harris, Green, & Bell might be just what the Pack needs? I would love Ball, or Lacy, or Gillislee, or even Lattimore*… Lattimore probably wouldn’t be much help this year, but, next year he could be awesome and with his knee injury, we may be able to get him later in the draft? I’ll go along with whatever TT thinks, but, I think it’s obvious that we’ve been neglecting the RB position since UMAD Green left… I usually don’t like trading down, but, if you go by CBS rankings, Lacy is rated #43, I wouldn’t mind if TT traded down to the top of the 2nd and drafted Barrett Jones, then used his extra picks to move up in the 2nd round and got Lacy too… 2 Bama boys to hang together… Win Win… :)

      • Stroh

        Just email you w/ a link here. How you doing Buddy? I like Harris as a PT player, just not as a 3 down RB. Have a few plays a game for him and a role as possibly a 3rd down guy. He’s great imo as a role player, just not as a full time RB.

        • Bird Dog Uni

          Oh… I totally agree… I love Harris. But, you know me… I want a “THUMPER!” See reply to you above… :) I trust TT/MM have seen the errors of their ways at the RB position, yet, they may be too stubborn to admit it. If they draft a RB in 2nd or 3rd round, then we know… If they don’t, well, look for us to be throwing on 3 & 1…

  • Dobber

    All told, I’ve always been a fan of smashmouth, grind-it-out football. It’s taken me a while to come ’round on the kind of football the Packers play because, in all honesty, it’s finesse football. Don’t even get me started on the read-option…it’s the NBA philosophy of offense creeping into the NFL. Ugh!

    All told, I would love to see more of a power scheme to the running game, but a zone, movement blocking scheme fits the kind of linemen you want in an offense that tries to take advantage of it’s assets in the passing game.

    What’s more (and it’s been said before) the offensive scheme naturally devalues the RB position, and makes the investment of a high draft pick in a RB almost wasteful. That being the case, the Packers are almost doomed to RB by audition until either a game changer slides to them in an early round or they develop that guy in a late-round pick.

    What I’m saying is that the Packers are paying the price of the economics of their offensive scheme. We’d all like to see an MJD or an Arian Foster lining up behind ARod, but it’s going to be hard to achieve.

    • Bird Dog Uni

      I understand what you’re saying, but, I have to disagree. It’s not hard to achieve. Eddie Lacy is rated #43 by CBS… Trade up in the 2nd and he’s ours.

      Giovani Bernard is rated 54th if you don’t want to move up to get Lacy…
      Ball is rated 71st… There are plenty of RB’s that we could take… But will we? It’s just a matter of choices, and while MM & AR think this is a passing team, we’ve all seen what not having a running game has cost us the last two years… Defense needs attention, OL, but, I would argue a good RB would help both. Can’t wait till April to find out.