James Starks Should be Supplanted as the Packers’ Number Two Running Back

James Starks has been at times a good to very good running back for the Green Bay Packers over his career. He has also been at times an indecisive and ineffective runner who hesitates at the line and second-guesses which hole to go through or where to cut.

Starks has never shown an ability to carry the majority of the starting load, but has shown flashes of potential at various times in his career. Most recently, in 2013 Starks lead the NFL in yards per carry and showed an ability to break the big run consistently. Starks paired with Lacy very well that year and for a good portion of the year, looked like the better runner.

Last year however was a typical James Starks letdown year that he always seems to have once expectations for him are raised. The poor season also coincided with a breakout season for Eddie Lacy that saw him average 5.1 yards per carry and be tied for second in the NFL with eight touchdowns after week four.

As I wrote about a few months ago, Lacy seemed to get better and better with the more touches he got in a game last season and the more involved in the game he was. He also developed into a more complete back last year by making a big impact out of the backfield through the air as well as on the ground.

Those touches that Lacy demands to be the impact player he was last year means that he needs an effective backup that can work in a limited role. I hate the term “thunder and lightning” but that is exactly what the Packers need for this backfield.

If the Packers can replace most of Starks’ touches with Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery, I think the offense can and will hit an extra gear. Having the quick, big play potential from Cobb or Montgomery to sub-in for Lacy is great. Having the ability to have their running back(s) also be a dangerous weapon in the receiving game who gets clean releases because they aren’t on the line, but still be respected in the run game is even better.

There was a very noticeable difference when Cobb ran the ball last year and occasionally when Starks ran it compared to Lacy. The explosion through the hole of Cobb was staggering to watch after watching a game of runs by Lacy. He made quick decisions and cuts which got him through the line and to the second level of the defense so much quicker than Lacy can.

Going into the draft I really wanted the Packers to spend a third day pick on a running back that could mimic what Cobb showed last year. They did that, just in the third round not the third day, and just not in the way I was expecting with Ty Montgomery instead of a traditional running back.

Having Lacy be the bell cow running back who gets roughly 70 percent of the carries and splitting the other 30 percent between Cobb and Montgomery could be a lethal combination for the Packers. Cobb has proven himself as a capable NFL runner in small doses and Montgomery was scouted by many teams to be a running back at the next level.

Not to mention having Lacy with either Cobb or Montgomery in the backfield or a Cobb and Montgomery split backfield will be very easy to create potential mismatches with.

This kind of leaves James Starks out in the cold. I do not expect this to happen, especially a 30 percent share for Cobb and Montgomery, because of McCarthy’s affection for Starks and consistent claims that James deserves more touches every game. However I think that having Starks on the bench as a fill in for when Lacy suffers an inevitable injury that causes him to miss a game or two serves an important purpose for this team. Cobb and Montgomery cannot care the lion’s share of carries.

Having dual hybrid wide receiver-running backs can be the next big evolution for the NFL and I truly believe it can work well. Especially with a powerful, bruising running back like Lacy who needs a majority share of the rushes anyway. Cobb with his career 9.3 yards per carry and Montgomery with his 8.6 yards per carry average over his collegiate career are the men to do it.

This may just be an idea I have been kicking around in my head for a couple weeks that can’t work. At the very least I think it is worth the shot and a strategy that can pay big dividens. Especially with the new potential emphasis on the two point conversion this year. The carries may have to end up a 70/10/10/10 spilt between Lacy, Starks, Cobb, and Montgomery but that doesn’t change the basic philosophy and I would still like to see Cobb and Montgomery get more snaps from the backfield than Starks.

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Mike Reuter lives in the Twin Cities and is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas. He is a mobile tech enthusiast, a 19 year Gopher Football season ticket holder and a huge Packers fan. Mike is a writer with AllGreenBayPackers.com and you can follow him on twitter at @uofmike.

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  • Big T

    Starks is a beast. He runs like every touch is his last one. I believe that is why he is prone to injury. The man makes every second count. If MM can get him to reign it in a little maybe they can prevent some injuries.

    • marpag

      He also tends to get a bit high and makes himself a target. He needs to do a better job of “running behind his pads.” But yeah, you gotta love his intensity.

      • ObiWanWotan

        He is a true deep threat other teams need to prepare for – adding value in that alone. Once again, coach needs to call the right plays for each player’s best skills, not just call plays.

  • Career college stats for Montgomery: 39 attempts, 344 yds., 8.6 yd/att.
    Career Pro stats for Cobb; 27 attempts, 252 yards, 9.3 yards per attempt.

    Montgomery has the build to be a RB. He had mostly 2 to 5 attempts in each of his games. High of 23 carries for a season. I had difficulty determining whether he has any vision due to the small sample size. He has some burst and some power (well, that was against DBs mostly, not NFL DTs and DEs). I watched three horrendous drops as a WR in the two games of film I watched, btw. Monty is a willing and pretty decent blocker. Could GB have Lacy and Monty in the backfield and have Monty (lead?) block or have Monty go into motion, getting a clean release while Lacy stays in for pass pro, runs a check down into the flat or actually runs the ball? I saw Montgomery run some jet sweeps. He looked good, but not quite like he runs a 4.38 forty.

    Intriguing idea. I think GB needs to carry a true #3 RB because Starks is made of glass and Lacy gets concussions. Keeping a 3rd RB doesn’t mean he has to actually be active or even get on the field. Look at Harris last year.

    • dobber

      To expand, Cobb’s highest number of carries out of the backfield over the course of a season is 11 (in 2014). His carries have been 2 (in 2011), 10, 4, 11 and the majority of his rushing yards have come on two carries…but that’s what the article is playing at: the potential for the HR.

      In order to make a Cobb/Montgomery package the second leading rusher in terms of carries for the Packers, they would likely have to combine for an average of 5+ carries per game. Part of what makes Cobb (or Montgomery) effective out of the backfield running the ball is lining them up there and not handing them the football. Using them as a decoy, or turning them loose on flat routes, putting them in motion…essentially getting them into space and allowing them to create.

      To reiterate what reynoldo says: do you really want Cobb taking an additional 3-5 hits per game from 315-lb DL?

      • Peter Maiz

        No way, especially with Cobb’s size.

        • ObiWanWotan

          Yep, I don’t like Cobb in the backfield at all, but Montgomery, not sure yet. Mr. Cobb can and should be used a gajillion ways in open field – where he can bust one open at any time. Cheez, GB is loaded.

      • TedTomsin

        Agree dobber. Cobb is not a 10 carry a game guy. He’s a one to three carries a game guy. Montgomery might be able to handle 10 because as west coast scout Sam Seale said, “he’s a bigger Randall”.

        I actually see Cobb’s role diminish big time as far as lining up as a running back and I see him mainly as a wide receiver this season which makes me happy as I think he’s too small to take all that pounding posing as a running back.

        I think Montgomery is going to be special. Much better than Cobb and that’s due to his size and speed. I think he can be that third down back and will be. I guarantee you MM is giddy as hell at all the different formations they can put this kid in. He’s smart too coming from Stanford so he’ll pick up the offense real quick.
        Having said all that, I still think James Starks is a valuable asset. He’s also a huge back with breakaway speed. I don’t see anyone taking his spot at no. 2 behind Lacy. If Lacy goes down we’ll be regretting letting go of Starks. I say Starks’s job is secure for at least one more year.
        Ted

        • One of the things to consider about Monty is that early in the season a lot of the kickoffs will be touchbacks, so his utility will be less initially than it will be later in the season or in domes.

          • TedTomsin

            Yeah, I know that. Even DuJuan Harris was starving to take it out and did a few times out of boredom and it cost us. Guessing “Monty” as you call him, will be our kickoff return guy solely, share punt returns with Hyde, he’ll be our no. 4 receiver, and he’ll eventually be our third down running back more towards the end of the season. He’ll get his touches one way or another.
            Ted

    • Jeff

      I believe that’s why they drafted Ripkowski for he will be Lacy’s lead blocker!

  • Since ’61

    Mike – I think that you make good points about utilizing Cobb and Montgomery as RBs. However, you also made the point, correctly, that neither can carry the load full time if Lacy is injured. Therefore, Starks needs to be kept at least for 2015. If Neal or Crockett demonstrate that they can be capable as full time RBs one or both of them can take over next season if necessary. I hope that Cobb and Mongomery can be utilized in some creative play calling situations a few times a game. However, as pointed out by Reynoldo, I don’t want Cobb taking unnecessary extra hits. I know that we can’t keep everyone but I’m going to hate to lose any of the current RBs/WRs when cuts are made. Thanks, Since ’61

    • Archie

      Carrying Ty Monthgomery as a #3 RB/#6WR/#1KR/PR works for me.

      • TedTomsin

        That’s why you should be praising our GM Archie. He was able to draft a player that can perform 4 different roles thus saving TT valuable roster spots for other guys that would automatically go to the Vikings.
        Ted

        • Archie

          I give him credit where due. My big beef is he has been totally incompetent at drafting defensive front 7 players since getting the GM job a decade ago. CMIII has been his lone accomplishment in 10 years despite many swings of the bat. Were he able to pick def front 7 players he would be the GM that you think he is. That failure has been his Achilles heel. That’s all I’ve been saying on these boards forever.

          • Big T

            Amen…

          • TedTomsin

            Archie, BJ Raji was a success and helped them win a super bowl and is about to make Elvis’ 69 Comeback Special pale in comparison this season. Ryan Pickett was a huge success. Mike Danielson is the next Karate Kid using the same workout methods that Mr. Miyagi used. Mike Pennel is being compared to Albert Haynesworth. Come on Archie, Ted has not been a total failure as you make him out to be in the d-line department. Those guys are not chumps. I didn’t even mention the fact Datone Jones is about to break out this season. His college coach also predicts it.

            I think your hatred or flat out unrealistic expectations for him not hitting on every single pick clouds your judgment with this defensive line. He’s been to the playoffs every single year except his first when he had to clean up Sherman’s cap nightmare. Also add in the fact he always drafts near the bottom of the first round.
            Finding top quality defensive linemen are difficult but TT will not stop trying to find the next Reggie White. You have to at least admire his effort Archie. Can we at least agree on that?
            Ted

            • Archie

              BJ Raji is one fat ass lazy failure. The 9th pick of the draft should be a player. Raji is still a young man yet we haven’t got anything out of him other than the one season you reference. And Raji is no sure thing for this year’s final 53.

              Picket was a FA.

              Pennel is an UDFA that hardly played a down and you rate him among the best ever at his position?!

              Datone Jones who has done nothing in 3 years is another TT front 7 R1 bust. Ditto Nick Perry. Mike Neal ain’t so good either. Hawk was horrible. How’s that guy we drafted at the top of R3 last year? You make me laugh trying to hide TT’s inadequacies.

              • marpag

                The truth is somewhere in between. I certainly would not deny that drafting for the front 7 – especially D-line – is TT’s biggest weakness. But that doesn’t mean that everyone is dog crap either. After all, the Packers under TT have been about as “winning” as any team in the league. But if the Packers could have truly struck gold on just one stud D-lineman, they would be invincible. It wouldn’t even have to be JJ Watt. A nice Gerald McCoy or Muhammad Wilkerson would be plenty.

              • I dream of Daniels, a rejuvenated Raji or a Pennel that makes a huge jump, and Malcom Brown. We’d find out if the run defense trouble was due to the D-line or the ILBs.

              • Archie

                TT not only passed on Vince Wilfork II, I mean Malcom Brown, but he was holding his breath for several picks hoping to draft Randall all along. He better be right or this will become yet another infamous R1 pick – for both the guy he took and the guy he chose not to take. Time will tell. It always does.

              • Archie

                The truth is not somewhere in between and that is what Packer fans need to realize. This teams because of #12. Replace him with an average Joe and we are competing for the first pick in the draft every year. That is a sad commentary on the state of the NFL these days. If you don’t have a top notch QB you may as well stay home. Ask the CINCY Bengals.

              • marpag

                Well, we disagree on that. I’m not a huge fan of PFF, but in their recently released rankings, there are seven Packers in their top 101 NFL players. Math wasn’t my favorite subject, but I think that’s quite a bit more than the average team. “Competing for the first pick in the draft every year” is a teensy bit of an overstatement, which I think is what TedTomsin was trying to say about your opinions.

              • Archie

                “Competing for the first pick in the draft every year” is a teensy bit of an overstatement.

                Well that is your opinion. Think back to two Thanksgivings ago in Detroit to recall what the AROD-less Packers looked like – they were behind by about 45-0 at halftime.

              • dobber

                **sigh**

                It’s a ridiculous statement because we have no idea what this roster looks like if you lift that one player out of the roster. Virtually every personnel decision between now and the removal of the player changes.

              • mr.anderson

                That’s some cherry-picking there. How about when they beat Atlanta and Dallas? Tied the Vikings? Played very competitive games against the Patriots, Steelers?

              • mr.anderson

                Weird, I seem to remember Matt Flyn winning games for the Packers. We would be average with an average QB, we would be nowhere near ‘competing for the first pick every year’.

              • marpag

                “This team wins because of #12. Replace him with an average Joe and we are competing for the first pick in the draft every year.” — Archie

                Strange. Very strange… cuz if you look down below you will see that some dude named “Archie” said, “Starks is the main reason we made it to and won the SB back in 2010.”

                Is Aaron Rodgers really the only reason this team wins? You yourself seem to think otherwise. Or are the only two good players: Aaron Rodgers and …. wait for it …. James Starks?? Is Aaron Rodgers the only person on the team who is better than James Starks? And if Starks “got us to and won a Superbowl,” what are Jordy Nelson, Clay Matthews, Josh Sitton, Eddie Lacy, Randall Cobb, TJ Lang and Mike Daniels able to do?

                Geez, Archie… even YOU don’t agree with you. Is it a wonder that most others don’t agree either?

              • Archie

                It was all Starks and AROD in that run to the playoffs and championship. Since that it has been all AROD. That’s not to say he can do it all by himself but he is the difference maker for this team. It is like the Colts were with Peyton Manning. If you prefer to live in fantasyland, don’t bother reading my posts.

              • Mike Sherman

                Jesus your memory is bad Archie. Charles Woodson was DPOY! That is an award given to the best defensive player in the NFL for that year. Do you understand that? Did that important fact slip you mind or do you not follow the Packers that closely? Nick Collins was also a pro bowl player that year, and desmond Bishop had a great season too.

              • packett

                I enjoyed this post, marpag. eloquent,.

              • jimbletso

                BJ slobby could turn it around. Ah, nevermind he’s belly up to the buffet.

              • Raji has massive talent, easily the most talent on the defense (yes, more talent than CM3, though it’s close). He has One year of production. No one with that much talent should be so bad at DE. Raji is perfectly capable of playing lights out in his contract year – just never give him big guaranteed money.

              • Oppy

                I do believe Raji has talent that is wasted by both his own low desire to play the game with the needed attitude and his willingness to work hard for it, and by being miscast in a system that doesn’t really fit his strengths… but I don’t agree at all that he’s the most talented player on defense. Not only do I believe that CMIII is (easily) more talented, I would also say Neal, Daniels, Shields, Rollins, Hayward, Clinton-Dix are all more talented. That’s not even mentioning Julius Peppers, who is off the charts talented. Just my $.02.

              • Well, it’s really totally opinion, so it is hard, maybe pointless, to argue about it. I forgot Peppers, though, so mea culpa on him. I’d agree that at one time Peppers had more talent without a doubt. I am not sure that he does anymore, but maybe he still does if used for 30 to 35 snaps a game, like GB wants to do this year, we read.

                Raji and CM3 is a close call. It does appear that Raji (6.5 overall) and CM3 (6.66 overall) are similar, with CM3 getting the nod by a small amount in the scouting reports. Below is a link to the in-depth scouting report on Raji and CM3. Raji’s physical scores (6.62) were close to CM3’s (6.70). The overall grades were similar, but some of it was because Raji got a 5.3 for Character and a 5.0 for Work Ethic, whereas CM3 got high marks for work ethic and character. But my recollection was faulty; I thought Raji scored better on pure athletic traits than he did. But there was a reason Raji was taken #9 overall, and why TT reportedly considered taking CM3 at #9, and then traded his 2nd and 3rd round picks to move up and take CM3 at #26.

                http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/historical/1243129
                http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/historical/504552

                I don’t think it is even remotely a close call between Raji’s talent and the talent possessed by the other players you cited; I would place most of them at least 1 to 2 tiers below Raji and CM3, but scouting reports aren’t everything.

              • Oppy

                Scouting report numbers are one part athletic testing, one part production vs. amateur competition, and one part projection. They are a good reference point for us fans for the half year between the end of the NCAA season and the transition to the pros for these players, but those numbers cease to have any real value once the pads go on and we see the player working, training, learning, competing, and producing in the professional football climate vs. professional football talent.

                The league is full of guys who have long, sometimes even wildly successful, careers who were assigned a low draft grade (or none at all), and is void of many players who were scored as generational talent but ended up being busts.

                I value your input when it’s draft day because I know you are well informed and clearly spend a great deal of time digging up the information available on a wide number of draftees. Clearly, we have a difference of opinion in terms of the talent levels of various professional players on the Packers roster, and that’s perfectly fine- the world would be a boring place if we all agreed on everything! That being said, my assessment of the talent levels of the players I mentioned, while they may be erroneous, are based on what I’ve witnessed of those players are professionals over the course of no less than one year to several. Again, you may see different things than I and you may have a more accurate outlook on these players talent levels, but I don’t see how an aggregate number used for projection like a draft score serves to be a useful barometer of real-world talent as compared to seeing these players compete, train, and produce in real-world situations.

                Lastly, I don’t see it as arguing, I see it as respectful discussion, even if we’re of varying opinion. I hope you do as well.

              • Of course we’re good. I read all of your posts with interest. Scouting reports were the only objective source I could think of. They are often enough wrong. If they were always right, there would be few busts. I see the work ethic & character assessments in those reports coming to fruition with Raji. Pretty sure Jersey Al once wrote that Raji doesn’t really like football. Pennel has a lot of talent too, but it is not yet clear whether he can play football, i.e. produce on the field. I will watch some film, but there are zillions of people who see things on film that I don’t. I loved the Bradford pick, but wasn’t keen on Thornton & R. Rodgers. My grade will come in over next 2 years.

                My mea culpa on Peppers stands. Good catch there on your part. He might well still be the most talented guy on D, and if he were still 29 yrs. old, I don’t think there’d be much, really any, debate about it. SchenySchen destroyed one of my arguments a couple of weeks ago, so I changed my opinion and begged for mercy.

                On a side note, I love Micah Hyde. I don’t think he has the innate talent to be elite, but I think where ever you play him, be it FS, SS, slot, outside CB, he will play it as well as his talent will allow. And he has good talent. To my mind, Hyde’s a football player. I don’t think Raji is a football player, which is why I’ve been dubbed a Raji-hater.

              • mr.anderson

                Hawk was not horrible. He didn’t live up to his draft position, but he was a very solid player. To say Raji is lazy is completely ridiculous – google his workouts if you don’t believe me – he has been playing out of position since the superbowl run, and if he can stay healthy you will be eating your words. Perry and Neal have actually been quite good when healthy also. It’s really very clear that your pessimism is clouding your vision

            • Oppy

              Actually, the Packers didn’t go to the play offs in Rodgers first year as a starter, either. They went 6-10 and missed the playoffs. So that’s two seasons TT’s Packers missed the play offs.

          • ObiWanWotan

            Word. 1/2 a job well done, 1/2 a job, not so much. And, he busted on Offensive Pick Sherrod too, and, did GB win a SB lately ??? Close, but no cigars, if I recall. AR makes the team – where would it be without him – ask yourselves that. Like it or not, Free Agents were key to both Favre’s and Rodger’s SB wins – both Hall of Fame Guys – but with just one SB win each. And then there’s those NE GMs. Kapish? Lets take a look at this again at the end of THIS season – when we know what it really means losing TWO of our better DBs. Draft that.

      • Since ’61

        Also works for me Archie! Thanks, Since ’61

  • Rossonero

    I love Eddie Lacy, but let’s not forget he has asthma and 2 concussions. If you want him to have a short career, then keep running him into the ground. If you want to keep him around longer-term, then you still need a complementary back.

    As the GreatReynoldo mentions below, the Cobb and Monty in the backfield is intriguing, but I don’t think it’s the future of the NFL. I also don’t like the punishment they’d take lining up in the backfield either.

    Starks has been a good RB — when healthy. He turned 29 in February and is in a contract year. If John Crockett or Alonzo Harris can fill DuJuan Harris’s void, then I’d say keep Crockett or Harris (whoever doesn’t make the 53 man roster) on the Practice Squad, and then possibly bring them up in 2016 when Starks most likely will be allowed to walk as a 30 year old RB.

  • marpag

    Randall Cobb is the best slot receiver in the league. I’d like to see him line up … in the slot.

    I get the idea here, of course, and yes, I’m all in favor of a little “trickeration” now and then. Mix it up. More than that, I loved they way they used Cobb AS A RECEIVER out of the backfield last year. The Packers were able to use those formations to get big-time mismatches, and he made some great plays catching the ball.

    As a runner? Um… no. Reasonable people can disagree, but I had the exact opposite opinion as the author. I hated the way they tried to RUN Cobb out of the backfield last year. I thought he sucked. He looked slow and tentative to me, like he didn’t really know which play was called. These are his rushing stats from last year: 11 attempts, 37 yards, 3.4 yard average with a long of 12 and only 1 first down.

    Do we really want to take the best slot receiver in the league out of the slot for that?

    It always cracks me up when analysts on TV talk about some player and say, “Yeah, he’s a real dynamic, multi-dimensional ‘Slash’ kinda guy.” I wonder if those analysts even remember that the original “Slash,” Kordell Stewart, actually sucked. And so does almost everybody else that they try to call “a slash.” Percy Harvin might be the most overrated football player of the past 10 years.

    So sure, mix it up once or twice. But aside from that, play guys at their best positions. One spot is enough. That’s where they are good. There’s no need to get cute.

    • Good points. That’s why I watched some film to see if Montgomery has vision as a RB. Really thought the sample size was too small and came to no conclusion, but he certainly knows how to set up his blockers during kick returns. Not sure that the vision needed by returners equate to that needed by RBs,. I didn’t think Cobb had much vision, and don’t like Cobb (our $10 million dollar man) getting hit by 330 lbs. NTs, or a couple of them.

    • Mike Sherman

      Whoa, that’s ridiculous to say Kordell Stewart sucked. He was not a full time QB and was average in that role, but he was a great football player. Had good hands, 4.5 speed, power when he ran and a cannon for an arm. Just because he isn’t a franchise QB doens’t mean he sucked.
      Percy was just traded for a 6th round pick……. he obviously isnt that overrated.

      • marpag

        OK, maybe “sucked” was a bit harsh. We are agreed that he certainly wasn’t much of a QB. But my question for you would be, “At which position was he ‘a great football player?’ And where was the production? In fact, at which position was he really even very good at all?”

        As for Harvin, maybe people are finally starting to catch on. But how much did SEATTLE give up for him? And just because GMs might begin to understand that he isn’t worth much doesn’t mean that the rank and file football fan has the same level of understanding.

        • Mike Sherman

          Agreed, not much of a QB, but he was one on the most versatile football players ever, that’s why I say good football player. He wasn’t great at any position, but could do a lot of things well, which meant defenses had no idea what play they would run. He was best as Slash and NFL ranked him 4 most versatile player of all time. 4th best at anything should make you a pretty good football player, but you’re prob right, not great.

          Typical fans prob do think Harvin is great, few teams would want him on their roster. I remember when we drafted Cobb he was considered a poor man’s Percy and most thought Titus Young was better. Shows you how much attitude and aptitude matter in the NFL…… unless your Randy Moss.

          • marpag

            I don’t think I can argue with anything you say here. My only point would be the versatility is worthless unless it leads to actual production.

  • Archie

    Couldn’t disagree more. Reminds of when fans tried to run James Jones out of town the first time.

    1 – Starks is the main reason we made it to and won the SB back in 2010;

    2 – He is relatively cheap; and,

    3 – He is valuable insurance in the event Lacy is lost due to injury. Starks is a nice change of pace. He’s a good blocker for #12. Only problem with Starks is he can’t catch the ball.

    • I don’t think the author advocated cutting Starks. Well, it does sound that way at times. Other places he acknowledges that if Lacy misses some time, Starks would be needed since Cobb and Monty could not carry the load and suggests a 70/10/10/10 % split in carries for Lacy, Starks, Cobb and Monty. I think a Neal or Crockett is also necessary in addition to Lacy and Starks, but maybe in August at cut downs I might want to keep another player and short the # of RBs.

    • Tundraboy

      And once in a while he’ll make a great catch too. So whats wrong with that. If someone beats him out on the field, we can revaluate.

  • aaronqb

    If one of the RBs on the roster (Neal, Crockett) outplays Starks, then great. Promote them to the #2 back. Guess training camp and preseason will help sort that out. As for putting Cobb or Montgomery in the backfield, I’m not so sure. First off, we don’t know what we have yet in Montgomery.

    I like Starks. He provides good value at his salary.

  • Peter Maiz

    Even though Cobb is great at running the ball, his overall emphasis should be catching the ball. Let’s see how Montgomery works out. I do like Cobb out of the backfield, though.

    • Archie

      True, we have no idea yet whether Montgomery can be the #3 RB, let alone #2. Would be nice if it turns out that way.

  • Jeff

    I don’t like the idea of Cobb being in the backfield now he’s a core receiver, let Montgomery fill that role, I also like Crockett I think he should fight it out with Starks for the #2 behind Lacy, I like Starks but he has yet to show he could carry the load if Lacy does go down for a few games.

    • TedTomsin

      I agree with you Jeff on not putting Cobb in the backfield now that he’s a core receiver. I do disagree with you on Starks. Starks HAS shown he can carry the load for a few games. I seem to recall Starks having one hell of a 4 game stretch in the playoffs and super bowl so he’s proven he can do it.
      Ted

      • Jeff

        Maybe I should have worded it better..Yes he has shown tendencies to be a great RB but it’s his inconsistencies that trouble me the most, as I stated I like Starks and love the way he puts it on the line but he also has long stretches where he makes bad choices and it costs the team to many yards, if they can get a viable back up who is consistent I believe the team as a whole will be better off.

  • Cobb is made of glass. I like using WRs in these scenarios very occasionally but doesn’t make sense to me. Find/utilize a quick, shifty 3rd down back that can catch the ball out of the backfield.

    I agree Starks should be supplanted but not by a WR.

    • dobber

      With the exception of 2013 when he broke his leg, Cobb played in at least 15 games every season (15 in 2011, 15 in 2012, 6 in 2013, 16 in 2014). I wouldn’t call that made of glass, and a contact injury like a broken leg doesn’t necessarily make him injury prone.

    • mr.anderson

      Are you serious? Cobb has taken countless brutal hits over the middle and not only does he hold onto the ball but he pops back up like nothing happened. Watch the play where he breaks his leg and tell me the result would have been different for anyone else in the league.

    • GorillaNationUSA

      Cobb is tough, not made of glass. Nobody would have not been injured on that cheap hit that Matt Elam put on the defenseless planted leg like on Cobb.
      Despite that, I do not want Cobb carrying the ball more. It needs to be less, and more of a surprise, rarity.

      My projected 53-man Packers roster> http://www.packersmagazine.com/

  • Savage57

    Much like the Julius Peppers-as-a-receiver experiment that was tried once and never seen again because it didn’t work, I’d like to see Cobb get more chances to run the ball with designed pass-options.

    As a former QB who is also game-smart, according to no more credible observer than AR, Cobb seeing a few of those opportunities every season just adds another preparation requirement to an opposing defense. The run-pass quandary, a la Edelman that it creates and could impose on LB’s and DB’s, would just be another level of “now what” the Packers could throw at teams.

  • GorillaNationUSA

    We do not want Cobb carrying the ball more…. we want less of that.

    Rajion Neal is good enough to carry the ball effectively on this team.
    So is Crockett.

    Montgomery should be nothing more than Josh Cribbs this year, a KICK return specialist.

    Micah Hyde is already a great PUNT returner.

    If recovered, Abbrederis should hold the #4 WR job down easily with his year in the system. Still not sure about Janis as it seems the coaches are not in love with him, despite him making plays when given the chance.

    • Oppy

      Janis has a very high ceiling simply for the fact that when he arrived in GB he was an atrocious.. I mean, atrocious, route runner. When your collegiate highlight film is jam-packed with ugly, ugly routes, you know you’re a poor route runner. Janis made his mark in the college with explosive speed that marked his athletic advantage over the competition he faced. Green Bay’s entire offense calls for precision and timing, and its QB demands it along with supreme understanding.

      If Janis works at his craft, he has the chance to become an amazing tool for this offense. The question really is, exactly how far has he come, and how far does he have to go?

      • Tundraboy

        Hope he did a Hubbard and put in that time this offseason he needed to. He’s already in pretty good shape.

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  • Tundraboy

    That is absolutely the least of our concerns. What happened to finding #3.? Plan should be simple. If in the process of finding a 3,and that 3 exceeds expectations, then you MIGHT consider spitting 2 and 3’s time. Keep it simple and there is no need to even consider this.