1) Introduction: Green Bay Packers running back/fullback John Kuhn has been a steady and dependable performer for eight seasons. A former street free agent from tiny Shippensburg State University he is Aaron Rodgers security blanket known as a dependable blocker, runner and receiver who rarely makes a mental error. His team mates rave about his physical and mental preparation; he has been described as another coaching presence on the field, a valuable resource for younger players. Kuhn signed a modest one year contract to return to the Packers this season and will soon become an unrestricted free agent.
John Allen Kuhn
- Age: 32
- Born: 9/9/1982 in Dover, PA
- Height: 6’0″
- Weight: 250
- College: Shippensburg
- Rookie Year: 2006
- NFL Experience: 9 years
3) Expectations coming into the season: There was little doubt that if the Packers made an offer to Kuhn, he would return for 2014. Along with AJ Hawk, Kuhn is the second longest tenured Packers player next to Aaron Rodgers. A valuable player even though his number of offensive plays has diminished as running back Eddie Lacy emerged. Never a speedster, Kuhn bulked up to 257 lbs for 2014 in an effort to be able to take on more rigorous blocking assignments.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights:
There was no glaring error, fumble or failure to make a critical play this past season. As both a tribute to his success and efforts, or perhaps an indication of how the fullback position has diminished, Kuhn was voted first team All-Pro Fullback and a starter in the Pro Bowl.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Kuhn played in all 16 games with 224 total snap counts and appeared in both playoff games. His numbers for the season were modest with only 27 carries for 92 yards. His blocking was only adequate. He caught a mere 6 passes for 33 yards up from a meager 12 yards the previous year. His special teams plays (105) were down from the previous season (124). According to Pro Football Focus, Kuhn was credited with 5.5 ‘bad runs’ as opposed to only 1 in 2013. A steady performer he has only fumbled twice, losing one in his entire Packers career.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Fans will long remember his goal line carry in Seattle resulting in what was originally scored as a touchdown, but reversed when he was ruled to be down mere inches from the goal line. He played 54 snaps in two post-season games and rushed 3 times for 7 yards, 2.3 yards per attempt. As usual he was assignment sure.
7. Intangibles: There are very few players on the Green Bay Packers roster who command more respect than Kuuuuuuuuuhn. Kuhn was voted to the Pro Bowl for his second time this past season. A fan favorite, a Rodgers protector and mentor for younger players, Kuhn will be a strong candidate for the Packers Hall of Fame sometime in the future. However there are very few 33 year old running backs in the NFL. If a minimum deal can be agreed upon after other younger key free agents are signed, he may be back for another season, but that is certainly not a given.
Season Report Card (Player Grades):
(C) Level of expectations met during the season
(C) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(C) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: C
Jeff Albrecht grew up just north of Green Bay and was lucky enough to attend some of the Lombardi Era classic games, like the 1962 championship and the Ice Bowl. Jeff went on to play HS football in the Green Bay area and College ball at UW - Stevens Point. Jeff is retired but still does some writing for his local paper. Jeff is a writer with AllGreenBayPackers.com and you can follow him on twitter at @pointerjeff .