Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Jun 2013

ESPN: Can Rookie Backs Solve Packers Run Woes?

A little deeper look into the nature of the Green Bay run game's nearly-average DVOA ratings over the past few seasons, plus an examination of what Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin bring to the table that last year's backs did not.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 18 Jun 2013

8 comments, Last at 03 Jul 2013, 9:23pm by LionInAZ

Comments

1
by peterplaysbass :: Mon, 06/24/2013 - 8:28am

"Can Rookie Backs Solve Packers Run Woes?"

Nope.

2
by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 06/24/2013 - 12:36pm

Maybe, if they can pass block.

I'm more interested in the rearrangement of the offensive line. The idea seems to be moving the right side to the left side. However, some of the right side wasn't that great where it was and it will be tougher for Bulaga on the left and I don't see how they've solved the newly created problem on the right.

3
by Arkaein :: Mon, 06/24/2013 - 2:38pm

There will be a 4-way competition in training camp for the RT spot.

Marshall Newhouse is the "incumbent" from the previous LT spot, Derek Sherrod is the former first round pick who has been derailed by injury but could be healthy and ready to contribute, and they also drafted a tackle from Colorado in the 4th round. There's also Don Barclay, the UDFA from last year who started at RT after Bulaga went down. He's shaky at pass pro but was a pretty good run blocker. He was a downgrade from Bulaga overall, but would probably be an upgrade over Newhouse, at least in the run game.

If Sherrod is truly healthy he should be an upgrade over Newhouse, and win the job. If Newhouse beats him out, the thinking is that he will be able to handle pass rushers on the right side more easily than he did the generally superior rushers on the left.

And I'm the camp that Bulaga is generally better than what non-Packers fans mostly seem to remember him for, which was the horrendous first half against Seattle last year, which was easily the worst he's played in his career.

Even if the rearrangement doesn't make a significant difference on it's own, the O-line should improve as long as Bulaga doesn't miss half the season like he did last year, and with a full season of Evan Dietrich-Smith at C instead of a washed up Jeff Saturday, like nearly all of last year.

8
by LionInAZ :: Wed, 07/03/2013 - 9:23pm

Evan Dietrich-Smith might be an adequate sub for a washed-up Jeff Saturday. The real question is whether he can make up for the loss of Scott Wells.

7
by LionInAZ :: Wed, 07/03/2013 - 9:21pm

This isn't about pass blocking. The Packers have had good blockers at RB and TE in Kuhn and Crabtree. This is about replacing the production the rushing production they had last when Ryan Grant was healthy. At this point I have to laugh at the history: Brandon Jackson, James Starks, Alex Green, and Cedric Benson... and I don't see any improvement on the OL even with the switch. The Packers have been grasping at draft picks to solve their rushing problems for 6 years now without any solution, and I don't see it happening now. Their main emphasis has to be keeping Aaron Rodgers off the turf and the IR.

4
by bobvsbob (not verified) :: Wed, 06/26/2013 - 11:55am

The Packers problem is not on offense. It's the defense that has always been the problem. If they had just an average defense they would have 3 super bowl rings in the last 3 years.

5
by Sifter :: Wed, 06/26/2013 - 7:27pm

This site ranks Green Bay 8th in defense last year...so you're not even close to right.

6
by fantasy (not verified) :: Fri, 06/28/2013 - 9:07am

Headline should read

"Has Packers O-line Improved?

Both backs have talent.. but the run game starts with the line. Lacy will be a fish out of water if the D-Line isn't parted like the red sea.