Talented young running back should contribute in 2012
Regardless of which players general manager Ted Thompson chooses in the upcoming draft, I doubt any of them will excite me as much as a young player already on the roster. I’m referring to Alex Green, the second-year running back whose rookie season was ended by a torn ACL in week 7. According to Mike McCarthy, rehabilitation is going well. “Alex looks really good,” said the coach. “Seeing him in the weight room every day, he looks like he’s really progressing.” That’s obviously great news for the player, and it’s also great news for the team. A healthy Green should make one of the most dynamic offenses in league history even better.
Green, who is blessed with both size (6’0, 225) and speed (4.44), averaged over 8 yards per carry as a senior. So why was he still available at the end of round three? There were a few reasons. Scouts were wary because Hawaii used a spread offense, which meant there were often gaping holes for Green to run through. Projecting how he’d fare in a more traditional scheme was a problem. So was his penchant for fumbling. He put the ball on the ground 8 times in 271 touches. Throw in the devaluation of the running back in today’s NFL, and it isn’t all that shocking that 95 players were selected before Green’s name came off the board.
Even after spending a week at practice and watching every snap of every game from August through January, it’s still difficult to evaluate Green as a runner. Practice is just practice. Running plays against your own teammates is hardly the same as taking a handoff against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in late December. And the preseason is just the preseason. Running behind offensive linemen and against defensive linemen who’ll soon be pumping gas or flipping burgers is hardly conducive to evaluating a halfback. So what makes me so excited about Green? Take a look:
I realize it was only one play, but that screen pass was a thing of beauty. Watch how easily Green caught the ball, how quickly he turned up field and how much patience he showed. Then watch the moves he put on in the open field. There aren’t many 225-pound backs who can do that. He reminded me of a combination of Dorsey Levens and Ahman Green. That’s why this young man is going to be a huge addition to the offense in ’12 – regardless of whether he ever carries the ball. Ryan Grant and James Starks are reliable out of the backfield, but neither has the ability to make tacklers miss in the open field. And that’s exactly what an offense needs when going up against defenses that are scared to death about getting beat deep by Greg Jennings or Jordy Nelson or down the seam by Jermichael Finley.
Assuming the knee is OK and the fumbling issue is resolved, the only thing that could keep Green from making an impact next season is an inability to pick up the blitz. McCarthy won’t put a back in the game on third down unless he can be counted on to protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Green has the physical and the mental skills needed to do the job. He has good base strength and he pays close attention to detail. His biggest problem last summer was mostly technique. While he was usually quick to locate targets in traffic, he didn’t always face up defenders. If he’s healthy enough to participate in a full training camp, I wouldn’t expect this to be an issue once the regular season begins.
As Nike unveiled the new 2012 uniforms, a few of them appeared to be fairly unchanged. It’s not too surprising that the Green Bay Packers were the first of five teams to pass on Nike’s new designs. Their uniforms are rooted in their history and it would sadden the Packer’s allegiant fans to see anything
Three Fat Guys wine. It's a silly name for a pricey bottle of cabernet sauvignon, but that's exactly the way that these three NFL offensive linemen like it.
Daryn Colledge, Tony Moll and Jason Spitz -- all of whom were drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 2006 -- spent the past several years working to create their very own wine label. With business opportunities now coming...
It’s safe to say Donald Driver is going after the DWTS title with a driven lunacy. He just may wind up winning it.
Green Bay Packers risqué receiver DONALD DRIVER is pulling out all the stops (and starts) with his fourth dance routine during Rock Week on Dancing With The Stars. Check his latest performance…
Never mind that Dancin’ Donald looks like a tattooed Michael Jordan...
It only took one hit, one sudden moment for the life and career of Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins to change forever. In week 2 of the 2011 NFL season, in a game against the Carolina Panthers, Collins went to make an ordinary tackle, like he's done a thousand times, yet this time, Collins neck collided awkwardly with Carolina running back Jonathan...
Despite Rob Gronkowski’s lame theatrics, Calvin Johnson advanced to the semifinals of the Madden ’13 cover tournament. It wasn’t much of a contest as Megatron beat Gronk 63% to 37%.
Calvin now faces intra-division rival, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Should he advance passed Rodgers, he will face the winner of San Francisco 49ers stud linebacker Patrick Willis and Carolina...
The San Francisco 49ers agreed to terms on a one-year deal with wide receiver Brett Swain, according to his agent.
Swain is a former Green Bay Packers seventh-round draft pick who caught six passes for 72 yards with three tackles on special teams two seasons ago.
Aaron Rodgers is the Champ of our way too early rankings.
Yes I know it seems a little early for Fantasy Football Rankings, yet the NFL Draft is just two weeks away and once that’s completed we are going to be on a crash course towards training camp, so Fantasy owners that want to get a step ahead, need to begin their research for the 2012 NFL season now!
Delivered to your inbox
receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web.
Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!
Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.