Monday, June 20, 2016

Did The Packers Do Enough This Offseason: Run Offense

Unlike the Green Bay Packers' pass offense, which will only improve if a number of things go right (Nelson is healthy, Cook is a good free agent fit, the offensive line is healthy), the run offense simply needs more from RB Eddie Lacy:
Lacy's weight has been an issue for at least the past two seasons, and I could probably find articles about it during his rookie season if I tried to find them. He was reportedly down to 240 lbs. in April, which is still a lot for a running back, and losing weight should make him faster. That's not too important at the line of scrimmage, but it could turn some 10 yard runs into big plays.

RB James Starks. Starks was one of the worst running backs who had more than 100 carries last season, according to Football Outsiders. He's valuable as a pass protector and receiver, which is why it was a good move to re-sign him as a 3rd down back, but he's not going to replace Lacy unless they have no other choice.

The offensive line. Though they didn't miss many games, every starter on the offensive line missed some time with injuries. Unfortunately it seems like wishful thinking that a veteran offensive line would return the following season in better shape then they were the year before but that's the hope.

OTs Kyle Murphy and Jason Spriggs. Two of the three offensive players drafted last April were lineman who might help the running game. Murphy's the latter round selection but he's arguably better as a run blocker (he blocked last season for Heisman finalist Christian McCaffrey last season) while Spriggs is more likely to be the athletic, pass blocking offensive tackle of the future. Though Murphy could help as a run blocker, he's not going to take over the starting job from any of the projected starters, he might be helpful as an extra tackle on short yardage situations.

Short of drafting a rookie running back to challenge Lacy in 2016, except it wasn't much of a 2016 draft class headlined by Ezekiel Elliott and Derrick Henry as the top choices, the best way to improve the run offense was to ask more from Lacy this year. Based on his 2013 and 2014 seasons, his improvement is probably their best bet next season.

1 comment:

Green Bay Windows said...

Eddie Lacy is a huge part of this team and he needs to be at his best if the Packers want to go deep in the playoffs.