24

February

James Starks Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card

Packers RB James Starks

Packers RB James Starks

1) Introduction:  James Starks was, if anything, an afterthought prior to the Packers’ 2013 season. After Ted Thompson spent a pair of draft picks on Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, the thought was that the rookies, along with a returning DuJuan Harris and/or Alex Green would make up the Packers’ backfield rotation. But that was not the case, as Harris didn’t play a single snap this season, and Green was cut before the season began. Starks was back. And he was pretty good, too.

2) Profile:

James Darell Starks

  • Age: 27
  • Born: 2/25/1986 in Niagara Falls, NY
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 218
  • College: Buffalo
  • Rookie Year: 2010
  • NFL Experience: 4 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Slim to none. Two roster spots were claimed by rookies Lacy and Franklin, while DuJuan Harris was expected to play a major role after coming on strong late in the 2012-13 season as the feature back. Starks was very much on the roster bubble headed into training camp.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: The highlight of Starks’ season, individually, was undoubtedly week two against the Washington Redskins. After Lacy suffered a concussion on the game’s first possession, Starks was thrust into the starting role and responded with a 132-yard day on the ground. Starks’ performance against the Chicago Bears in week 17 (88 rushing yards) is worth an honorable mention. As far as low-lights, it’s hard to really pinpoint anything in particular. He exceeded expectations and tied a career high, appearing in 13 games.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success:  Lacy’s physical running style leaves him susceptible to hits like the one he suffered against the Redskins, so having a capable backup is essential for the Packers. Starks stepped up to the plate whenever he was called upon, and the offense really didn’t miss a beat. His 5.5-yards-per-carry average was easily the best on the team.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs:  Starks was good, not spectacular in the Packers’ playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers. He totaled 42 yards on six touches in relief of Lacy.

Season Report Card:

(A) Level of expectations met during the season

(C+) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(C+) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  B

23

February

Packers James Starks: 2012 Player Evaluation and Report Card

1) Introduction:  After missing his entire senior season at Buffalo due to injury, James Starks fell to the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. The Packers stashed him on the PUP list to start the season before activating him for their week 13 game against the San Francisco 49ers. Starks was the Packers’ starting running back during the team’s run to the Super Bowl in 2010. But in his second season, Starks was nothing more than an average running back on a pass-happy team. He entered 2012 as the team’s starter, but expectations were limited.

2) Profile:

James Darell Starks

  • Age: 26
  • Born: 02/25/1986, in Niagara Falls, NY
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 218
  • College: Buffalo
  • Rookie Year: 2010
  • NFL Experience: 3 years

 Career stats and more:

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Starks was the starter coming into the season, playing ahead of second-year player Alex Green. But after a porous performance in the team’s preseason opener in San Diego, the team realized Starks may not be the answer. As a result, the Packers signed veteran Cedric Benson in hopes that he’d help revive a struggling running game.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights:  After the preseason opener against the Chargers on August 9, turf toe kept Starks out of the lineup until October 14 against the Houston Texans. The early-season injury was more of the same for Starks. But with Benson out for the season and Alex Green struggling as the starter, Starks became a more important part of the offense late in the season. The highlight of his 2012 season was against the Minnesota Vikings when he rushed for 66 yards on 15 carries, including a 22-yard touchdown run.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success:  Starks totaled 255 rushing yards on 71 carries throughout the season. The team’s production in the running game wasn’t anything more than average, and Starks, appearing in just six games, was only a minor contributor to the team’s overall success on the ground.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs:  Starks missed the team’s last four regular season games and didn’t appear in either of the Packers’ postseason games.

Season Report Card:

(D) Level of expectations met during the season

(D) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(F) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: D-