11

April

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: RB Marion Grice

Marion Grice

RB Marion Grice

Packers prospect profile:  RB Marion Grice

Player Information:

Marion Grice  RB, Arizona State,  6-0, 208 pounds  Hometown: Houston, TX

STATS

Personal Pro Day:

40 time: 4.61 (unofficial)

Vertical jump: 32″

225 lb. bench: 14 reps

Broad jump: 8′ 01″

News and Notes:

Did not participate in NFL Combine or ASU’s Pro Day workouts due to a leg injury suffered late last season. . .Second team All Pac-12 in 2013. . . scored 20 touchdowns in 2013, one of only fifteen backs in the Pac-10/12 to accomplish that feat in the last 36 seasons. . . 2013 Hornung award finalist (nation’s most versatile player). . .scored at least one touchdown in 10 straight games in 2013. . .507 kick return yards in 2013

What they’re saying about him: 

  • CBSSports.com:  Shows good plant-and-go burst with the patience and instant acceleration to let defenders over-pursue before surging for positive yardage. Talented ballcarrier, willing blocker and reliable pass catcher out of the backfield. Isn’t the most impressive-looking prospect with a lean body type and upright running style. Needs to show more finishing toughness and lacks many distinguishable traits.
  • NFL.com:  Good balance and body control. Has loose ankles and very good lateral agility. Explosive one-cut ability. Displays vision and elusiveness in the open field. Sees the cutback and weaves in and out of traffic. Has some wiggle to shake tacklers in space. Good receiver — bursts into routes, adjusts to passes and has soft hands. Fumbled only once the last two seasons. Blue-collar work ethic. Solid character. Has a lean, narrow frame. Needs to bulk up and get stronger. Not equipped to pound between the tackles — gets tall inside and doesn’t push the pile (soft on contact). Weak tackle-breaker who cannot be counted on for yards after contact. Can become a more disciplined route runner. Questionable awareness in pass protection. Statistical production belies inconsistency.

Video:

 

Video Analysis:.

  • Has quickness and can elude tacklers despite a lack of burning speed
  • Here’s the versatility: runner and pass catcher.  Good hands and ability to find an open spot in passing game
  • Very poor in pass protection and could be a liability in that area
  • Has a decent burst through the hole but doesn’t create much for himself.  Not always very decisive
18

March

Packers Re-Sign RB Starks to Two-Year Deal

James Starks

Starks returns to Green Bay on a two-year deal

The Green Bay Packers have re-signed running back James Starks to a two-year contract.  The news broke last night via ESPN’s Adam Schefter (who else?) and his famous Twitter account.

Starks had just finished a visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers when he came to terms with the Packers.

Starks was a sixth-round draft pick for Green Bay in 2010.  He was placed on the physically unable to perform list after suffering an injury during training camp.  He made his debut in November of that year and was an instrumental piece to the Packers’ Super Bowl run that season.

Starks has had more than his fair share of injuries throughout his brief career, but when healthy, has proven to be effective in a tandem-type role.

The Packers currently have six running backs under contract:  Starks, Eddie Lacy, DuJuan Harris, Johnathan Franklin, Michael Hill and Orwin Smith.  Fullback John Kuhn may also return.  Hill and Smith would seem to be long shots to make the team’s roster this season, barring an injury.

Starks was thought to be on his way out of Green Bay heading into last year’s offseason when he had a strong training camp and pre season and found himself back in green and gold.  He likely faces a similar challenge this offseason, although the multiple year deal would indicate that the Packers probably have Starks in their plans for the 2014 season.

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on "AllGreenBayPackers.com

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15

January

Packers Running Back Gets Pro Bowl Nod

Andrew Quarless (81) and Eddie Lacy (27) turned in big games for the Packers against the Dallas Cowboys, and in the process, may have saved Green Bay's season.

With Adrian Peterson unable to play due to injury, Eddie Lacy joins the Pro Bowl roster

Green Bay Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy was added to the Pro Bowl roster on Wednesday.  Lacy will replace Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who won’t play due to injury.

Lacy becomes the first Packers rookie running back selected to the Pro Bowl since John Brockington in 1971 and the first Packers back to appear on a Pro Bowl roster since Ahman Green in 2004.

Under the new Pro Bowl format, players will no longer represent their conference, but instead will be part of a live draft to take place on January 22nd.  Honorary captains and Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will each draft their own roster.  The game is set for Sunday, January 26th in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

While Lacy is no Adrian Peterson, he proved to be just as valuable as the star Vikings back this season, carrying 284 times for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns.  Lacy also caught 35 balls for nearly 250 yards.

He did all of that while appearing in 15 games, which was really 14 as Lacy was knocked out of the week two game after just one carry with a concussion against the Washington Redskins.  He fumbled only once all season long back in week one against the San Francisco 49ers.

When quarterback Aaron Rodgers was lost for eight games due to injury, Lacy became the centerpiece of the team’s offense.  During that span, Lacy scored eight of his touchdowns and 730 of his total yards on the season.

Earlier this week, the Pro Football Writers Association voted Lacy their rookie of the year.  The Associated Press will soon announce their selections for offensive and defensive rookies of the year, which tend to be more decorated honors than the PFWA’s currently is.  Lacy is said to be one of the frontrunners for the AP’s offensive award along with San Diego Chargers wide receiver Kennan Allen.  Allen received the PFWA award for offensive rookie of the year.  The AP designates a rookie of the year on each side of the ball whereas the PFWA awards an overall rookie as well as an offensive and defensive player.

20

September

Ruling Down The Merriweather Hits

A lot of fans were angry and confused in regards to the Brandon Merriweather hits on Eddie Lacy and James Starks.  And rightly so, Eddie Lacy suffered a concussion on his first carry and was done for the day and naturally there was a lot of outrage as to why no penalty flag was thrown.

Afterwards, many fans have been calling for more consistency in terms of penalties, as they don’t understand why Merriweather wasn’t penalized on the Lacy hit but Dashon Goldson and Bernard Pollard were.  Obviously Packers fans were a little happier with “karma” being served with Merriweather ultimately knocking himself out on the James Starks’ hit but some Washington Redskins fans have complained that actually Starks should have been penalized for knocking Merriweather out (which is pretty ridiculous since defensive players attack the offense, not the other way around).

I think that realistically fans don’t really understand the rules of the game and only use them when it benefits their team, so in an effort to see what the rules are exactly and how they apply to these hits, I’ve gone through the NFL rulebook and some of their ruling memos in an attempt to see what exactly is going on.

Brandon Merriweather hit on Eddie Lacy (click to see the video)

From the first look I think many fans would claim that this should have been a penalty because Merriweather leads with the crown of his helmet on Eddie Lacy, who appears to trip over Jordy Nelson (who was blocking), gets turned towards the sideline and therefore does not see Merriweather coming.  The rule that most fans are thinking about in this case is Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7 (b): Players in a defenseless posture.

Prohibited contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture is:

(1)Forcibly hitting the defenseless player’s head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder, regardless of whether the defensive player also uses his arms to tackle the defenseless player by encircling or grasping him; or

(2)Lowering the head and making forcible contact with the top/crown or forehead/”hairline” parts of the helmet against any part of the defenseless player’s body; or

30

August

Packers News: Team to work out Joe McKnight

Joe McKnight will work out for the Packers on Saturday morning.

Joe McKnight will work out for the Packers on Saturday morning.

Running back Joe McKnight, formerly of the New York Jets, announced via Twitter that he is headed to Green Bay.

(UPDATE: According to ProFootballTalk, citing multiple sources, McKnight is only in Green Bay for a tryout.)

McKnight, 25, was cut during the 75-man reduction last week, which makes the timing of the signing a little odd.  McKnight has been the backup running back and primary kick returner for the Jets since 2010 after being drafted in the 4th round by New York.  Overall, he’s returned nine punts with a 9.9 yard average (long of 25 yards) and 76 kick off returns with a 29.0 yard average (long of 107 yards).

One possible explanation for the Jets decision to cut McKnight have been a lingering concussion injury that McKnight suffered this offseason and a bizarre off-the-field incident involving twitter and the media.

As no corresponding moves or cuts have been made by the Packers as they work to get to the 53 man roster limit, it will be surprising to see how the Packers work McKnight unto their roster.  Perhaps most in danger of losing their spots are back up running backs James Starks, Alex Green and kick returner/wide receiver Jeremy Ross.

Rookie running back Johnathan Franklin might also be in danger of being cut, but that’s less likely considering his 4th-round draft status during the last draft.  Either way it’s a telling piece of information; the Packers are likely not happy with either their running back and/or their returner situation and are looking at other options.

This might be Thompson is just keeping his emergency list up to date or might be an indication that he’s not all that happy at running back and/or returner.

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Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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27

August

Packers News: Dujuan Harris to IR

The Packers have announced that running back Dujuan Harris has been placed on IR, ending his 2013 season before it even started.  This perhaps culminates a star-crossed offseason for Harris, who coming in to the offseason looked like the Packers starter.  During the training camp physical, a fist sized cyst was found in Harris’ lung which forced him to miss much of the beginning of training camp.  Once allowed to return, Harris was again hobbled by a knee injury, which finally looked behind Harris coming into the 3rd preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks.  Unfortunately, Harris appears to have re-injured the same knee in the 2nd quarter and did not return to the game.

 

 

Afterwards, Harris sought out a second opinion and apparently the news did not come back well and thus Mike McCarthy has announced that Harris will be placed on IR.  No news has been announced if the Packers will decide to use the IR/Designated to Return tag on Harris, which would allow him to return after week 6 of the regular season.

With Harris out, Eddie Lacy presumably becomes the defacto starting running back with Johnathan Franklin, Alex Green and James Starks as backups.

 

Update:

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Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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8

July

Packers Undrafted Rookie Scouting Report: Angelo Pease, RB K-State

I had so much fun doing player profiles for the 2013 draft I figured that I should give the undrafted rookies the same treatment; after all, since they are definitely on the Packers roster, why take a closer look going into to training camp.  So far I’ve done video analysis on Pease, Lane Taylor, Tyrone Walker and Patrick Lewis, but I’m open to doing more if commenters have requests, however, since most of these guys are from small schools or relatively unknown, finding quality tape on them has been quite difficult.

Player Information:

  • Angelo Pease, RB K-State
  • 5’10”/211 lbs
  • Hometown – Cairo, Georgia

 

Pro Day:

  • 40 yard: 4.50
  • 20 yard: 2.57
  • 10 yard: 1.62
  • Bench: 25
  • Vertical: 32
  • Broad:113
  • Shuttle: 4.44
  • 3-cone: 7.08

 

Introduction:

While many fans were exuberant when the Packers draft not one but two running backs in the draft in Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, it was actually the undrafted rookie running back that made a name for himself during the rookie camp.  Angelo Pease even got the notice of head coach Mike McCarthy: “That’s a big time cut.  Frankly I thought it was Eddie Lacy, the way he dropped his weight and hit the hole.  Those are the things we’re looking for.”  Of course, flashing in shorts against a bunch of guys with zero NFL experience has to be taken with a grain of salt, but the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel recently predicted that Pease could land on the practice squad, if not the 53 man roster itself.

Media Analysis:

None.  Talk about under the radar

 

Video:

Analysis:

  • The jump cut is his best move and he loves to use it, even sometimes at the expense of yardage and losing momentum
  • Definitely not a focal point of the offense, only 96 carries in his college career
  • Good blocker given K-States’ spread offense; whether he knows how to pick up the blitz in a west coast offense is a different issue
  • Has experience as a wildcat quarterback, take that for what its worth.  As a former quarterback in high school I’m not surprised he looks a lot more at ease playing quarterback than at running back.