Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'll Just Throw This Out There

I believe that Ryan Grant is an average running back. He is frustrating to watch in that he is not at all flashy, and rarely breaks tackles. He is an average receiver. He has average speed. It takes him an average of 10 games to get to his peak. He averages 2.9 yards a carry (not actually). He is the type of back that does nothing to scare another team, yet at the end of the year he has 1,200 yards and 8 TDs. By starting him and giving him 98% of the carries, the Packers are basically saying to the opponents "We are going to run it three times in the first quarter to keep you honest, and if we get up by three TDs we will run. Otherwise, you can expect a heavy dose of A-Rodg. Please plan accordingly." I don't necessarily hate this offense, even though it is predictable. But it would be nice to have some kind of threat or at least a change of pace. The majority of the teams that run effectively do it with more than one back. Brandon Jackson has shown some flashes, but isn't given much opportunity, and hasn't shown he can stay healthy when given 2 carries a game. Ahman Green was arguably more effective than Grant, but again, was not given an opportunity.

I think you know where I am going here. And because every sports talk radio program in the country is bringing it up, I figured I would give you the opinion of a card carrying member (it went through the wash and then was stolen, but still) of Packer Nation. Would the Pack consider signing LDT or Westbrook's corpse? How about Thomas Jones when he gets executed (figuratively) by the Jets later this week?

We need to make a few assumptions in order for this to work. First, lets assume that Ted Thompson knows how to use a phone. Or that at least he has gotten it fixed since he signed Woodson. Second, lets assume that those backs are willing to share time, and willing to do so at a reasonable price for a year or two in order for a shot at a title, and believe that the Packers have a chance to do that (which while not exceedingly likely, is not insane). Third, the backs are healthy enough to play part time (not a guarantee with Westbrook, who should probably retire before his brain completely leaks out of his head).

If all those conditions were met, the Packers definitely have to consider it. What could it hurt? Grant is already probably past his prime. And the Pack will be looking to the future either this year or next for a RB early-ish in the draft. If you aren't giving those backs 20 carries a game, I think they would be nice options to split time with Grant for a year. Windows in the NFL are extremely short, and I think the Pack has an opportunity to go for it in the next year or two. It might fail miserably, but I think it is a chance they should consider.

On the player's side, they need to take a look at Shaun Alexander (both famous in the OJSFA AND for some reason on a bag of Doritos the other day in a Seahawks uniform) and realize that they aren't going to get a huge payday from anyone. Also, off the top of my head, I can't think of a team that needs a running back bad enough to sign them to start.

LDT, Westbrook and Jones, even at 80% are just as good as Grant, and an upgrade over Jackson. If they aren't going to go there for whatever reason (someone could throw money at LDT, although I would be pretty surprised), I think they need to think about a back in the first half of the draft. It isn't their biggest need by any means, but it is a position that generally requires either a strong time share or a dominant star, and the Packers have neither.

Or they could just let A-Rodg throw it 50 times a game and try to break all of His records just to "get revenge" on Him. Either way I guess.


gotwinkies said...

I saw the Pack signed former UW standout (not Bucky U or Washington) Derrick Martin.

So, congrats on those 12 deep balls he will give up in the first 3 weeks.

Juicelaw said...

He sucks.

Unkown Blogger said...

it was resigned, and being the HUGE Vikings fan you are maybe you should have noticed when he started for the pack against them this year... Good luck with Traveriousases and Sage next year

gotwinkies said...

Sorry. I just assumed they cut him at some point last year and this was a "signing" not a "resigning".

Yes, I enjoyed watching _______ throw that deep ball right past Martin on Monday night in the Metrodome.

I saw the game ass.