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Starks shows improvement with reads, vision

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Packers running back James Starks faced heavy criticism the first quarter of 2011 for his questionable vision. His numbers were steady enough – 57 yards (Saints), 85 yards (Panthers), 63 yards (Broncos). But there was the 5-yard effort against the Bears that brought the talk to a crescendo. Even in the other games, Starks seemed to leave additional yardage on the field by missing a hole or cutting inside when there was room outside or vice-versa. The criticism has quieted recently as Starks has been much better in his decision-making. “I thought he ran the ball well the other day,” offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. “There were one or two, one in particular, that we thought his read could be a little better. But even that play he gained a couple yards. He was decisive enough that he got some yardage on his own. I think it’s gradually improved. “Like anything else in football, the line can help him with his reads sometimes. If they’re decisively moving a guy and if the picture is pretty clear for him, from a defensive standpoint. We give him an initial key, whether it’s a defensive end, a linebacker, the nose, tackle – everything is kind of based off that. If we’re doing a good job up front and we’re moving that key for him, one way or the other it helps clarify the picture for him. So, it’s a little bit of a joint thing, but certainly repetition and experience has benefited him as well.”

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