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Packers plan to push the pedal with Lacy, RBs

Feb. 21, 2014
 
In Year Two, Packers coach Mike McCarthy envisions NFL offensive rookie of the year Eddie Lacy evolving into a legitimate every-down running back in Green Bay’s up-tempo offense. File/Press-Gazette Media
In Year Two, Packers coach Mike McCarthy envisions NFL offensive rookie of the year Eddie Lacy evolving into a legitimate every-down running back in Green Bay’s up-tempo offense. File/Press-Gazette Media

As a rookie, Eddie Lacy ignited the Green Bay Packers’ once-dormant rushing offense.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he envisions Eddie Lacy evolving into a legitimate every-down running back in his second year.

The Packers tried that earlier in the season, but eventually returned to fullback John Kuhn as their third-down back for pass-protection purposes in the 2-minute offense.

Although there’s a good chance they could re-sign Kuhn as a safety net, McCarthy wants the NFL offensive rookie of the year and the rest of the backfield to develop more into three-down players.

The reason for that goes back to the Packers’ preference to use the no-huddle as their base offense when quarterback Aaron Rodgers is healthy. The more a running back can stay on the field means the fewer substitutions they have to make during a series.

“Eddie Lacy obviously had a heck of a year,” McCarthy said. “Eddie’s focus is on being a three-down player. He has to play all three downs throughout the whole game. With that, I think we can get an even better rotation than we had this year with our running back group. I actually thought our running back group rotation-wise has been as good as it’s been in my time in Green Bay.

“If all these guys can play three downs, it gives your offense the chance to play faster, keeps guys fresher. Keeps them more in a rhythm, you don’t have as much substitution.”

McCarthy also mentioned he’s hopeful second-year running back Johnathan Franklin will be back next season after suffering a neck injury in November that landed him on injured reserve.

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