GREEN BAY - It was just four carries — coming on the first four plays of the game — but Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy was pleased with his preseason debut Friday against the Cleveland Browns.
He had good reason to be. Lacy gained 24 yards in his short sample size, averaging six yards per rush. His most critical carry came on his third snap, a third-and-1 from the Packers’ 24-yard line.
Three steps after taking the handoff from quarterback Joe Callahan, Lacy faced two unblocked Browns defenders at the line of scrimmage. He ran out of linebacker Demario Davis’ arm tackle, rumbling 11 yards for a first down.
Lacy, charged with trimming weight this offseason, said he feels different than last year. He specifically feels “more explosive” carrying the football.
“How fast you make the cut,” Lacy said. “How fast you get north and south out of the cut, and how fast you’re able to put your pad level down. Once you and that defender make contact, who goes backward? Or is it a stalemate?”
It wasn’t a stalemate Friday. Davis slid off Lacy, surrendering the first down. It was a “good start” for the Packers' No. 1 tailback, offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett said Sunday.
He was especially pleased with Lacy’s ability to break tackles.
“You see him finishing runs. Look at practice (Sunday), he’s finishing all the way on the other end of the field, getting that conditioning in. We just have to continue down that path being consistent.”
As a unit, it was a good start for the Packers' entire running game. With Callahan behind center, coach Mike McCarthy called running plays on the game’s first five snaps, and seven of the first eight. Those seven runs gained 35 yards, an average of five yards per carry.
“It’s just a glimpse,” Lacy said, “of what can happen — or what could possibly happen — but we definitely want to be physical. We want to come out and run the ball this year. We’ve got to make sure we’re ready for it, prepared for it.”
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