The next few weeks are a job interview for James Starks

Eddie Lacy had 22 more carries than James Starks on Sunday night because Mike McCarthy had a hard time putting his hot hand on ice.
Eddie Lacy had 22 more carries than James Starks on Sunday night because Mike McCarthy had a hard time putting his hot hand on ice.

I understand why coach Mike McCarthy quickly said he wanted the carries to be closer to equal last week.

He doesn’t want to overwork his rookie running back.

But, then again, he can’t take Eddie Lacy off the field because it was evident the deeper the game went on, the more the Vikings defenders didn’t want to tackle him.

I’ve said countless times how important a chain and clock mover is for the Packers. It allows them to have a lead late in games and not worry about short yardage situations to rack up first downs, keep the clock spinning and put a loss muzzle on the opponent — without them having a chance to do anything.

So, remind me again, where does James Starks fit in? The last time he had more than 10 carries was a month ago.

But I’ll tell you where Starks fits in. General manager knows and understands what things are worth and he would like to get some value out of the contract he gave him in 2010.

Starks is a free agent after this season. There’s no reason for the Packers to hang on to a 27-year-old injury risk that has never played a full season in his four-year career.

McCarthy wants to keep plugging Starks in there as a way to keep motivating Lacy but Thompson wants Starks on the field to showcase his ability and show other teams what he can do.

Other teams know that Starks is a wild card and if they see a glimmer of hope, there’s a pretty good chance they will dangle a draft pick that Thompson so loves to use.

If you don’t believe me, look around the league. Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis were brought in off the street by the Giants. A team that has captured two Super Bowls in four years should have a decent idea of talent evaluation and here are the Giants taking gambles on guys off the scrap heap.

Now, Starks wasn’t picked off the scrap heap. I remember when he ran strong and powerful for the University of Buffalo. Those days are few and far between now.

Just how often will Starks get in when Lacy continues to run the football well? The answer is never. Lacy is a leading Rookie of the Year candidate and McCarthy isn’t crazy enough to have a timeshare right down the middle while Lacy is knocking defenders down like bowling pins.

Starks has to treat the next few months as a job interview because no team is going to invest in a four-year player that can’t beat out a rookie.



Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn