I truly believe that Eddie Lacy has the chance to be one of the best running backs in Packer history.
But there’s one aspect of Lacy’s game that scares me.
He is like a tough sponge because he absorbs so much punishment. He was nicked up with a concussion and the nagging ankle injury this year.
And in the following years, it very well could be something else.
Lacy isn’t the Barry Sanders-esque back that relishes in making people miss. Lacy attacks the line of scrimmage with the mentality of a middle line backer. He would rather hit and knock someone over as opposed to run circles around him.
That’s not to say he doesn’t flash the occasional spin, stutter step or cut back in an effort to churn more yardage and move the chains.
But Lacy is and will always be the Packers’ road grader. He was fourth in the NFL this year with nearly 19 carries a game and he did most of that while dealing with some sort of ailment.
And the thing that really sticks out to me is that he was sixth in the NFL in yards after contact with 647. And he did all that while trying learn a new playbook, understand a new coach and coexist with four starting quarterbacks this year.
However, Lacy has to know that he cannot keep giving his body that type of punishment for his entire career. The exponential force of getting tidal wave-tackled by defensive players that want to tattoo their helmet into his chest is incredible.
I’m sure Mike McCarthy and the rest of the offense will have a talk with him, if they haven’t already, about being smart. Things like knowing when it’s necessary to risk life and limb for the extra three yards or just live to see another day and go out-of-bounds.
Lacy is the perfect franchise back for Green Bay, except for the fact that he gets asthma when it gets cold. You could see several times this past year where defenses wanted no part of tackling that padded-up piece of rolling thunder.
It may be hard for guys that have been in the league less than five years to think about a career, but at running back Lacy has to think about his career all the time. Running backs have become less valuable in this new-world passing NFL, so in order to prove his worth he has to stay on the field.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn