Brandon Jackson has proven himself valuable, but probably doesn't fit into the Packers' 2011 plans. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Jackson has run himself out of Green Bay

Nobody is quite sure what the free agency period will look like. Depending on if and when the CBA is signed no doubt the signing period will be fast and furious.
For the green Bay Packers, signing their own free agents has been a top priority for general manager Ted Thompson … That is the free agents that fit into the team’s plans.
I don’t see either Dmitri Nance nor Brandon Jackson fitting as the start of camp nears. With Ryan Grant returning and the late-season emergence of James Starks, those two seem to be locks for making the regular season roster. 
In addition, with the drafting of Alex Green this past April, it seems the Packer are saying adios to both Jackson and Nance, though Nance could have a chance of making it onto the practice squad.
Like the Packers’ stance with receiver James Jones (see yesterday’s blog) I can’t see the Packers shelling out big bucks for a back that was literally handed the starting job last fall when Ryan Grant went down in the first game and played himself out of the starting position.
With Jackson in the backfield, the Packers were pathetic. It improved a bit with John Kuhn,  but it wasn’t until Starks took over last December that the Packers running game started to show signs of life. 
We all know what happened to the running game in the playoffs last year and even some of that success was due to Jackson – especially in the backfield blocking schemes. Jackson has his upside – it’s his blocking and skills in the open field … However, his limited abilities between the tackles makes him a liability. The Packers can absorb his loss and not miss a beat. 
What will be interesting is the new guy … Rookies are always exciting to watch and Green’s abilities are sure to be on display early and often when the preseason commences. 
No doubt the action given to Grant and Starks this preseason will be limited, and any free agents and rookies will be given the most work.
But whomever gets the work, the Packers as a team have to get a lot better at running the ball if the team has any chance of winning the Central Division and advancing in the playoffs.
In fact, at least one person’s evaluation of the NFC North’s teams and their running attacks placed the Packers dead last.
Matt Williamson of Scouts, Inc. Ranked the Minnesota Vikings, with Adrian Peterson as the best running back squad in the division, followed by the Lions, the Bears and the Packers.
Here’s what Williamson had to say about the Packers: “The Packers have quite a few options at running back — as they do at seemingly every position. But in this case, there isn’t one guy who stands out head-and-shoulders above the others. Brandon Jackson may or may not be back in 2011 and Williamson feels that Dimitri Nance figures to be on the outside looking in when the final roster is announced.”
By the time the regular season opener rolls around in September, the roster will include some different names … Players that head coach Mike McCarthy hopes will give his team a better chance of striking fear into opponents. 
Most likely, Brandon Jackson won’t be part of it.

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Alex Green Brandon Jackson Dmitri Nance Green Bay Packers James Starks Mike McCarthy Minnesota Vikings NFC NFL Ryan Grant Ted Thompson Winning Isn't Everything, It's The Only Thing

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