Nov 20, 2011; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back James Starks against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Lambeau Field. The Packers won 35-26. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE

How the Packers' Running Game Will Impact the 2012 Season

Happy 4th of July everyone! What day could be better than to talk about the future of the Packers’ running game?

Last season featured the running back tandem of Ryan Grant and James Starks. Both players played effectively and were enough to keep opposing defenses at least on their feet.

Now with Grant being a free agent, how will the Packers’ running game look this year? Since no major moves were made to add another running back, most can assume it will have James Starks being the featured back and Alex Green, who is coming off injured reserve, to be his back-up. Playing time for these two backs may depend on training camp, though. Alex Green, last year, never really got to show what he was made of because of his injury so this could be his break-out season.

One player I would like to see more of is 2nd year veteran Brandon Saine out of Ohio State. He was undrafted last season and did not even play a snap for the Green Bay Packers until week 12. Although his touches were limited, he made the most out of his opportunities and may play a larger role then most may think for the Pack this coming season. Saine’s main attribute and where he will probably see the most playing time this year, will not be running the ball but catching it out of the backfield. In his limited touches last season, Saine caught 10 catches for 69 yards. It’s not staggering but it shows that he has the potential to become a threat as a receiver coming out of the backfield. Do not be surprised if he becomes a primary third down back for the Packers in 2012.

It’s hard to say how the backfield will exactly look with training camp still to come, but it’s never too early to start thinking about. Although the Packers are known for their prolific passing game, do not be surprised if the Pack can assemble a better running game then last year which could add just another dimension to the Packer offense.

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Tags: Brandon Saine James Starks Offense Packers Running Back Ryan Grant Training Camp

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