Well, we have to remember that it’s still June and that while the Packers are obliged to provide every opportunity to allow Green to compete for the starting running back position, we all know it’s all on paper. I think it’s pretty clear that Ted Thompson went out and drafted two high-quality running backs for a reason – to add depth and competition to the position, but to also allow those rookies to come in and compete.
My guess is that the table is set and that the rookies – Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin – are in place to slide into the majority of the team’s offensive schemes.
That’s not to say that Green or DuJuan Harris, James Starks or even undrafted free agent Angelo Pease won’t be competing for a spot on the 53-man roster come training camp. In fact, it’s expected that they will compete.
But to come out a month before training camp and announce that Green is the starter is simply fodder for debate.
No doubt, this will be one of the position competitions to watch and Green has as good of a shot at winning playing time as any of the backs who will hit the field in July. It’s also pretty clear that Green was forced into the full-time starting role last year before his knee was fully functional. Will he be 100 percent by July? It appears that way.
Here’s what Green had to say about his injured knee:
“That was the frustrating part. I’d go back, see a play and say, ‘I know I can make that cut’ or ‘I know I can break that tackle. I know I can explode.’ But physically, not being able to do it was frustrating. I knew that wasn’t the kind of player I am. That’s finally behind me. That’s finally behind me.
“Being able to cut without going, ‘Ahhh!’ and knowing in my head that it hurts terribly. So just being able to cut and not feel any pain and not think about it.”
In fact, despite his injured knee, he was the team’s leading rusher last season with 464 yards and a per-carry average of 3.4 yards. He didn’t find the end zone once. His role diminished by the end of the season last year when James Starks was thrown back into the lineup and after DuJuan Harris emerged as the team’s best runner the final month.
How it all plays out in the coming couple of months will be interesting.
Don’t get me wrong. I feel there is a place for Green on the Packers’ roster, but the team can’t keep everyone. My guess that when push comes to shove, James Starks will be either cut or traded, Angelo Pease (if he’s the real deal) will be hidden on the practice squad and the Packers go with Lacy, Franklin, Green and Harris.
What do you think, Packers fans? Is Green a legitimate threat to be the number one running back?