Let me explain.
There is no question that the Packers offense is built around QB1, Aaron Rodgers. His precision passing, efficiency in the pocket, and ability to find the open receiver make him arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. The crux of the deal is that for the better part of the past three seasons Rodgers has had a below average offensive line in front of him and an average or below average running back lining up behind him. The result of this scenario has been pass rushers simply pinning their ears back and coming for Rodgers.
In addition to Rodgers always being under duress, defenses have been able to drop an extra man deep in pass coverage without concern for getting beat by a Packers’ running back. Eddie Lacy, on the other hand, brings to the table the ability to slow the pass rushers down and make defensive coordinators think twice about keeping an extra guy deep.
With that said, if I were someone like Jermichael Finley, a guy who is in a contract year, I would see to it that Eddie Lacy is cared for. Because if Eddie Lacy can sniff the thousand yard mark, Jermichael Finley will see more Rodgers’ passes directed his way. That extra defensive man set deep will no longer be an issue, for the threat of Lacy in the backfield will keep defensive coordinators honest.
To take that analogy a step further, if the running game can flourish with Eddie Lacy in the backfield, which may lead to Finley gaining more opportunities, it could certainly have a trickledown effect (did I really just use that word) on the entire offense.
With the potential of Lacy being a productive part of the offense, defenses would no longer be able to key on Packer receivers. If the defense loads the box to stop Lacy, that opens up Finley. If opposing defenses target Finley, that in turn has the ability to open up Randall Cobb. If the defense tries to shut down Cobb, Rodgers has James Jones or Jordy Nelson on the outside. Not to mention a running back like Lacy, one who can make his own opportunities, takes a bit of pressure off the Packers once-again pieced-together offensive line.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am a fan who is beaming with optimism and probably looking at things through glasses that may have a rosy tint to them.
But hey, when you have a quarterback that has the uncanny ability to put the ball in the hands of the open Packer receiver you begin every game with at the very least a fighting chance to win. If Eddie Lacy can prove to be a legitimate option at running back, the Packers may just have one well-stirred offensive cocktail.
In addition to blogging about the Green Bay Packers for Lombardiave.com, Patrick Hughes blogs about gardening at wheelandbarrowlandscape.com, running and the Portland Trailblazers at Oregon Sports News, and artisans and the connection economy at phughespdx.com.