The Green Bay Packers leaned on the broad shoulders on rookie running back Eddie Lacy for most of the 2013 season – in fact, the team jumped on his back for most of the eight weeks that all-world quarterback Aaron Rodgers was out of the lineup – a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by folks who follow professional football.
Lacy’s Packers‘ rookie record of 1,178 yards, 284 carries and 11 touchdowns did indeed catch the attention of the Pro Football Writers of America as the organization announced today that Lacy was selected as the Rookie of the Year.
When Lacy was drafted by the Packers at the back end of the second round of last year’s NFL Draft, every team had passed on him at least once, and most twice before the Green Bay Packers took a shot on him.
That shot turned out to be a stroke of genius by Packers General Manager Ted Thompson.
Lacy won the starting job and played with the first unit until he fumbled early on in the first game at San Francisco. He sat on the bench for a couple of series, but that was to be his only fumble of the season and he came back in the second half to help lead the Packers on a scoring drive and capped the drive with a diving touchdown – his first as a Packer.
In the team’s home opener at Lambeau Field, Lacy got the rock on the first play of the Packers season at home, carried it 10 yards and then was concussed when he took a helmet to the head on the tackle.
He would be out two games, but when he came back he picked up right where he left off. He was a battering ram, a quick-change of direction and heck, he even caught balls out of the backfield and protected his quarterback with blocking assignments.
Lacy had some huge games this year for the Packers. He accounted for 150 yards rushing against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 4 – the same night that Rodgers went down to injury, but it was his 60-yard jaunt on the first play from scrimmage in the second half of the Dallas game that helped turn the Packers’ season.
The Packers were down by 23 points at the time and his run helped ignite Green Bay to a miraculous comeback and one-point win on the road against the Cowboys. In all, he carried 21 times for 141 yards in that game.
There wasn’t a better pick for the Packers who see him helping the team to much more success in future seasons.
Here is the full PFWA All-Rookie team voted on by writers from across the country:
2013 PFWA ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
QB – Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RB – Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals; Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
TE – Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
C – Travis Frederick, Dallas Cowboys
PK – Caleb Sturgis, Miami Dolphins
P – Sam Martin, Detroit Lions
KR – Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings
PR – Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams
ST – Don Jones, Miami Dolphins