James Starks runs for a second half touchdown against the Washington Redskins last season. Brian Jopek photograph

Green Bay Packers with quality depth at quarterback and running back

Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Philadelphia EaglesWith the first round of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) set to begin on May 28, the Green Bay Packers long journey to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Titletown begins with depth at the quarterback and running back positions.

Depth and experience on the offensive side of the ball positions the Green Bay Packers as a formidable contender in 2014. On paper the difference between the offenses the Packers fielded in 2013 as opposed to the 2014 version is proven depth and experience. As all of us in Packers Nation know, a lack of quality roster depth in the NFL is the difference between being a front runner and an also-ran.

Contrary to the depth at quarterback and the running back positions in 2013, this season’s squad appears to be well supplied with talent, experience and intrigue. The competition for backup jobs should create an interesting story line this offseason.

98811118GS021_GREEN_BAY_PACBringing back Matt Flynn was a good move. He has had success as a Packer. He knows the offense and the players who play in it. Flynn may not have the strongest of arms, but he has proven that when Aaron Rodgers goes down he can give the Packers a fighting chance to win football games.

Scott Tolzien is an intriguing talent. After flashing potential, but a propensity to throw interceptions in three games of relief of Aaron Rodgers there is some hope that a full offseason of preparation could position him as the next in line for the backup quarterback job.

At the running back position it appears the Packers have their best assembly of talent in maybe a decade. Eddie Lacy is a bowling ball of butcher knives and is hard for defenders to tackle. But his punishing style is sure to sideline him from time to time.

dujuanThough built differently than Lacy, second string running back James Starks is a bruiser with a lot of experience. Then there is the wild card, DuJuan Harris. After coming on strong late in 2012 Harris hurt his knee in training camp last year and missed the entire season. Though slight in stature, he is a downhill runner with incredible acceleration.

Another back that needs to have a good offseason is running back Johnathan Franklin. It was peaks and valleys for Franklin in 2013, with fumbling being his downfall.

Though Flynn has proven that he can win, it would be great to see Tolzien compete and give Flynn a run for his money in the offseason. It would make them both better and provide Ted Thompson a good problem to have.

DuJuan Harris is a guy that could bring another dimension to the Packers’ offense. His low to the ground yet lightening quickness paired with the thumpers in Lacy and Starks could really keep the defense on their heels.

The experience and talent at the quarterback and running back backup positions appears to be better than it was in 2013. The competition should be fierce and the story lines engaging – leaving Packers fans pleasantly distracted as they look toward the 2014 season.

In addition to writing for Lombardiave.com Patrick Hughes is the creator of “On the Road with the Green & Gold – A Journey Into Packer Nation.” Patrick also blogs about garden design at Wheel & Barrow Landscape, and formerly wrote for Oregon Sports News.

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Tags: Aaron Rodgers DuJuan Harris Eddie Lacy James Starks Matt Flynn

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