Every time he got the ball in his hands, it seemed he was looking for somebody to punish – and usually found them. His pounding style was something Packers fan hadn’t seen in years. Yes, Edgar Benett, Dorsey Levens, Ahman Green and Ryan Grant didn’t shy away from contact and spent much of their careers excelling in getting yards beyond the first defensive touch.
But none of them could hold a candle to Lacy, whose combination of power, shiftiness and speed propelled him to the Rookie of the Year Award.
Lacy averaged 4.1 yards per carry during his rookie season, carrying 284 times for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns. In addition, Lacy showed soft hands out of the backfield, catching 35 passes for another 257 yards. In all, Lacy carried the Packers with 1,435 yards from scrimmage and more than 300 touches for the season.
That’s a lot, especially given that Lacy played the entire season with a reckless abandon that will eventually catch up to him if it continues.
I hope that changes and hope the Packers have a chance to pace Lacy’s touches in 2014.
We never did get to see the full impact of a Rodgers- and Lacy-led offense last season and with both of them on the field this year, Packers fans hope the combination leads to big things in 2014.
Couple that with the opportunity for the Packers to have as deep of a backfield as they’ve had, it’s only logical that the Packers look for ways to get James Starks and DuJuan Harris even more touches to offset the production of Lacy.
If Lacy’s production drops to 900 or 1,000 yards rushing next year I won’t be disappointed – that is if the Packers can get between 500 and 1,000 yards combined from Starks and Harris.
Using Lacy wisely will be key to keeping his legs fresh and his production high.
Last year the Packers needed Lacy’s legs to keep them from falling below .500. They needed his legs to propel them to a third straight NFC North Division title and an appearance in the playoffs.
The team asked a lot from its rookie and he delivered.
But now it’s time to put the ball back into Aaron Rodgers‘ hands and use Lacy wisely.
If they do that, Lacy will be there to contribute to the team effort.
So, let’s see what Lacy can do when given more time to rest during the course of the game … If the Packers stay healthy and everything falls into place, Lacy’s numbers might not be as impressive as they were as a rookie.
But that’s what we want.