Green Bay Packers’ James Starks or DuJuan Harris: Does it matter who’s #2?


James Starks or DuJuan Harris – who will be listed as the backup running back for the Green Bay Packers?

When asked about the competition raging between Starks and Harris, Packers running backs coach Sam Gash wasn’t about to tip his hand.

That’s the question that’s been asked around the Interweb today as the training camp competition at running back has heated up over the past couple of weeks.

Starks and Harris have been working as hard as they can to first of all, make the final 53-man roster, and secondly to get as much playing time as they can behind starter Eddie Lacy.

When asked about the competition raging between Starks and Harris, Packers running backs coach Sam Gash wasn’t about to tip his hand.

Here’s how he responded to the question:

"“That’s a question that has yet to be determined. We’re still going through the process. The head coach has an idea what he’s going to do, but I’ll kind of leave that on him.”"

But the real question should be asked: Does it really matter who’s number two or number three? Is there a big difference? In my opinion, no.

James Starks carries against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field last November.

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

The reason is evident by Gash’s answer … he defers to the head coach and he should.

How Head Coach Mike McCarthy utilizes these two running backs will be determined by a number of factors. First off will be his overall game plan … a plan that’s put together based on the competition the team is facing in a particular game.

That plan, of course is open to change depending on the flow and who has the hot hand. Maybe Starks and Harris don’t even hit the field in the early going because Lacy is ripping up the competition.

Maybe Harris gets on the field because the Packers plan to run some screens. Maybe Starks hits the field because the middle of the defense has been softened by Lacy enough where holes through the middle of the field are parting like the Red Sea.

The point is that it really doesn’t matter whether Starks and Harris are tagged number two or number three.

The Packers have two backup running backs who have their own strengths and bring their own style to the team that is as deep at running back as they have been in years.

It’s clear that both Starks and Harris will be instrumental cogs in the Packers 2014 season. They will both have opportunities to contribute.

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  • Harris has made statements in the past couple of weeks, showing that he will most likely be the team’s main kickoff returner and has a knack for making tacklers miss.

    Starks has the experience, he’s got the Super Bowl ring and has been a steady player, when healthy, over the course of the past four years. The bottom line is that what the Packers have are two really good running backs. Who is categorized s number two or number three doesn’t matter.

    What matters is winning in the NFL.

    Both of these players will help the Packers win.