Packers/Lacy marriage could have been saved

Discussion in 'Green Bay Packer Football' started by Da-news-now, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Da-news-now

    Da-news-now RSS Reporter Reporter

    3,101
    105
    Ratings:
    +135 / 2
    By Rob Reischel

    At approximately 1 p.m. (CT) Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks’ team buses will arrive on the far west side of Lambeau Field.

    A large crowd will gather, many of which will hurl profanity-laced insults. The players will be escorted towards their cramped quarters, a locker room that would make many of today’s high school teams chuckle.

    For the first time since entering the NFL in 2013, Eddie Lacy will see how the other half lives. The former Green Bay Packers running back will prepare for Sunday’s showdown on the visitor’s side, and that’s unfortunate — for both Lacy and the Packers.

    Two years into his Green Bay career, Lacy seemed poised to challenge Ahman Green for the Packers’ all-time rushing record. But Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy, his myriad of assistants and Lacy himself all blew it.

    McCarthy and his staff didn’t keep proper tabs on Lacy in the 2015 offseason. Lacy’s love for fast food kicked into overdrive, and his weight ballooned. Injuries inevitably followed, limiting Lacy to 20 games over the last two seasons.

    And instead of earning a second contract in Green Bay, and challenging the bevy of team rushing records held by Jim Taylor, Clark Hinkle and Green, Lacy’s time in Green Bay was over. Now, the running back position might be the No. 1 question mark for a Packers’ team with Super Bowl aspirations. And the man who should have been the answer will be wearing navy blue and green this season.

    “Find me a better running back and quarterback combo that what Green Bay had going with Lacy and (Aaron) Rodgers,” an AFC scout said Wednesday. “Maybe those two guys in Pittsburgh (Ben Roethlisberger and Le’veon Bell), but that’s about it.

    “Hey, I get it. It’s impossible to babysit these guys 24-7. But you worry more about the night clubs and guns, who they’re running with and that kind of (expletive). It shouldn’t be all that tough to keep their weight in line.”

    For those with short memories, let’s flashback to just how dominant Lacy was during his first two seasons in Green Bay.

    In 2013, Lacy set a new team rookie rushing record with 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns. That broke John Brockington’s previous team rookie record of 1,105 yards set in 1971.

    Lacy received the NFL’s Rookie of the Year award by the Pro Football Writers of America, and won the Associated Press’ Offensive Rookie of the Year award, as well.

    The back, from Alabama, finished the year with 647 rushing yards after contact, which ranked sixth in the league. Lacy also forced 56 missed tackles, the NFL’s fourth-highest figure. He also helped carry the Packers into the postseason when quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed nearly eight full games with a broken collarbone.

    “Eddie Lacy is an impact player,” McCarthy said after the 2013 season. “When you have impact players coming into your program, obviously it makes a difference. Eddie definitely did that. I’m not only excited about what he just accomplished as a rookie, but really moving forward I think he can be even better.”

    He was.

    In 2014, Lacy finished seventh in the league in rushing with 1,139 yards. He ranked fifth in yards after contact (690) and sixth in the number of tackles broken or avoided (49). He also finished the 2014 campaign with 42 receptions for 427 yards (10.2) and four touchdowns.

    Lacy’s 2,317 rushing yards were the most ever by a Packer in their first two seasons. And his 24 total touchdowns were the most ever by a Green Bay player in his first two years.

    “He’s a better football player in my opinion this year than last year,” McCarthy said. “I think he’s a complete (three)-down player. In fact I know he is. So I think he’s definitely in a better place.”

    Lacy’s dominance on the field also changed how McCarthy was playing offense. The Packers’ average rank in rushing yards was 21st during McCarthy’s first seven seasons, but they jumped to ninth in their first two years with Lacy.

    Heading into the 2015 season, Pro Football Weekly ranked Lacy as the third-best running back in the NFL behind only Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson, and the 27th-best player in the NFL.

    Then things went south quickly.

    By the time the 2015 campaign began, Lacy was substantially heavier. The Packers listed Lacy at 234 pounds all season, but it’s a good bet Lacy was at least 25 pounds more than that. In fact, from the waist down, you couldn’t tell the difference between Lacy and 301-pound center Corey Linsley.

    In three of Lacy’s first eight games that season, he had five carries, or fewer. And even though the Packers began to lean more on Lacy down the stretch, the results weren’t always pretty.

    Who will ever forget Lacy’s 61-yard run against Arizona in the playoffs that year? You know, the one in which he looked more like an offensive guard as he needed a laughable 12.02 seconds to lumber downfield.

    Lacy finished the year with career-lows in yards (758), touchdowns (five) and yards per carry (4.05). And two days after the season ended, McCarthy blasted Lacy in perhaps his most scathing public criticism of a player in his first 10 years as Green Bay’s coach.

    “Eddie Lacy, he’s got a lot of work to do. I think I’m stating the obvious,” McCarthy said. “His offseason last year was not good enough, and he never recovered from it. … He has to get it done because he cannot play at the weight that he played at this year.”

    Yes, it was easy for McCarthy to throw stones from his glass house. Lacy’s love for Chinese food eventually trumped his love for football, and it led to a meteoric demise.

    But McCarthy himself was equally to blame.

    From day one, McCarthy knew Lacy was a player who could put on bad weight in the blink of an eye. If anyone should have understood this, it was McCarthy himself, who has lost his personal ‘battle of the bulge’ since arriving in Green Bay in 2006.

    McCarthy also had an army of helpers by his side to keep tabs on Lacy. The Packers hired nutritionist Adam Korzun in the summer of 2014. McCarthy also had 22 assistant coaches on his staff at the end of the 2014 season.

    Still, McCarthy & Co. failed to pay close enough attention to Lacy in the spring of 2015. And that set the stage for a forgettable, career-altering campaign.
    
When the year was over, McCarthy made running backs coach Sam Gash the fall guy and fired him. And Lacy quickly found himself at a career crossroads.

    “As far as how do we get him back to perform at that high level, we continue to educate him, we demand, we support,” Packers offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett said in January of 2016. “I think that’s a big part of it.”

    Lacy spent the spring of 2016 working closely with P90X inventor Tony Horton. He also picked up boxing and basketball and was in much better shape shortly before the 2016 season began.

    For a brief stretch, there appeared to be hope.

    “I think I look good,” Lacy said.

    Not for long, though.

    Lacy slowly began putting the weight back on, and by last October, seemed as big as he was in 2015. Then in a Week 6 loss to Dallas, Lacy suffered an ankle injury that ended his season — and eventually his Green Bay career.

    Today, Green Bay has the most inexperienced backfield in the NFL.

    Converted receiver Ty Montgomery, he of just 80 career carries, is the new featured back. Rookies Jamaal Williams, Devante Mays and Aaron Jones did little this summer to make anyone think they were more than just bit players.

    And if anything seems destined to slow Green Bay’s potentially high-powered offense, it’s a running game full of questions.

    Lacy, meanwhile, signed a one-year, $4.25 million contract in Seattle. The deal carried several weight bonuses, each of which Lacy has earned to date.

    “We want to help each guy be the best he can possibly be, and each guy is an individual and unique in that,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said earlier this week. “We approached this from the first moment we were talking to Eddie about how we saw the vision we held for him in our program and all that and we just went about it. He’s been beautifully on point and has done everything we asked of him. I don’t know what he needed, but I’m glad he came to us.”

    At the end of the day, Lacy should have never had to head west.

    If Lacy had taken his own career more seriously, he could have been a Packer great. If McCarthy had done his job better, Lacy would still be his running back and the ground game wouldn’t be a gigantic concern.

    Instead, all parties dropped the ball. And starting Sunday, we’ll find out of it winds up haunting the Packers.

    The post Packers/Lacy marriage could have been saved appeared first on Bob McGinn Football.

    Continue reading...
     
  2. Cheesedog

    Cheesedog Moderator

    2,242
    295
    Ratings:
    +623 / 2
    thumbsupCLP)CLP)CLP)CLP)CLP)

    excellent article! When the Arod induced haze clears years down the road, we will look back and see that MM and his assistants were in fact pretty mediocre. And this is just one more piece to use. Sure people will say Lacy is an adult and he is in charge of himself. But how much do you want to win?

    bh(bh(
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. GBP4EVER

    GBP4EVER Member

    1,712
    189
    Ratings:
    +435 / 5
    But what were the Packers to do send someone down with Lacy and make him eat healthy? There was no way they could do anything with incentives unless they wanted to extend his contract which it was clear was nothing the Packers were very interested in doing. What shocks me is that Lacy takes care of himself he would have been in line to get a very nice contract from some team but instead he showed he had more of a love of food then he had a love of money and having a career in the NFL.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. rpiotr01

    rpiotr01 Lifetime Member

    1,209
    413
    Ratings:
    +789 / 0
    Lacy took a pounding at Alabama and a good beating his first years in GB. I believe he's had ankle injuries every year in the NFL. He runs into contact which makes him effective but also puts a lot of wear and tear on the body. Plus on top of that you have the physical conditioning issue, which IMO shows a lack of professionalism. I know his body is not meant to be cut like James Starks but there's a middle round that he had no interest in finding or maintaining. Frankly he's not the type of player you commit a long term second contract to.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Cheesedog

    Cheesedog Moderator

    2,242
    295
    Ratings:
    +623 / 2
    Lacey showed up that last season in shape and ready. Then he gained it back DURING the season which points to a lack of support/monitoring from the team. So, do you want to win or not MM?
     
  6. rpiotr01

    rpiotr01 Lifetime Member

    1,209
    413
    Ratings:
    +789 / 0
    That happens to a lot of players, and will happen to Lacy again this year. I think the better question is, does Lacy want to be a pro or not? Do you want to hit targets just to get paid or avoid fines, then blow up when the boss has 100+ other things to worry about besides your ballooning weight and can't focus on just you? Or do you want to work year round to be the best you can be.

    Im not an MM fan boy but IMO this is blown up bigger than it need be. Lacy has made his choices, the team made theirs.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. GBP4EVER

    GBP4EVER Member

    1,712
    189
    Ratings:
    +435 / 5
    Lacy last year even said while he was doing P90X training he never changed his diet because he loves his mom's cooking. Well you can work out all you want but if you continue to eat garbage nothing will change. My guess is that last year when Lacy reported he stoped doing his P90X as much as he was during the off-season figuring his training during the week was good enough so cut back training but still continue to eat a ton you gain back everything. Simple fact is Lacy does not have commitment to make life changes needed to get in shape it seems.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. TW

    TW Moderator

    905
    411
    Ratings:
    +847 / 11
    Lacy came into the league a food-a-holic I'm afraid. He started in the right direction, but once he was cemented into the job, decided to do his own thing.

    I remember the wrap against him coming out was exactly what happened. The Packers seemed to feel they were reformers, and could get him to toe-the-line. It just didn't happen.

    At least they got two really decent years out of him. It won't take him long to back-slide in Seattle.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. eyecatcher

    eyecatcher Member

    908
    286
    Ratings:
    +719 / 4
    Lacy has only himself to blame. Blaming the coaches or the organization is chicken podo(.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Dubz41

    Dubz41 Member

    821
    407
    Ratings:
    +719 / 4
    So it's the team's fault? C'mon, not only is Fat Eddie supposed to be an adult- he's supposed to be a professional. His weight seemed to correlate directly to his ankle problems. He was a hammer, but he was the size of the whole tool box! There's plenty that MM has to answer for, but Eddie's appetite isn't one of them. He failed on his own, so...do you want to win or not Eddie?

    Now he got beaten out by a rookie in Seattle.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1

Share This Page