Packer Update

Lacy Is Worth The Gamble

Eddie Lacy ran for 1,322 yards and scored 17 touchdowns for Alabama last season

Eddie Lacy rushed for 1,322 yards and scored 17 touchdowns for Alabama last season

We now know why teams passed 60 times on one of the most talented players in this past weekend’s draft. Running back Eddie Lacy, picked late in the second round by the Packers, underwent toe fusion surgery last March – a serious procedure that has been performed on very few world-class athletes. In fact, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers “wouldn’t touch” Lacy because of the operation. And this is coming from an organization that had no qualms drafting Georgia’s Jarvis Jones at 17, despite the fact that the outside linebacker had to leave USC after being diagnosed with spinal stenosis.

While Lacy showed no ill-effects from the fusion last season, there’s simply no way of telling how the toe will be two years from now. Heck, there’s no way of telling how the toe will be two months from now. That uncertainty, more than anything else, is why the former Alabama star wound up being the fourth back selected. It’s probably also why GM Ted Thompson traded up to get UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin in the fourth round. Besides being a terrific value at that point in the draft, he’ll also provide insurance in case the toe or any other part of Lacy’s banged-up body gives him trouble in the next few years.

Did the Packers gamble a bit on Lacy? Absolutely. Was it a gamble worth taking? Absolutely. At best, the toe will never become an issue and he’ll enjoy a long and successful career in Green Bay. And if that happens, a championshop or two is almost certain to follow. Because giving quarterback Aaron Rodgers a big-time running back is akin to giving Dwyane Wade that dude from Cleveland. At worst, Lacy will be plagued by toe issues and become nothing more than a journeyman. And if that’s the case, so be it. Did you know that of the 26 running backs chosen in the second round of the past 10 drafts, just five became immediate impact players? They were also the only five to ever play in a Pro Bowl.

The point is, selecting any running back in the second round of the draft has proven to be a hit-or-miss proposition (more miss lately). But if you’re going to gamble, you may as well roll the dice on a 231-pounder with outstanding power, excellent vision and very good feet. Even if that 231-pounder with outstanding power, excellent vision and very good feet has a toe that looks like it was worked on by Dr. Frankenstein.

36 Comments to "Lacy Is Worth The Gamble"

  1. Archie says:

    Well, that is the $64,000 question, isn’t it?

    We have to assume TT was aware of this surgery, correct?

    Interesting that Steelers would go for spinal stenosis but not a big toe fusion. Would be interesting to hear Lacy discuss this topic. How did it feel to run on last year and how it responds to use. Does he feel it hold him back any? Did they tell him a range of how long it may hold up? Like from any6 day it could go to 10 years?

    Personally, I’d be very conservative drafting players with significant injuries even though many of them go on to have great careers.

    btw – I still say none of TT’s trades were worth making given how little he got back. And the idea of trading away a 3rd and a 5th for two 4s is dubious at best. Not to mention he also converted a 6th into a 7th on net.

    Notice it was the good teams trading up in this draft. I’m still surprised he didn’t trade up for Margus Hunt. To get two monster 3-4 DEs out of this draft would have transformed this defense! The guy he took from MSU did not impress me on youtube. I was liking the Lacy pick a lot better before this morning’s reports. Would be nice if somebody from GB’s homer press would at least ask the GM how he views the risk of making such a pick and what is his belief re: same issues I stated above.

    This draft grade will come down to how Lacy performs and how all the no-names he took after R3 (except Franklin) fare. Obviously if Lacy plays a major role in getting teh Pack back to the SB, it was worth it. For the most part, it seemed TT avoided injured players in this draft. But not with Lacy.

    I was also amazed he passed on all those good Cs to take his two OTs in R4. You got to assume he knew what he was doing since there were plenty of “easier” OL choices on the board. Most analysts had the Cornell guy rated as an end of the draft take. Baktiari on the other hand was rate as a R3/R4 type. His run blocking looked good but not so much his pass blocking. Maybe he will be a G and the Ivey Leaguer will be a C.

    The development of the two king-sized WRs in R7 will be interesting to watch, as will the two LBs and the DB. I just saw no excitement in the mid-round DL Trg seem so excited about.

    If they get two impact players from this draft, and a few “contributors”, it will be hard to complain too much. If they get only one impact player (Jones), they will have fallen behind again. No excuse for not getting an impact player out of R2. A trade-up in R3 may have netted a 3rd impact player. Instead, we have got to wait a few years and hope a few of the no names develop into something of value. The way this draft went, and the situation the Pack is in, quality over quantity should have been the ticket, not a series of trade downs that netted almost nothing.

  2. Mike says:

    How ironic is it that Pittsburgh was afraid to draft a player with a foot issue? Rocky Bleier had a fine career as a Steeler.

  3. CJS says:

    Archie – if Lacy helps the Pack win even ONE Super Bowl, it will have been worth the risk. Lacy is the short term answer until he gets hurt. Franklin is potentially the long term answer if he develops.

    As for the OL Ted drafted, they are both versatile and excellent athletes. Essentially the Packers doubled down on the zone blocking system this past weekend. The higher rated Centers on the board, including Barrett Jones, were slower, less athletic players.

    If Sherrod comes back this year, he should supplant Newhouse and then Newhouse becomes the back-up at both OT spots. If Sherrod doesn’t make it back, I think they move Bulaga to LT and keep Barclay in at RT. Another off-season for Barclay to get stronger will do him wonders. I think he could be the next Tauscher if he keeps improving. That just leaves Center and as Packerupdate has been saying for a while now, Lang could move over in a pinch.

    • Archie says:

      I think I said that……”Obviously if Lacy plays a major role in getting teh Pack back to the SB, it was worth it.”

      If they had high hopes for Sherrod, I don’t think they draft Baktiari. Tretter will be C/G and Baktiari will be G/T. If/when either starts depends a great deal on the guy ahead of them. I’m sure the brain trust would like to see both guys not have to start as rookies. To pass on Franklin for Tretter tells you TT had to love Tretter. Both guys fit ZBS rather than power types. That ios surprising because Pack looked like they were incorporating more and more power running into their play selection. Reminds me of TT’s tendency to draft 4-3 DL for his 3-4 defense, kind of a head scratcher. Latest example = Boyd.

      I’m thrilled with the addition of Jones. I’m also thrilled with the idea of Lacy-Franklin-Harris at RB. I’m teh guy that’s been screaming forever to go get real RBs. I though Cedric Benson showed us beginning of last year what it would be like for AROD to have a reliable run game. Harris showed us again at the end of the year. And Starks showed us in the SB run. With three more than capable RB, we should be in good shape, finally. Hate to give up on Starks and Green but we will likely be forced to get rid of at least one. Kuhn may be on his way out of town now too.

      I liked the JSO article on Palmer. Maybe he will be the 4th OLB we have been looking for.

      If Jones/Neal/Daniels become big-time play-makers in sub-packages it could really help our nickel-dime defenses. We have got to get Raji-Wilson-Pickett-Hawk off the field in those situations.

      I was surprised/shocked to hear GB was trying to unload D Bishop. First off, nobody is going to give you anything for anybody coming off his kind of injury. Secondly, if he does make it all the way back, why isn’t he exactly what we need? Him next to Jones on 1st down makes more sense than Hawk.


  4. Lars says:

    The key to this story was the fact that only 40% of 2nd round RB’s make any impact in the NFL, thus making a RB with a first round grade worth the big injury risk. It’s not just the toe, but hamstring, pectoral muscle and other nagging injuries. That’s what you get with the great size and talent. Franklin will be more of the 3rd down back and the injury-prone Starks, Benson and Green can hit the bricks. Finally some talent at RB to add to harris.

    • Archie says:

      Of course, that means 60% do make an impact. Is that percentage any different across all R2 picks, regardless of positions? Probably not. That said, R2 picks are the backbone of most clubs. TT is a conservative guy. To use that pick on Eddie Lacy, I’d have to think that TT felt the odds strongly favored getting at least 5 good years out of the pick. High risk/reward picks usually begin after R3. See Marcus Lattimore, Honey Badger et. al. Of course, for all intents and purposes, Lacy was a R3 pick.

      I’ve been following the draft since teh early days of Joel Buschbaum and I don’t recall too many players making it that were expected to go in R1 but were not drafted till mid to late R2 or later. Thurman Thomas comes to mind as one who did. The RB, former Raven, now Bronco, may be another. I guess the ones who made it under these circumstances were coming back from horrific injuries. When a player gets passed on that for ability alone, the teams usually get it right. Some say they don’t like Lacy’s tendency to get nicked up, others say they just question the kid’s heart and/or personality. But, I think we have to assume that the primary reason he fell was the big toe fusion. The fact that he ran on it all of last year makes you think it isn’t a problem right now. Like all fusions, they wear down the bone structure around the fusion. At some point it is likely to become a problem but, with a little luck, nobody will step on it and he will get 5 years out of it. That’s all we can hope for.

  5. Bryan says:

    Do you feel the lack of a run game has more to do with the backs Green Bay has employed or the line not opening holes?

    I tend to place blame on the backs. Defenses are set up to stop our passing game, and thinking back to the early part of last season Benson was able to move the pile and gain extra yards before he got hurt. While I wouldn’t ever call our line play last year stellar, I do feel like there was room to run and the backs weren’t able to take advantage.

    I’m excited to see what these new draftees bring to the table. Lacy might be an injury risk, but there is no doubt that he has talent.

    • Michael Rodney says:

      I think it’s a combination of pedestrian running backs and a mediocre offensive line. Not sure how much better the line will be next season, but the backs should be much improved. That should translate into a more consistent ground game.

    • Archie says:

      I think it has been a combination of both too but, as I have noted, Starks (when healthy), Harris and Cedric all were quite effective. So maybe it is more the RBs than the OL. Addition of Barclay and EDS seemed to give the run game a lift as well. newhous is super soft v run and needs to be replaced for that reason alone. Whether it’s Sherrod, Baktiari or Datko, somebody has got to take the LT job away from Newhouse this year. If not, then they should move Bulaga over and leave Barclay at RT. We need 5 guys that can run block and pass block in front of our new stable of RBs. Then we can sit back and watch our $130 MM QB have a field day keeping the defense off balance. And now I’m officially looking forward to the start of the new season. Just think id Nick Perry blossoms this year? Our sub-packages could really excite. Use teh 3 hippos defense on 1st down and unleash the greyhounds on 2nd and 3rd down. Controlling the ball on offense will benefit our defense as well. Of course, everybody else has gotten better as well, especially in our division and conference. But, you give Rodgers & CMIII a good supporting cast and anything is possible.

      • Joe in Madison says:

        I agree with you almost completely Archie. I rewatched the entire 2012 season and one thing became very clear – outside of Benson and Harris, their running back play was horrible. When it came to 3rd and short, IMO only Benson & Rodgers were effective. Yes, the line wasn’t blowing people off the ball but their backs in many cases weren’t even getting what was blocked. Go back and watch the Saints game from last year, that is a very good example of what this offense can do with a real running back (Benson was healthy).

        I do slightly disagree with you on one point and that is Newhouse. He definitely did struggle last year but I do not believe he needs to be replaced right away, he just needs to be challenged for his job. I agree with all of your options for LT (Sherrod, Dadtko, Bakhtiari, Bulaga) but if Newhouse beats them out, I am fine with him starting. My problem with last year was that Thompson & McCarthy did not have a realistic challenger for him in training camp. Banking only on Sherrod returning was not a good idea.

        Lastly, after watching Barclay again I think he was just as inconsistent as Newhouse. IMO he did improve the running game but he was a liability in pass protection. They helped him A LOT. I think people were so happy that he didn’t implode that they never really looked a how well he played. Like Newhouse on the left side, we need better play than Barclay gave us on the right side as well.

        Both players are still young so it is likely they will improve but I am happy that this year we have multiple options at both tackle spots and we are not putting all of our eggs in one basket.

        • Archie says:

          Well, the Pack addressed the issue of LT and more today. Newhouse has lost his job to Bulaga. The bigger surprise is that they also flip-flopped the starting guards. Maybe they just like Sitton playing next to Bulaga. And at RT, they say the job is wide open among Sherrod, Newhouse and Barclay. No mention of Datko or the new draftees.

          First problem, of course, is Bulaga, like so many TT draftpicks, he has very short arms (dinosaur-like). That may prove to be more of a detriment at LT. On the other hand, Bulaga is our best OT so why not. The problem with Newhouse at RT is that as bad as he is at pass-blocking at times, run-blocking is his weak suit. I agree with you that Barclay did a good job run-blocking but had to be helped out pass-blocking. That said, year 2 is when players make their biggest improvement so I am looking forward to seeing what he looks like this year. Who knows what to thing re: Sherrod. W/o the injury, I think he was going to make it despite his initial difficulties. Two years away from the game = a lot of rust. But he is still young so unless the injury has cost him movement skills, I can see him beating out Newhouse for the back-up role this year. I am surprised they aren’t talking about Datko. Maybe he is going to back-up Bulaga?

          So, same QB, TE and WRs (less Jennings) but everything else on offense will be different in 2013. Not one starter from opening day last year will be in the same position on opening day this year.

          I figure they will use Finley and Raji like rented mules this year since it is likely their last in GB.

          Will they hitch the wagon to Lacy and use Franklin and Harris sparingly or will they use the three interchangeably? I like the idea of using them as a committee but MM sounds like he wants a bell-cow.

  6. Tangysizzl says:

    If you want to improve the run blocking, get Marshall Newhouse out of the starting lineup as soon as possible. Hes worthless as a run blocker and only marginally better at pass blocking. I thought he would develop and get stronger over time but Im just not seeing it.

    As for Lacy, I don’t hate the pick but I would much rather have Margus Hunt even at his age and experience level, hes a tall freak athlete and would have brought some much needed juice to our front 7. Lacy has some serious ?s about him but I guess so does Hunt so I was obviously willing to take a risk in the 2nd anyway, getting Lacy instead of Hunt is at least a small cosolation prize.

    GB was probably as apprehensive about drafting Lacy as everyone else that passed on him in the 1st and 2nd round. Why else would they trade back 6 spots before taking him at 61. My guess, TT didn’t really love Montee Ball or Eddie Lacy and decided to let another team like the Broncos make the choice for him. Sitting their at 61 with Lacy still on the board, draft value and need lined up well enough to justify taking the risk. I can live with that.that.

    Franklin on the other hand they liked enough to spend two picks on to move back into the 4th round to take him. TT used one of his 3 5th round picks and added the 6th rounder they got from San Fran in the pre Lacy pick trade down, to make it happen. Thats a good insurance policy for Lacy, partially payed for by TTs reluctance to take Lacy or anyone else at 55.

    • Archie says:

      I agree with what you say but are you as surprised as me that TT elected to draft Tretter w his second R4 pick, thus necessitating the trade for Franklin? If he loved Franklin that much, he must have really loved Tretter and feared that he would be taken before his pick in the next round came around. And that tells you he valued Baktiari even more than Tretter. So obviously, in TT’s eyes, he picked up a pair of OL in R4 that he really liked. We’ll see how it works out.

      I get a kick out of Palmer – when he got his draft call he was so excited he couldn’t get words to come out of his mouth. That’s excited! I’ll be rooting for that guy to make it for sure.

      Before the draft (actually for a long time now) I had been arguing it was time for Pack to invest in a running game. Two RBs and two OL, if the right picks, should accomplish that. The two king-sized WRs in teh 7th were a bonus.

      On defense, we got the big guy in Jones, and to get Hunt, we could not have made teh investment in the run game that we did.

      Picking up another DL, two LBs and a DB may help down the road as well.

      Next year I would assume DL will remain high on our priorities as I get the sneaking suspicion that Raji and Pickett are in their final year as Packers. I wonder if Wilson can play NT?

  7. Archie says:

    Here’s something to think about. Assume Green and Starks are healthy at the end of camp, who does the Pack hang on to? Here’s a thought: Kuhn gets cut. Green becomes a FB. Starks stays as 4th RB. That would be quite the 5 man crew. Odds are you need 5 because it easy to lose two or three during the season.

  8. Nick Perry says:

    Personally I love the draft Ted had for once. I see the point amount Hunt and the 1st trade back with the 49ers was the worst move I’ve seen by TT. A 7th round choice was all he received from a team that demolished the Packers twice, I’m sorry but that was just idiotic! Then the very next team to draft was Seattle and they trade with the Ravens and get a 5th and a 7th??? Common Teddy!! With all that said, after all the horrible trades back, Thompson drafted some decent Players. I love the Jones, Lacy, Franklin picks. Bakhtiari will be a hell of a offensive line player in the NFL. I wouldn’t be surprised if he replaced Lang by next year, and he will if Lang has another year like last year! The sleep picks of this draft are Trottier and Johnson, the WR. I see Trottier as our center of 2014 and the one thing about both offensive lineman is they have that “Nasty” word attached to them. God knows the Packers need some “Nasty” in that line! Lastly I think with a year learning the offense and the NFL, Johnson is going to be a stud. I was a bit pissed when the Packers passed on Patton several times but Johnson looks like he could be a steal. One thing for sure, the Packers are a better team than they were when the season ended. It’s going to be fun watching Rodgers play with Defenses when they have to actually respect the rn.

  9. Tangysizzl says:

    The more I watch all the game cutups or highlights of Lacy on youtube, the more I like this pick. For a guy thats 230 lbs his spin move is sick and from what I saw he doesn’t need big open holes to gain yardage or to score TDs so thats very encouraging. No wonder this guy has an injury history though, he runs with a reckless abandon without regard for his body and I love that.

    Pairing him with Franklin was very smart so they don;’t over work Lacy and now we have our own version of “Smash and Dash” , “Thunder and Lighting” or my personal favorite but I can’t take credit for it “Franklin and Bash” .

    Really liked the Datone Jones pick, unsure about the two OL guys in the 4th, Boyd in the 5th or Dorsey in the 7th but CB Micah Hyde, OLB Nate “NaPalm” Palmer,(nickname stolen) WR Charles Johnson and Sam Barrington all have qualities and things I really like about them.

    Really like the final pick Barrington a lot, he looks like a ILB to me at first glance but his style of play kind of reminds me a little bit of the Steelers James Harrison. Scary part of that is he was cut by like 4 teams in 4 years before he found his niche’ with the Steelers. Hopefully thats not the case with Sam.

  10. Hands says:

    On another site, a poster stated that they did this switch to get Barclay on the field. Maybe, or even Sherrod but I do think they are putting pressure on those OT positions to get the best guys on the field. One BIG concern is Barclay’s condition…..I think he came in pretty big might even say FAT! Not in a good way.
    It will work itself out sooner or later!

  11. Nick Perry says:

    The Hyde pick really intrigues me. He won the Tatum/Woodson award as the top CB in the Big Ten this past season. Kinda of strange that he lasts till round 5 isn’t it? Either the QB’s in the Big Ten are THAT bad or this kid Hyde could be a steal. As long as he doesn’t move out of Adrian Petersons way to avoid ANY contact like our high dollar corner Tramon Williams, he’ll be a interesting pick to watch develop.

    • Archie says:

      JSO has an article today on Micah Hyde. He too was surprised/disappointed not to have been taken until R5. Your point about Big10 QBs might be part of it. This was also a deep draft at CB. My observation of him is that he plays like an intelligent player i.e., he is quite opportunistic in making key plays on the ball. As a hybrid CB/S/ST player, he could stick for a long while if he can break through to the 53 this year. Would they keep both Hyde and Bush? Maybe Bush is getting too expensive. Seemingly a solid R5 pick.

  12. Archie says:

    It’s wait and see time now. Pack may not unveil new run game until they play SF in the opener. By October we will have a pretty good idea of how good Lacy will be and whether the reshuffled OL is working. Lacy could be a bust (damaged goods) or he could be the steal of the draft. There’s no way of knowing and that alone makes this an unusual draft for sure.

    I think Barclay may have been a big part of the reason for the reshuffle i.e., they realized Barclay was a better RT than Newhouse was a LT. For Barclay to start at RT, you have got to flip Bulaga to LT. Keeping Sitton and Bulaga together could be a good idea e.g., communication purposes, etc. Lang is still next to EDS but on his other side. Barclay and Lang will be new to each other.

    Sherrod, Datko and Newhouse will be fighting for back-up roles. At least two of them are likely to be let go, replaced by Barclay and the rookies. Packer brass probably have no intention of starting the rookies this year unless injuries force them too. It is really too bad that Sherrod’s career got derailed by injury. Despite his slow start, I think he would have become a quality starter at OT.

    TT had many good players to chose from in R1 and he took 1 of them. Jones fits what we need and he looks like solid value at P26. Even if Wilson keeps his job on 1st down, Jones will become our #1 DL pass rusher in the sub-packages, just like Cullen Jenkins was. This should help the play of teh nickel and dime defenses quite a bit. Good thing too, because the loss of Woodson will be felt. He was many things, including one of our best open field tacklers.

    • Nick Perry says:

      I just read where Datko is in really good shape. He was supposed to be such a steal last year so it will be interesting to see what develops on the O-Line. With Bulaga and Sitten moving to the left side and EDS at center and Lang at right guard, for now at least. I think the Packers can come up with a excellent RT between Sherrod, Datko, Baktiari, and Barclay. Trettor will be the Packers center in 2014. Overall I like the way the O-Line looks this year and for once the Packers have depth, good depth where if a guy like Lang stinks like he did last year, the Packers have other options. With that said I say the Packers run for over 150 yards in the season opener against the 49ers and Rodgers carves them up with 4 TD’s for a payback victory. Sorry, had to be a homer right there but hell, it’s possible. GO PACK GO!!!

  13. Hands says:

    I think that many have forgotten that Newhouse started at right tackle and then was switched to left tackle when Clifton got hurt. If I recall, Bulaga was hurt and he stepped in for him and did a pretty good job if my memory serves me right.

    • Archie says:

      I’d have to look it up to be sure but my recollection is Bulaga replaced Tauscher at RT. Newhouse has always played at LT in GB. Newhouse is a decent pass protecter vs ordinary pass rushers. The problem is, most teams have an elite pass rush DE. Add to this the fact that Newhouse is the softest run blocker I have ever seen, and the reason for the change is obvious. Pack knew this two years ago when they drafted Sherrod to replace him. Newhouse has an impressive voice and is super-intelligent. Would he be happy to be a back-up at this point in his career? Probably not. Because of his short-comings he’s not an ideal back-up type anyways. It would not surprise me to see the Pack trade the guy before the start of the season for a 6 or a 7. I believe he’s in the last year of his rookie contract. Who knows, Pack may clear the decks and cut Sherrod and Datko. They could go with the rookies as back-ups. That would be risky but if they believe Sherrod and Datko are lost causes, I could see it.

  14. Hands says:

    I can’t say I remember the game but the tweet from the retired OT that does NFL Live on ESPN……..Newhouse was playing RT and switched to the LT position and didn’t miss a beat. He tweeted that Newhouse would be an all pro if he could switch positions like that. My memory is vague on the specific wording but not the praise.

  15. Archie says:

    Good news on Eddie Lacy today. It now appears he did NOT have the kind of big toe fusion that we had been led to believe. Instead of fusing the whole big toe, they fused just the bone at the end of the big toe. The surgeon said many NFL players have had this surgery and had successful careers though he wouldn’t name who. This makes me feel much better about this pick. Fusing the whole toe would have taken away the motion in his bug toe and greatly hampered his push off. Supposedly, this surgery does not have that side-effect. Now all we need to worry about is the torn pectoral muscle that has prevented Lacy from lifting weights for last 2 years. And the hamstring. And the knee. And, of course, the 12 screws he had put in his broken hand last year. But Eddie says he is 100% and ready to go day 1! Let’s hope he’s right. I’m waiting for the first Lacy spin-move in green and gold.

  16. Archie says:

    Draft picks cone across well in locker room videos. If you haven’t seen the videos, go to for a look-see. All of ‘em were great but I was especially impressed by Tretter. If he as smart, athletic and versatile as advertised, he will probably be a starter in year 2 or 3. If I had to bet, he was drafted as the long-term replacement for Scott Wells. EDS is in the last year of his contract and was tendered low this year. Despite that, he had no suitors. Bakhtiari will be looking for a starting role somewhere down the line as well. Some fan wrote somewhere that Barclay showed up fat this year. That’s hard to believe. But, if true, and if Sherrod/Datko isn’t up to it, one of the rookies could emerge as a stater this year. I’m sure that is a longshot. My gut tells me Newhouse will not make the 53 this year unless we have a rash of injuries at OL.

    • Michael Rodney says:

      Almost all of the Packers come across well. For the most part, that’s been the norm under MM and TT.

      I’d be surprised if Newhouse isn’t around. He’s not a starting caliber LT, but I think there’s a place for him on the 53.

      • Archie says:

        That’s true about the players GB brings in under current regime, with possible exception of Jerk-Michael Finley. I assume everone heard about the tweets with the various pregnant girlfriends and how he ceased paying child support when he got his contract extension. I am at a loss to understand why they gave him $8MM this year. Of course, I also fail to understand why they keep Hawk around, let alone re-signed him for big numbers a while back.

        Hope for 2014 – we draft another Datone Jones like DE and we replace Hawk with a real ILB. Then, just maybe, we will have a real front 7 on our defense. Question is whether Raji will be a part of that front 7. Anything is possible but I think Raji will insist on big bucks and I think TT would be crazy to give it to him. Maybe they can get creative with incentives. Raji, surrounded by DJ#1 and DJ#2 and backed up by CMIII/NP and DB/? might be productive. I just think Raji is not cut out for a 3-4. He’s is a 4-3 DT. Of course, some people think all our DL are 4-3 types. I’m looking forward to Mike Neal reaching his potential this year. Here’s one for you – Pack lets Raji go and re-signs Pickett to play NT.

        re: Newhouse – if Datko and/or Sherrod make the big leap forward they are expecting, I don’t see room for Newhouse as a back-up. Also, he can’t play inside. Seemingly a great guy but has failed to elevate to NFL starter quality despite considerable opportunity to do so.

  17. Tangysizzl says:

    I agree with Michael, I find it hard to believe Newhouse won’t make the 53 but stranger things have happened. At the very least hes gotta be worth a draft pick to some team out there if he doesn’t make the team.

    Great news on Lacy though, read that he had the surgery to acually give him better push off with the big toe. Hopefully he can play the next 5-7 years before the toe ever becomes an issue because of the fusion. Hard to believe he won’t develop problems with the toe at some point in the future but theres really no evidence to support that.

    The news about Datone Jones is also really promising, the fact that he already knows most of the playbook makes it far more likely that he will be an impact player immediately for a defense that desperately needs them especially on the DL.

    Its hard to be a Packer fan and not be truly excited about this coming season.

    By the way, anybody read the article (JS online I think, no link sorry) about 7th round WR Charles Johnson and his roundabout path to the NFL. If anybody thinks this guy won’t make the team and be a contributor right away, needs to find and read that article. I hope he ends up being Marques Colston 7th round pick out of Hofstra good. That would be sweet.

  18. Archie says:

    As long as AROD & CMIII are healthy, happy and in their primes, the Packers have a chance in any game they play. Let’s hope Perry & Jones can give CMIII the help he needs to keep offenses honest and let’s hope Lacy & Franklin can give AROD the help he needs to keep defenses honest. I’m not writing off any of the veteran backs either, especially Dujuan Harris.

  19. Tom Birney says:

    Is this site dead? Is Rodney dead?

    Not a single post in the entire month of May? Seriously? I guess I’ll go back to watching the Brewers… gulp,,,

  20. Saguaro says:

    It is really hard to predict what Raji will do this season or in future years. I still don’t know what was going on in the SF debacle when he was pushed around like a ragdoll. Sick? Tired? What? Some guys never let you know if something was wrong. Other guys are just clueless and just don’t show up. Gilbert Brown ate his way out of the NFL before coming back the next year to become one of my all time favorite Packers. Will the light turn on for Raji? He was great for the second half of one season. The Packers need to see that this season for a full season

  21. Archie says:

    More balance shall be the keyword for the 2013 season.

    Does anyone think Johnny Jolly has a realistic chance to play DE again? I’m thinking not but I’m still glad the Pack is giving him a chance.

  22. saguaro says:

    Right now, Jolly is just a feel good story. It would be great if he could come back and contribute, but how many players have ever been away from the game for three years and come back to make a roster? Maybe somebody during the old military draft in the 50s or 60s? WWII? How long was Vick out? He’s the only guy I know, and being a running QB is so different from a 3-4 DE that I don’t know what Vick’s return says about Jolly’s chances. Jolly avoided 3 years of getting banged up but lost 3 years of conditioning. He’s trying a comeback at 29. That sounds like the NFL equivalent of Robert Redford in the Natural.

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