33 carries. 90 yards.
It was painful yesterday watching Ryan Grant plow into pile after pile of linemen. Sometimes, there was no place for him to go. Other times, and this is the killer, there were huge lanes for Grant to cut into that he either stumbled trying to get to, or simply didn't see. It was a shocking display for a back that many people both in the media and in the Packer organization thought was poised to become one of the elite backs in the league.
Elite backs don't carry the ball 33 times for 90 yards.
For whatever reason, the vision and the burst that Grant displayed last year have vanished. He can't see the cutback lanes that do form while he's running into imaginary ones that apparently only he can see. Worse yet, the few times his line and his vision are in concert, Grant gets ahead of himself and doesn't show the necessary patience that would allow his blocks to set themselves before he can weave his way through the defensive secondary. Instead, he's rushing forward, into the backs of his lineman, or worse, tripping over their legs while one step away from a big gain.
Yes, the offensive line has been inconsistent. Yes, he is most likely only rounding into shape after his hamstring injury. And yes, McCarthy is doing him no favors with the predictability of his formations and his playcalling. But for a back who was deemed as 'indispensable' when Grant and the Packers were in contract negotiations (and that's a long, leering look at you, PackerGeeks) he has looked awfully pedestrian six games into the season. Indeed, the much maligned Brandon Jackson has looked better in all phases of the game. (Shame about his illness on Sunday)
Maybe Grant is a 'mudder', much like his position coach was during the Holmgren years, who will get better as the fields get slower in the late fall and early winter months. Perhaps we'll see Grant start breaking big runs when the weather turns and game conditions start to resemble the 10 game stretch Grant had last year. But right now, Grant can not be described as anything but a colossal disappointment and Exhibit A as to why you don't pay a guy based on 10 games, not to mention that Thompson's initial offer, which Grant's agent labeled 'insulting', is starting to look much closer to Grant's actual value.
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