Fantastic post from Matt Waldman looking at everybody’s favorite Packers running back.
Starks out-performed veterans Jackson and Kuhn despite missing nearly two years of football. The Packers relied on Starks, a player who missed 95 percent of his first training camp as a pro and all of his senior year, during the most important games for this organization in over a decade. Starks may not have been consistent with his performance, but he was still the better option over players who were in multiple training camps, practiced, and played with the the team for years.
Wouldn’t this lead you to consider that Starks’ lack of consistency stems from not practicing and playing for nearly two years and not a lack of skill?
Even if you argue that Starks’ work ethic was called out late in the regular season, wouldn’t it also be safe to assume that Starks did enough to correct that problem to satisfy the Packers coaches, earning their confidence to rely on him in three playoff games and a Super Bowl? If it isn’t a safe assumption that Starks improved his work ethic then wouldn’t the use of Starks despite a questionable work ethic would indicate that his talent was too great for the coaching staff to bench him during the playoffs?
Either way you view it, you’re looking at a player with better than average skill.
It leads me to believe that as long as Starks works hard, the rust will come off. As a result, he’ll process the game faster and his quicker reactions will allow him to play to his physical potential. Remember, Starks is also still new to the position and he gained nearly 20 pounds of muscle between the end of his junior year and his rookie season in the NFL.
In other words, the Packers leading playoff rusher last year was basically playing a new position in a new league with a new team and essentially in a new body.
That’s a lot of change for player. Given those circumstances I’d say he performed well.
Read the entire post. It is as exhaustive as it is excellent.