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Grant More Involved In the Passing Game?

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Grant More Involved In the Passing Game?

Good nugget at the end of this piece from Andrew Lawrence over at CNNSI about Ryan Grant:

So far, he has spent a good chunk of OTAs cleaning up his footwork and trying to regain explosiveness, but has also found time to work on becoming more of a factor in the passing game. "I wanna be more involved," said Grant, who caught just 18 passes for 116 yards last year. "I'm letting [Packers quarterback] Aaron Rodgers know -- I'm open!"

When your starting tailback, in a West Coast Offense, catches just 18 passes during an entire season, that is cause for concern. Grant does indeed get open. It's what he does in space with the ball in his hand that's the problem. Too often he is guilty of outrunning his blocking, speeding past the likes of Wells and Colledge on screen passes or flying up the backs of outside receivers, reducing what could have been a big play into a mere 3 or 4 yard gain.

It's good to hear Grant address this deficiency in his game. Here's hoping we see some improvment in this area in '09, from not only Grant, but from the running back position as a whole.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (17) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

PackersRS's picture

Running directly towards a teammate is Grant's thing. But I like him, and that piece is very good. Gives me hope that he can bounce back.

Asshalo's picture

Despite gaining a lot of yards last year, it always seemed like we were missing those 1-3 really explosive runs every game. He's got to get his Yards per carry and YAC up this season. The offense had a lot of trouble scoring early last year and lack-luster run game played a big part of that. It's like we were always waiting until the second half to put points on the board (yes, the defense was a big part of that). Remember the days when we ran one of the best screen passes in the league?

AdamInEngland's picture

Asshalo- I agree with you. I have been watching my way through the season again and making some notes (yes I know I have no life) and I'm currently at the second queens game and he has yet to break a big one.

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In terms of the passing game, it seemed like the only running back option was Jackson in the flat (possibly a poorly executed screen) on 3rd down. This news can only be good, but tbh I aint a big Grant fan so I cant see him improving in vast amounts. There is a reason why he was on the fringe in NY.

bomdad's picture

The reason Grant was fringe in NY is because they had even better guys in front of him and they had to make a hard choice. Remember he was traded, not cut.
Just think about this, were Grant and Clifton ever on the practice field together in the last two years? Between Grant missing preseasons and Clifton missing in-season practices, I wonder what the count of screen play reps was.

retiredgrampa's picture

Asshalo; You WOULD remind me of the good old days of big yardage off a screen. Ah yes, the good old days. I remember it well. Perhaps Grant really means it and, if so, maybe it may come to pass. Yuk,yuk. Nevertheless, it's a good thing we already have a scoring machine and don't have to rely on a screen.

InFact's picture

OK, I'll give Grant a chance at shining more as a pass receiving RB.

BUT he doesn't have inherent skills as a pass receiver, given his hands are average and he's not a speed burner, nor is he able to make a cut or juke to quickly sidestep a pursuing tackler.

That's why the better idea would be to have Jackson in during obvious situations when the best catching RB of the team is needed.

FA T. Sutton may also be a better option during passing downs, if he makes the team.

Nerdmann's picture

Grant shouldn't get taken down on shoestring tackles this year. He should be much stronger.
What I would like to see is a guy with some speed, who can catch a screen and take it to the house. We don't have a real speed burner type at RB. Not that I'm complaining about our talent level there.

Asshalo's picture

ADAMinENGLAND, are you really from England? If so, how do you get games over there? And do you just keep them on your TiVo all this time or do you find a way to transfer them to DVD.

No need to apologize for re-watching games. We're all guilty of similar activities. I actually think it's kinda cool...I TiVO'd games last you and would slow a lot of plays down. Sort of wish I would have kept them so I could do the same now. Anyway, the team released a ten greatest games DVD set (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-ke...). It's pretty fun to rewatch.

RetiredGrandpa, I really miss William Henderson. "Nevertheless, it’s a good thing we already have a scoring machine and don’t have to rely on a screen." Right but it's always good to have a versatile set of weapons on your offense. You're a lot harder to defend that way.

Ruppert's picture

If you feel like spending money, nfl.com offers NFL Game Rewind, where you can watch all the regular season and playoff games from 2008 via streaming video on demand for the low, low price of $19.99.

I wouldn't do it personally because I'm pretty cheap, but if you really want to get into all the teams, it's probably not a bad deal.

packeraaron's picture

Ruppert - I've been on NFL Game Rewind since they launched it. It's brilliant. I've been re-watching all the Steelers and Ravens games from last year to get up-to-speed on the 3-4.

packeraaron's picture

InFact - agree on Sutton. Very interested to see what he can do.

Ron La Canne's picture

Screens work better in a two back set. The Packers of old utilized William beautifully. That, in turn, allowed Green to open up on occasion as well.

The two back set of today has the FB playing a yard off the L-o-S. Which tells the defense this guy is never going to touch the ball. Follow the deep back.

AdamInEngland's picture

Asshalo - Game Pass from nfl.com is the service I have been using, kinda like Game Rewind but only for international customers (you also have access to NFL TA). Another thing I have been wondering about in the coming season is the fullback situation. With the 3 guys it will be interesting to see who gets cut (I presume one of them will, although I wouldn't be shocked if all 3 stayed) and how/if a rotation will be played out.

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I'll get this out of the way now in case anyone was wondering, I do live in England but I was born and raised in Eau Claire, WI. Lived here just over 5 years now.

Nerdmann's picture

Lumpkin moves to FB, Kuhn and Hall get cut.

Asshalo's picture

Thanks all for that Nfl.com info
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"Lumpkin moves to FB"
Not sure if you're being sarcastic. I would imagine either Hall or Kunn would be out, unless they put Quinn on the practice squad.

Nerdmann's picture

To me, Lumpkin is already a FB. He'd be better than Kuhn or Hall, imo. We've already got a full squad at HB.

ACDC84's picture

This talk about the current team's inability to execute a successful screen pass play really make me long for the days when Ahman Green was here in his prime. That was a beautiful thing to watch.

I remember a play from '08 or maybe even '07 when BJ caught a screen up the left side, had TWO linemen out there to block, and somehow in some way went got tackled by ONE LB. That was pretty laughable.

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