We would like to welcome yet another writer to the Packers Lounge family. I am happy to introduce you to Tyler Bohms, who would like to reiterate what we said all year.
Throughout the 2008 campaign, the Green Bay Packers could not consistently rush the football.
Whether Ryan Grant’s slow start was a testament to a contractual hold-out, a nagging injury, or just a sophomore setback, this certainly was a step backwards for a player with so much promise the season before.
Obviously for the 6-10 club problems primarily existed on the defensive side of the ball, but the one glaring weakness offensively seemed to be establishing a consistent rushing attack. While Green Bay’s lead back, Grant, had a respectable 1203 yards rushing, it was his blatantly mediocre 3.9 average and 4 touchdowns that deem alarming. Also, in a west coast offense, Grant only managed to haul in 18 receptions during the 2008 season, a discouraging number for a back in this system.
While message board general managers clamor for free agent Darren Sproles or possibly a top draft pick being spent on a running back, it seems the Packers may have a viable option on their own roster. Brandon Jackson could be that guy.
Granted, the Packers could use a change-of-pace running back with speed to complement their plodding runners, but I still think Brandon Jackson deserves the opportunity to be given a shot as the featured back. In limited action last season Jackson ran for a mere 248 yards, but it was at a 5.5 clip. In addition to that, he had 30 receptions out of the backfield. This was generally in third-down situations when the defense knew he was one of the primary options.
Especially if the Packers decide not to bring in another player at running back, why not give Jackson more touches? It seems they haven’t given him enough looks to truly determine what he can do. He appears to be the perfect west coast back; he excels at catching the football and can run between the tackles. What are the negatives to giving him more looks at running back?
Doesn’t it seem like De Shawn Wynn had more big plays than Ryan Grant last season? I’m sure that isn’t the case, but that’s how unimpressive Grant was the last year.
Maybe Brandon Jackson will finally get his chance in 2009, and relish the opportunity.