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Grant Welcomes Competition But Expects To Start

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Grant Welcomes Competition But Expects To Start

In an interview with WSSP in Milwaukee, Ryan Grant said he was told by former running backs coach Edgar Bennett that he would be the Packers starting running back heading into the 2011 season.

From Eric Schmoldt over at Sports Radio Interviews:

After missing most of last year with an injury, are you still considered the starter?:

I would think so. I don’t know. From what I’ve heard, that’s the conversation that was told to me. … I was told that by [former running backs coach Edgar Bennett], initially. Jerry [Fontenot, the new position coach] didn’t tell me that anything changed. Jerry told me that as of right now I’m still the leader of the backfield and the expectations won’t change. … I do believe there will be competition, which is fine. I’m all for that.

But you want to start, right?:

Of course. Why would you not want to? Who doesn’t want that? But I do want to win, more importantly. And I do feel like what I bring to the table and what I do on the field is very direct to me. … I’m looking forward to whatever happens regarding all that and I’m just going to take care of what I can.

What if they asked you to be the backup?:

If it was in the best interest of the team, I’m all for it.

There's a very small chance that the Packers could see Grant take the field and decide they don't want to pay him the $1.75 million roster bonus he is due on the 15th day of the league year (whenever that happens to be) - but I would be shocked if that happened.

More likely, Grant will be the starter in a time-share with second year back James Starks. The coaching staff reportedly loves Starks so it will be interesting to see how much the "starters" designation means in terms of number of carries and snaps from scrimmage throughout the course of a game. My hunch is the team will be happy to ride Grant, using Starks as its warranted until next season when Grant is set to be a free agent. At that point, Grant can either resign at a Packer-friendly rate or try his luck in free agency. Either way, the Packers will have a fully seasoned Starks ready to take over the starters job.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (10) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Chad Toporski's picture

Knowing McCarthy, I'm sure he'll ride the "hot" RB for each game. Both will be included in the offense, and if Starks can block better than Grant (which shouldn't be all that hard), we can probably expect him to be in on more passing downs.

I doubt Green will have the blocking techniques down in time to have a chance at the beginning of the season. We know that is priority #1 in that offense.

Tarynfor 12's picture

MM has said Starks needs to practice better and if he doesn't the decision is easy.The benefit from this competition is Starks will/hopefully have more drive in practice which will increase performance in game action,and to have a veteran RB wanting to keep his spot and his level of play.
The cap will decide perhaps the outcome rather than camp.Grant states he will do what is nessessary for the team to win,I hope he knows his paycheck may be the first pill swallowed to prove it.

ct Sharpe Cheddar's picture

Practice? Your talking abought practice not his performance in the playoffs(Eagle ,Bears).Practice your talking abought practice not a game...practice

PackersRS's picture

Cmon now man, Starks was clearly the best back on our team last year, but he wasn't anything spetacular.

The coaches know very well that you won't be elite in this league if you don't bust your butt off in practice.

If he doesn't show the drive in practice, he's not gonna beat out Grant. Grant not only is one of the hardest workers in the team, but he has proven over the course of 2 seasons that he can carry the rock.

That being said, I haven't watched a single practice of him, so I can't say what are the problems. All we know is that MM mumbled something about practice habits, but he was far from specific...

Tarynfor 12's picture

Yes,practice.Competition is done during,dare I say it again,practice.Which is the larger part of a decision of who starts or at many a time even dresses for a game for some.

packeraaron's picture

You do realize he's making a reference to Allen Iverson, right? It's a joke.

Tarynfor 12's picture

Had to look up,explains why I didn't get the joke as Basketball occupys o% of my time.
Was your response just for my benefit or directed to PackersRS also?

PackersRS's picture

I think it's both.

And, in my defense, I don't watch NBA, and I'm not from the US, so...

Yeah, I'm pulling the ignorance card.

jk12to85's picture

Who cares who it is. Both have proven to be competent backs and having 25 back only makes the offense BETTER!

Cole's picture

Grant is in a contract year. He will be back full force as the starter, and starks will get about a third of the carries.

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