Create Account

Or log in with Facebook


Log in

Or log in with Facebook

I Was Completely Wrong About Ryan Grant

By Category

I Was Completely Wrong About Ryan Grant

I started blogging about the Packers in 2007. In the four years since, I've tried to make a habit of owning up to opinions I have that turn out to be misplaced or, to put a finer point on it, flat out wrong.

Earlier this season, I wrote the following:

Grant takes way too much time to get to the line, let alone get through it. On run after run yesterday we saw Panther safeties crashing down and turning what could have been decent gains into minimal ones because of Grant's labored efforts at attacking the defense from deep I formations.

It's time for the coaches to gently but firmly put Grant on the sideline save for when Starks needs a breather. They're only cheating the offense by not doing so.

Well, ever since Thanksgiving or so, Ryan Grant has made me look completely foolish.

Not only has he regained whatever burst I thought he'd lost, (seriously - that 80 yard touchdown catch and run?), he's found his vision, excelled in pass protection and showed softer hands out of the backfield on screens and checkdowns than at any point in his career. He has done all this while still being a punishing runner who almost always gains yards after contact and who has brought a much needed sense of stability to a backfield that seemed perilously thin not just a few weeks ago.

The running back will never be a major star in Mike McCarthy's offense, but having one who is playing as well as Grant is makes things a lot easier for both McCarthy and his quarterback.

And it requires blowhards like myself to acknowledge that I was flat out wrong about Ryan Grant.

  • Like Like
  • -1 points

Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (39) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Michelle's picture

I completely agree with you. At the start of this season, I was getting really frustrated because I felt that he made his moves too late and always seemed to "run into the pile." I don't know that I'm going to change my opinion of him based on a handful of games (the playoffs would shove me into believer mode, if he does well) but it does seem that he's more disciplined and ready of late. I like the guy as a player and a man and hope that he does well.

aussiepacker's picture

If i had a dollar for every time this season i said c'mon Grant have a go, for every time he ran into the back of the oline or just made 2 or 3 yards if that. I would be drinking alot of free beer. But he has played really well the last few games and it seems he always is better towards the end of the season than the beginning but i dont know why? That 80 yard touchdown was awesome and made me jump of the lounge. Hope he keeps it up through the playoffs.

bogmon's picture

A breath of freshness to have a writer/blogger point out faulty statements they've made in the past. Well done Nagler!!

Grant is back to where he was in training camp in 2010. We might see a few more of these exceptional plays in the least that's the hope.

Go Pack!!

FJ Dan's picture

Completely off topic, but check out the block & hustle by DD.

Point Packer's picture

Love that guy.

redlights's picture

I'm wondering if the current OLine is the ticket. I know that there is alot of talent on the sideline, these days, but maybe EDS and Lang are gelling. who knows?

In spite of everything out there, I still believe that there are certain games where a running game will pull out a W. Not going to discuss cold vs warm; rain or snow vs clear; windy vs calm; or indoor vs outside. Just remember Starks absolutely punishing the PHI l'backers last year. Ahman Green before that. Also, not saying that the passing game is a fad; just certain games would be nice to be able to try a different approach, not to mention, may extend ARodg's career.


overkill's picture


BubbaOne's picture

It takes a mench to acknowledge when he's wrong...well done Aaron.

Grant and Clifton are prime examples the NFL season is a marathon. Aaron you were not alone in dismissing Grant. Alot of fans did the same w/ Clifton until injuries on the OL had them praying he could still play.

An adage from a great sage says "those that don't have patience become patients".

Ruppert's picture

Nice move by admitting you're wrong, Aaron.

Legions of Packers fans agreed with you, though. Myself included. Grant's recent performance is a pleasant surprise, and the timing couldn't possibly be better.

jeremy's picture

I think what you wrote was correct at the time. Grants just picked up his game. Maybe his legs are fresher than the opposing LB's because of his low reps. Maybe realizing his contract is up has lit a fire under his ass. Maybe he just wants one more SuperBowl ring before he has to go play for some 8-8 team. Whatever the reason, if he keeps it up he can be this postseasons James Starks.

Abe's picture

Add me to the list that was dead wrong. I watched the game with my poor Lion Fan brother and he, along with me, was shocked at Grant's burst on this play.

While on the subject of this play, interesting tidbit from "Tuesday's with Aaron" yesterday. It seems the only players that knew this was a screen was Grant, Flynn and the receivers. The O-Line didn't block it like a screen.

dullgeek's picture

I find it hard to admit when I was wrong. Well done, sir.

Pack2back's picture

Grant has always been a back who usually requires multiple touches during a game to find his groove. More simply put, he seems to get stronger and play better as the game progresses. I seem to remember a certain playoff game against Seattle a few years ago, when after losing fumbles on something like 2 of his first 3 touches, and basically spotting the Seahawks 14 points he went on to have a career day and set a Packer playoff rushing record. Those of you who question the "running into the pile" as you call it, have to remember that the Packers play a lot of shotgun formation so that is most likely where the play was designed to go but the O line failed to create the lane. Neither Grant nor Starks have great cut-back ability, mainly because both are big punishing backs, and because they start so far from back from the line in Shotgun formation they have to trust that the O line will have the lane open for them when they hit the line. When you start not going where the play was designed you will either be hero (ala Barry Sanders) or unemployed. Grant has been a very humble and excellent team player since the emergence of Starks and I hope both have a great playoff run. (pun intended)

packeraaron's picture

The whole "running into the pile" bit used to drive me nuts, until I learned a bit more about their zone blocking scheme and how the backs are taught to run to targets and then make their cut. Lots of times, Grant is running to a target that just happens to have collapsed. It's still maddening to watch, but it doesn't bug me as much as it used to.

Bob's picture

I wonder why the Packers running backs are not taught with the style Denver used for many years. The back cuts left or right, takes the handoff and then cuts back against the flow of the defense. The blocking scheme was even designed to get the defense going the direction of the first cut. It was very effective for years Denver inserted different backs with almost no dropoff in production.

eVade's picture

It has long annoyed me, I wonder how McCarthy deals with it.

I'm really glad Grant is back, but he's more susceptible to a 'boink' run than Starks (who seemed to be getting a wiggle before he went down in a tangle).

fish/crane's picture

I've been on Grant's side while others were jumping ship- and am very happy for how well he's playing- but, learning a "hop/sideways step" move would help him- and for that matter all the RB's.

In that I'm thinking about this- I don't think we've had an RB that can "hop step" since....since....Eddie Lee Ivery.- but perhaps that's why our RB's don't fumble - oh well.

Mojo's picture

I too have noticed the lack of jump-cuts by the Packer RBs over the years. A lot of other teams use it a lot. I wonder if the Packer RB's are instructed not to.

packeraaron's picture

It doesn't fit with how they are coached to run in the zone blocking scheme. Ted looks for, and Mike and his coaches teach, backs to hit their mark, put their foot in the ground, and go.

fish/crane's picture

Run to Daylight but don't jump

Bearmeat's picture

He's picked up his game, yes.

He's still gone at the end of the year. Barring a catastrophic injury to Starks in the playoffs, the backfield will look like this next year:

1a. Starks
1b. Green or Saine
2. Draft pick TBD.
3. Kuhn

packeraaron's picture

I totally agreed with this in November. Now, I'm not so sure.

NoWayJose's picture

I think we could see a James Jones type situation.

Grant is allowed to test the market. If it doesn't materialize, Ted might be open to bringing him back at a very similar deal to what Jones got 3yrs/$9M. Ted isn't going to overpay here. But then again, I don't really know who is going to want to pay much for:

(1) A 30ish RB
(2) Who has had a bad knee injury
(3) Who hasn't ever been elite
(4) Who didn't put up consistently greant numbers this year
(5) From a system that is incredibly pass-focused

The playoffs could change the above-perceptions, but for now, I don't see a huge market for him.

Jake's picture

I think you might be right, but he's been playing well the last few weeks and if he does well this post season that might work in his favor. Also he had an ankle injury not a knee injury.

If they can make room to keep 30 something Ahman Green in 2009 on the roster, they can probably find room for Grant lol. But who knows...

NoWayJose's picture

Oops, you're right, it wasn't a knee injury. That is a indeed less of red flag.

And I agree, a monster post-season could really help his value.

All that said, I'd still be surprised if he was able to get such a big contract that he would be out of the Packers' range.

PackersRS's picture

So how much of that "more stamina than the others" and that "better footing for poor field conditions" thing is true then?

Why every single year Grant has a much, much better second half of season than a first?

Tommyboy's picture

You and me both, man. Watching Grant get his burst back has him as the legitimate #1 over Starks right now. It's so cool seeing the Grant of ol' out there. The Packers have narrowed the running gap between them and other teams now. Good to see.

Tommyboy's picture

Except for that damn snow angel, though. I always knew he was a thug.

packsmack25's picture

One thing you'll never see Grant do is make a jump cut. The guy keeps his feet moving in a straight line at all times. It's terrible to watch when there are no holes to hit, but when there are, he's going to hit them hard.

T's picture

For a non-running football team we sure have a lot of RB on IR the last few years. They are always injury prone, even the backups. At least we can always count on Kuhn.

Jesse's picture

Didn't Grant make a comment a few weeks ago that this was the first time he has felt healthy since his injury last year? I think that is the biggest contributing factor to his success this year.

Jake's picture

Yep I remember that.

jeremy's picture

That's a great point, Levens had a similar ankle injury and never was the same. Of course Orthopedics has improved since then.

AJKUHN's picture

I think there is a lot to that. Injuries take time and reps to return from. I love the jets he turned on that big run. I think he is a reliable back that will stick around. Nobody else is gonna throw a lot of money at him, and he knows he can be apart of a lot of wins here. Starks has been injury prone and no one else is proven, I think it would be silly to let him go.

bomdad's picture

Like I said then, he only has to be good enough to get the safeties to sneak up into the box. The long TD pass to Jordy was set up with the run.

So he's still got some wheels too, bonus.

glblank's picture

Most people missed this one but Grant'worth wasn't realized until the first Bears game game when Starks stumbled, fumbled and Grant took over. The issue now is will Grant get the number of carries in a pass dominated offense that doesn't rely on one back.

PackersRS's picture

That's not an issue. But overall good point.

bryce's picture

Ryan Grant just needs a bigger share of the carries to get going. Or maybe someone within the organization pointed out to him that brandon saine was looking pretty good and grant's contract was up at the end of the year.

Bearmeat's picture

Ryan Grant is still slow. But he always seems to run well late in the season. And that's the time to do it...

Log in to comment, upload your game day photos and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.

Or log in with Facebook



"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
"The Bears still suck!"
"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "