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Jersey Al Nails It

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Jersey Al Nails It

I could not agree more with this if I tried.

Money quote:

Ryan Grant can only gain significant yards when he has a well-defined hole in sight. Give him a nice big seam that he can run through and he’ll slash through the hole with aggression. Give him an offensive lineman  or two that have been stood up in his path and he just can’t adjust. He doesn’t have the ability to make sharp cuts and change direction with speed.

Sadly, this is too, too true. As I noted back in September:

Time and again on Sunday we saw the backside cut open up. We even saw Grant see it. And that’s the problem.

For whatever reason, Grant is gathering himself before making the hard backside cut, and it’s giving the backside pursuit, usually the weakside linebacker or defensive end, the time necessary to close the crease and stop him for minimal gains. Again and again, Grant would cut at what seemed a glacial pace while the pursuit caught up to him. There is just no suddeness to Grant’s movement.

Hence my point yesterday about not taking the ball out of Aaron Rodgers' hand, even when it's cold. Rodgers is one of the best players in the league at his position. Grant, bless his soul, is just a guy. Why the Packers are married to him as the starter is a mystery that will forever haunt Packer fans...

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (35) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

alfredomartinez's picture

and with the 2010 draft selection, the green bay packers select toby garharth, running bak from stanford university...

gratif's picture

He's just a guy and he's boring, but he always falls forward, almost never fumbles, and isn't hurting the team.
With Aaron, JerMichael (drool), and the WR corps we've got championship caliber firepower on O.
Before we look at the 2010 Free Agent RBs:

Ronnie Brown
Pierre Thomas
Cadillac Williams
Darren Sproles
LenDale White
Leon Washington
Jerious Norwood
Chester Taylor
Willie Parker
Mike Bell,
Kenneth Darby,
Kevin Faulk
Jerome Harrison
Le’Ron McClain
Adrian Peterson, Chicago Bears
Kolby Smith
We need to resign Collins, Pickett, Bigby, Tramon, Jolly, and either Chillar or Kampman, and figure out the O line. Yikes. I'd love a better RB but it's a non issue compared to the aforementioned.

DaveK's picture

There were a few runs in that Raven's game that I thought Grant missed some lanes that cost the Packers 3-4 yards on first down. Compare Green's runs and Grant's run in that Raven's games and tell me which guy finds the seams better. That being said, this time of year might the time Grant starts to shine. Grant the mudder might start to shine @CHI and @PIT. I also like the way they used Green in the Raven's game. He came in for a series in both the 2nd and 4th quarter and I thought he was effective in that role. ******************************
Priority next draft in the first round will BE THE BEST AVAILABLE PLAYER who isn't a QB!! Let's hope the best availible guy sitting at pick 32 is an OT.

bleedsgreen's picture

I don't think anybody can disagree with this assessment. And it makes perfect sense in terms of answering to the critics who chant, "Run the damn ball!"

However, I hope it doesn't add fuel to the already over-raging hate storm that arises from the hoi polloi every time Grant fails to breakaway for a long-distance score.

I don't think some of the dimmer fans seem to understand that the man you speak of longingly, the one who can see that backside seam, get there in the very same moment, and then re-accelerate to Glory - that man... he is a rarefied creature he.

bleedsgreen's picture

All that I just said.... I have to agree with Al, Ahman Green looked noticeably better on his attempts and I was cheering for him to stay in the game.

Ruppert's picture

Grant ran right into the back of one of the O linemen the other night and fell almost straight backwards. Lovely. I don't hate the guy, though. He's a middle-of-the-road RB on a team with middle-of-the-road run blocking. It kind of fits... And you have to hand it to him for not fumbling (please don't jinx him, football gods).

PACKERS.'s picture

Whenever I see Grant run, he always seems to jump around or hesitate a little before committing, which always gives the defense time to adjust. Hopefully we'll see less of the offensive line problems the rest of the season now that the offensive line is, not fixed, but much better.

Oppy's picture

I've always commented that Ryan Grant's biggest failure is his indecision in the backfield. The entire zone blocking scheme is predicated on making an early decision and decisively attacking. There's no room for second guessing. You either continue playside or you take your "one-cut" and hit the backside. Once you've made that decision, and it should be made within the first 3-5 steps, you can not afford to doddle.. It's pedal to the metal straight ahead. Early in the season, he was extremely non-commital, and it showed. He has been far more decisive the last 6 games.

At any rate, Ryan Grant had a poor outing against a very stingy Baltimore run defense. He's also had a string of very good games previously, including against Dallas. Does Ryan Grant hit balls out of the park? Not that he's shown this year. But he's proven that if he gets the touches, he's more than capable of doing what needs to be done.

I still believe the Packers should run more if only for the balance it provides. And, again, if McCarthy wants to throw on 3rd and short or goaline, go ahead... But do your team a favor and do it out of a formation with a RB lined up behind the QB so the defense has to diagnose the play. These two things go hand in hand, as well as setting up play action.

Cuphound's picture

I really liked the piece. I especially loved the thesis: "Ryan Grant can only gain significant yards when he has a well-defined hole in sight." It makes so much sense.
It's a clear explanation for Grant's slump since 2007. When was the last time the O-Line looked serviceable? 2006. Jeff Jagodzinski, our only link to the mystical mind of Alex Gibbs, was still offensive coordinator in 2006. The line looked like it was getting progressively better that year. Certainly our old QB wasn't sacked that year the way Rodgers would be in 2007 (15:34 ratio!). They linemen were probably better at opening holes for Grant that year, too.
The good news is that if we fix the O-Line, we don't <I>need</I> a better running back. If (1) the line gets fixed and (2) Grant's still by and large the same guy as he was in 2006, he may actually work out.

mopak65's picture

I have said all along: Ryan Grant is not an
Ahman Green!! Grant is over-rated: he based his 2008 hold out upon the play-off game against Seattle in 2007 - THIS IS HIS ONLY CLAIM TO FAME PERFORMANCE!

retiredgrampa's picture

One of many foibles TT apparently has is his hesitancy to make change. He feels that his decision to reward Grant with a new contract should NEVER be viewed as a mistake, no matter how glaring. Status quo is the safest course of action. MM also seems afflicted by the same malady in that Grant will always get the bulk of the carries no matter how much better Green is playing, or Jackson for that matter. There are way too many better RBs out there to be stuck with Grant.

C.D. Angeli's picture

Why are the Packers married to Grant? Because they overpaid him based on half a season. I think there was a lot of "believing our own hype" that followed the surreal 13-3 season, much of which has led to the team having to essentially reach rock bottom (Tampa Bay) before rebuilding itself again.
There were a lot of people calling for Ryan Grant to get paid, and there was money to do it. I advised against it, but the Packers did little to find any other avenues. Grant held out because he knew he was "just a guy" and that's how "just a guy" gets to be a millionaire.

WoodyG's picture

This was obvious even in 2007 that Grant ran well &amp; produced yardage when the holes were big enough to drive a truck through .... less room resulted in little gain......
Keep thinking S. Jackson in 2010........ He won't be a Ram ...... Might as well be a Packer.

Cletus's picture

Just checking stats at, it seems Grant is 9th in the NFL in yards and yards per game, and is the only RB in the top 25 with no fumbles, although several others have just one fumble. He's not a difference-maker and probably not worth his salary (this year), but nothing to complain about in my opinion. The team can definitely win with Grant, Green and Jackson in the backfield.

nerdmann's picture

Grant is thunder. He's a between the tackles guy. Ideally, he'd be complemented by a "lightning" type guy with some flashiness and speed. We don't have that guy. Green is as close as we get to that guy.
I do think that Jackson cuts much better than Grant. That's one thing that's impressed me about Jackson. Dude can cut on a dime. Not only that, he can catch the ball occasionally. Wouldn't mind seeing him get his chance.
Also, EVERY year, the Oline starts out very badly. Then they pull it together down the stretch. This year is no different, except for maybe a little more extreme in the early season suckage. That must be fixed.

PACKERS.'s picture

Nerdmann: I agree with you on the o-line. In my opinion, the foundation of a solid NFL team is a solid offensive line. The line keeps the quarterback upright completing passes, opens holes for running backs, and keeps the offense on the field. I'm not saying that's all you need for a team, but as far as units go, it's easily one of the most important.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Other than Al, does anyone know of anything good that came from Jersey??? I just watched 5 minutes of "The Jersey Shore" on MTV, and, WOW... holy shitfest. These people have tanning beds in their living rooms, the stereo types... ALL TRUE! Un-friggin-believable! Sorry Al.


PackerBacker's picture

I like watching Green run as much as the next guy, but anyone who thinks that he can carry a game is kidding themselves. He has too many years and yards under his belt. However, he is perfect for the 5 to 10 runs per game he is getting. Grant gets a rest, and Green gets to keep his fresh legs (hopefully all the way through the post-season). Greens problem the past few years was injuries. Keeping his runs per game low will help to keep him healthy.

PackerBacker's picture

I meant post-season, not off-season.

NickGBP's picture

Fitzcore, it's always a good idea to stereotype an entire state based on characters on a television show (yes, I know it's "reality" tv but they are still characters egged on by producers). And it's MTV, man. Ouch. Says more about you if you really believe that then it does about the state. There are stereotypes everywhere. "Hicks" down south, mindless "surfer dudes" on the west coast, inbred trailer trash in the middle, etc. It's your job as an educated individual not to let these stereotypes sway your judgement for an entire population, or you end up looking like the ass.
Im sure you weren't being entirely serious, but it still makes you look like an ass, something you seem to have a prediliction for based on the posts I've seen from you before.
Princeton sez hi, by the way.
And that's my rant. Packer stuff to follow...

wgbeethree's picture

Wow are a lot of us packers fans finicky! Ryan Grant isn't great but we aren't going to have allpros at every position. He's a solid dependable back. Sure it would be nice if he was a little faster or caught the ball out of the backfield a bit better. The guy is certainly in the top 5 in the NFL for rushing yards since his first start (I believe second behind only AD but I don't have the stats in front of me). He has started something like the last 40 or so games even through injuries which I'm guessing no other back has done. He rarely coughs up the ball. Is he a star? No. Is he gonna be the guy who carries us to a championship? Probably not. Is he good enough that we don't need to whine about him everytime he has a below average game? Yes.

I swear if Jesus Christ was our running back some people would still complain (likely calling for a practice squad player or undrafted free agent who did decent against a bunch of guys who aren't even in the league anymore) to take his place. He can walk on water? Yeah but he only runs a 4.5 on it and we need a faster diety to take over for him. He can turn water into wine? Yeah but he always turns it into chambliss and I'm more of reisling or a beer guy.

It is absolutely crazy and sort of dissapointing that so many ''fans'' can do little to nothing but complain about the slightest difficiency the team has constantly.

NickGBP's picture

Ryan Grant is a good back. He has been a big part of our success these last 4/5 games. He did have a bad game against the Ravens, there's no doubting that. The switch to Green was immediately noticeable. But for those poor decisions he made last week, he has made equally good ones in the past four that has helped our team win. And you simply cannot stress enough how important his 0 turnovers (rushing; he does have the single fumble off a pass) are for this team. Sure he's not elite, but is he a weakness of our football team? Absolutely not. We have much more pressing matters to address such as the OL which, when fixed, should make a lot of people's tunes change on Mr Grant.

bucky's picture

Ryan Grant isn't the best back in the league, but he is the best back on the roster. Ahman Green is a good change of pac e back who can also catch the ball out of the backfield, but as someone else pointed out, he doesn't have enough in the tank to be a feature back at this point in his career. Brandon Jackson and DeShawn Wynn? Please.

I have no problem with the Packers continuing to give 8-10 touches a game to Ahman Green, along with 15 or so to Grant. I also have no problem with any effortsd to upgrade the position in the offseason through free agency or the draft. But anyone who may think that switching RBs at this point in the season will produce better results is living on Fantasy Island.

PACKERS.'s picture

Wgbeethree: I completely agree. Grant has his faults like any other player in the league, but he is a good running back. He is still relatively young, and his numbers for the most part have been improving year to year. I hope he is the Packers' runningback for many more years, and that he continues to improve at this rate.

NickGBP: "Princeton says hi" Priceless. One of the better rants I've seen in a long time.

Dilligaff's picture

Grant is an average back who got over paid because his contract dispute coincided with BF debacle. Grant was a hot commodity coming off his 13-3 season. Packer nation would have exploded if TT had a lengthy hold out by Grant and traded BF to the Jets. So he paid Grant. IMO MM wants to play Green but he brought him back too soon. Once Green is in football shape we will see Grant and Green split reps, much like AP and Taylor in MIN.

gratif's picture

The Grant dogging pendulum has swung too far. Half the people in this discussion are overstating the case. (But yes, I'd rather have SJax. Duh.)
Ryan Grant is a better player than Cedric Benson. Benson gets recognized this year because he has (1.) the carries and (2.) the blocking. Look at what Benson's backups have done in his stead.
Ryan Grant is not hurting this team. If you want to fix the running game revamp the O line and pound the rock.

FITZCORE1252's picture


I'm an ass? prediliction?? At least I know how to use spell check... deuche.


FITZCORE1252's picture

Damn, Censored on CHTV :-)

Probably better!


PACKERS.'s picture

For those who say that Grant and Green should split: Keep in mind that Green is getting old, and, while he's good, he's not going to get much better. Grant, on the other hand, is still young and has stats that are consistently improving year to year. Yes, he has his faults, but we're forgetting that he's only been in the NFL for four years. He's not perfect, but he's improving. Grant will be the future of the groud attack in Green Bay.

wgbeethree's picture

For those of you who think that Grant is over paid take this into consideration.

Last year is the most recent that I can find a list of salaries for right now but he was 13th in total salary amongst running backs at 5.1 million. The guys directly around him? 11th Ederrin James (514 yards) 12th Fred Taylor (556 yards) 14th Duece Mccallister (418 yards) 15th Ahman Green (294 yards) 16th Greg Jones (13 yards).

I'd say its pretty obvious that we got the most for our money out of that group!!!

Franklin Hillside's picture

His mudder was a mudder. Even his fadder was a mudder.
He's not great, but he's serviceable, and I would like to echo the importance of no fumbles. Remember when A Green had a wicked case of fumblitis? Those days were brutal.

NickGBP's picture

According to Football Outsiders, which uses a metric to measure the effectiveness of a team's running game ("adjusted line yards metric"), the Packers are judged to be the best team in the league running up the middle and third in the league running over right tackle and right end, but are 30th running to the left.

The effectiveness of the Packers' offense is ranked 20th on first down, ninth on second down and the best on third down.

FITZCORE1252's picture

HAHA, when things get bad be thankful of 2 things... you're not a bayer fan and your name isn't nick (D-BAG).


Oppy's picture

stats don't matter. Intelligent analysis of those stats doesn't matter either.
Just agree with the popular stereotypes regardless of the available data. :)
I do have to ask, however- are those numbers including QB yardage on scrambles, or is that purely pertaining to RB's out of the backfield?

FITZCORE1252's picture

"And that’s my rant. Packer stuff to follow…" - NickGBP

WELL, now that your rant's out of the way, I believe I speak on behalf of the entire CHEESEHEAD NATION when I plead, Pleeeze nick, give us yer "Packer stuff"! We're ALL on the edge of our seats to get your take on the Pack... get over yourself... DEUCHE.


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