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The Best Man?

The Best Man?




Did Brandon Jackson sit last season because the organization wanted to see Ryan Grant play regardless? It's not so far fetched.





In our interview with Greg Bedard last night, the subject of Ryan Grant's contract was brought up. One of the most interesting quotes from Mr. Bedard was the following:


"Certain people in the organization wanted Ryan Grant to play."


Now in the context of the conversation one could easily say that the organization not only wanted Ryan Grant to play, but wanted him to play whether he was the best man to carry the ball or not.

I have long wondered on this blog why we haven't seen more Brandon Jackson. His paltry 45 carries last season were far below the league average for 2nd string backs. His 5.5 yards per carry however, was one of the highest. This all coming after McCarthy's resounding praise of Jackson all through training camp.

A similar theme is emerging this year as we again are hearing how great Jackson looks, and how Ryan Grant is playing the antonym. This begs the question: Is Ryan Grant only starting because the organization wants to look right for caving in on his contract demands?

It's a serious accusation, and one I am not too happy about if it is true. If you are so insecure in the front office up in Green Bay that you are playing Grant to feed your need to prove something, y'all need to have a meeting and get that crap figured out. What happens when you re-sign Collins and he proves to be an utter disaster in the new scheme? Do you keep him in too?

The Green Bay Packers are about winning games, not winning popularity points. You do that by playing the best players, regardless.


(Stay Tuned)

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (13) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

retiredgrampa's picture

Like everyone else I enjoy Jackson's play, when he happens to be in there. I frankly don't expect anything to happen when Grant is in there. If it's true that Grant is playing because "someone wants him in there", there are asses that need to be kicked repeatedly in GB. Our opponents know that when Jackson goes in, there's a good chance it's going to be a screen pass. How smart is that? I'm a bit surprised Jackson hasn't muttered his discontent somehow....obviously he wants to keep his job until his contract is up. I still remember how good Jackson looked last year againest Carolina. Apparently, TT and/or MM have forgotten.

PackersRS's picture

Don't get me wrong. Jackson played bettter than Grant when he stepped in. But IMO there are some factors that have to be considerer.
About his 5.5 average:
1. Nobody gameplanned against him.
2. Because he carried less the ball, he was less tired and played his maximum every snap.
3. He almost didn't play at goal line and 3rd and short.
About Grant's 3.9 average:
1. He played almost every 3rd and short and goal line situations.
2. He was hurt early on and didn't attend minicamps and preseason.
3. Teams gameplanned against him, unlike 2007. And Rodgers wasn't feared as Favre was, so teams played the run more.

Of course that don't make up for Grant running straight to our Oline instead through the holes...

About Jackson looking good in OTA's and Grant not, it's no pads, and Jackson is more of an elusive than a strong back, unlike Grant.
That being said, I would like to see BJ getting more reps, but I don't have the same feelings some Packer Fans have that he's better than Grant and can be a great back. I still think Grant is the Feature Back, but BJ can be a nice change of pace. The backfield don't impress me, actually. We have more pressing needs, but I would like us to get a Stud RB next year, or at least a speedy Chris Johnson, Reggie Bush type...'s picture

Let me start by saying I disagree with all parties above. Grant and Jackson are not the big issue here it's the crap blocking we had... are backs are inconsequential when there getting tackled behind the line of scrimmage consistently.
But the HQ view point is nether one of theses backs is ever going to be a pro bowl type back ...if we where running the Holmgren WCO then Jackson is more of a fit, if it's Shermans power gap scheme ( which was about the only thing old Sherm did right) then Grant fits the ticket.
But in Coach M's Bastardized monstrosity of A ZBS I just don't get warm fuzzies from them ever down. Grant has had his moments but CONSISTENTLY it's not there.
Truthfully a guy like Lumpkin or a Tyrell Sutton might just be what the doctor ordered !

Alex Tallitsch's picture

I still think the bigger issue is the assertion that the organization was going to play Grant no matter what. I don't care if it's Jackson, Lumpkin, Sutton, or Wynn. No player should be given the starting role based on anything other than play.'s picture

Alex, If this is high school or college ball your correct. Keep in mind always that pro football has a huge business aspect that comes with it.

Alex Tallitsch's picture

Well, there is a fundamental wrongness to that which should not be accepted.

Toby Hump's picture

Brandon Jackson, at the end of last season, was the better Running Back. He got through the line quicker, he moved better and when he did get on he could almost top, in 1 down, what Grant had done in 3 (bearing in mind Grant has stated he wasn't suffering from his hamstring at that time). Jackson also looks better at catching for short yardage gains.

I would hate to think that Jacksons progress was being hindered, but look at the facts. At the time of Grant wanting a big contract Jackson wasn't seen as a big prospect (he was improving but it would have been a gamble to make him starter). It also happened to be right in the middle of Favre-a-palooza. Grant's agent was appalled at the Packers unwillingness to negotiate and at their proposed first offer. So yes, the Packers caved in and paid a back that (in my eyes) is a bust (I would happily place a bet that he'll flop again this season).

The Packers don't want to be seen to agents as an organisation that caves in easily. The Grant situation is a shame and perhaps we'll see more of Jackson if he can improve even more.

bozz_2006's picture

let's see what Grant brings to the table with a full offseason including OTAs, mini camps, and training camp. we all saw it coming last year, after he missed so much stuff holding out for his contract. I'm anxious to see what he can do this year.

Graham's picture

Grant is our best running back. Anyone who says otherwise is wishful thinking.

Sure Grant had a 3.9 average so what?? Do you really think MM would not play his best player? You think he would do what TT wanted him to do or something like that? MM knows the fire is under his a$$ to get things going and W's. He would not mess with Grant if he didn't think Grant was his best player.

Greg C.'s picture

That is an interesting comment from Bedard, and sometimes things like that can happen in organizations. It would be a bad thing if that was the case with Grant vs. Jackson. Not least of all, it would mean that Mike McCarthy was not in control of his team. I'm not sure if this theory really makes sense, though, as Grant's contract is full of incentives, which means that the organization would profit from getting more production out of Jackson, who is on a fixed salary, and avoiding paying the incentives to Grant.

Also, I don't understand this comment: "A similar theme is emerging this year as we again are hearing how great Jackson looks, and how Ryan Grant is playing the antonym." First off, what does "playing the antonym" mean? If it means that Ryan Grant has looked bad in the minicamps, that's not what I've heard at all. Neither have I heard that Jackson looks great. I read the GB Press Gazette, and their writers seem to think that you can't tell much about the running backs in practices where there are no pads and no contact.

So unless I hear more evidence, I find this theory to be kind of a stretch.

Alex Tallitsch's picture

Actually Greg, that is exactly what I am saying. Bedard also mentioned that once again Jackson was standing out, and Grant was pedestrian at best. Yes, they are in shorts, but it sounds strangely familiar...

Greg C.'s picture

I guess you read stuff that I don't read. Do you know of any other writers who share Bedard's opinion? I'm not trying to be a smart aleck. I'm just curious.

I did like Jackson a lot last year, and I thought he should've gotten way more playing time. But I'm not yet ready to say that he is a better RB than Grant.

Alex Tallitsch's picture

I can't pick out a name, but I know I was left scratching my head last year on several occasions. You can watch the interview with Bedard, he talks about it in some detail. The Andrew Brandt interview is interesting too.

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