Green Bay Packers: A Running Back Is Vital in 2012

Greg Maiola@Gom1094Senior Analyst IIApril 6, 2012

James Starks
James Starks

There was absolutely no stopping the Green Bay Packers' aerial attack in 2011. MVP Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson put together one of the best offensive seasons in NFL history. Green Bay finished 15-1 in the regular season. But the only record that mattered was the 0-1 postseason record that ruined a fantastic season.

The Packers were brilliant in 2011, but one-dimensional. Running back James Starks never returned to his 2010 post-season form. Ryan Grant had only two touchdowns in his 14 starts and back-up running backs Brandon Saine and Alex Green were never a serious threat for touches.

Ryan Grant will not return next year. Based on Starks, Saine and Green being the only backs under contract heading into 2012, the ground game could use some serious help.

Whether the veteran Packers go after a back in the draft or free agency, there are several options out there. The passing game became too predictable last season, no matter how effective it was. Though the defense needs a lot of work also, the rushing attack must be addressed if the Packers want to make another Super Bowl run.

The free agency frenzy has cooled off. This can actually help Green Bay make decent acquisitions at decent prices.

Joseph Addai is the best bet to help the Packers in 2012 if they go the free agent route. He has been to a Pro Bowl as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. Other than reuniting him with center Jeff Saturday, Addai can bring versatility to the Packers.

Addai is a great pass catcher and very good in protection, having blocked for Peyton Manning for so many years. With the Packers' passing game, Addai would excel catching passes out of the backfield and blocking for the NFL's MVP. He is also a physical runner who would be great in the red-zone. He is a do-it-all back and his injuries should be overlooked based on what he can bring to the offense.

If the Packers want to look to the draft for a running back, LaMichael James would be an appealing prospect. The Packers most likely will want to address their defense in the first round and James could be available by the second round.

James is a quick back who can also catch passes. He would complement the game of James Starks and could be the running back of the future in Green Bay.


The Green Bay Packers are already one of the top teams in the league. A running back would change up the pace on offense and make the Packers even more explosive. No matter which direction the organization goes, they must bring in a running back.

The aging Packers are a few players away from another ring and the clock is ticking.