Eddie Lacy Must Handle Majority of Green Bay Packers' Carries

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Eddie Lacy Must Handle Majority of Green Bay Packers' Carries
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers coaching staff will attempt to fool fans into thinking there is a running back battle going on between rookie Eddie Lacy and DuJuan Harris this preseason.

There isn't. Lacy is an exciting all-around back that needed to work on a few fundamental issues before taking the majority of the Packers' load in 2013—which he can and will.

It wasn't long ago that head coach Mike McCarthy lauded Harris as the Packers' starting running back; it came on August 8 to be exact. Even then the quote sounded like a way to motivate Lacy more than anything.

Since then, Lacy has seen an uptick in production and praise from all in the know after bouncing back from a hamstring issue. Fox Sports beat writer Paul Imig took to Twitter to report on some kind words the Packers' running back coach had to say:

Perhaps the biggest knock on Lacy coming out of college outside of his tendency for small, nagging injuries was his inefficiency in pass protection. By all accounts, that is being shored up as we speak, meaning Lacy is going to see the bulk of the work next season.

Here's Lacy looking good working on that deficiency, courtesy of ESPN's Rob Demovsky:

Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel considers Lacy a lock for the roster and says fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin has been a bit of a dud to this point in camp:

Franklin hasn't shown any "wow" factor yet. He has been adequate, not special, as a pass blocker. He's tough and quick, but has struggled making headway between the tackles partially due to size.

The assumption is that Franklin, as a fourth-round pick, has the team made. But Lacy figures to get most of the carries, Harris pass-protected almost as well as he rushed in 2012 and Starks has enjoyed an injury-free, competitive camp.

Coming into the offseason, many considered Franklin to be the main competition to Lacy, considering it was well known Green Bay wanted to upgrade the position. Franklin appearing as nothing more than normal only furthers Lacy's lock on the starting gig.

Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel would write a follow-up article on Lacy, saying Lacy "runs like he was born to be in coach Mike McCarthy's offense."

This much we knew, but it's good to hear someone make it official. The Packers need a bruising back to complement the highflying passing attack orchestrated by Aaron Rodgers. However, the back also has to have enough speed to take advantage of the massive lanes created while defenses focus on the passing game.

Green Bay attempted to take advantage of this with Cedric Benson last year, but the front office wised up and took a younger approach with Lacy.

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The 5'11", 230-pound runner took 204 handoffs last year at Alabama and turned them into over 1,300 yards and seven scores. Given the offense in Green Bay, if Lacy were given the rock over 200 times, the Packers would have one of the most balanced and lethal offenses in the NFL.

A guy like Harris or Franklin is nice for a change of pace, but at the end of the day, the Packers don't have enough for a committee approach just yet. That's just fine, because like Trent Richardson before him, Lacy is one of those last-of-a-dying-breed backs that can handle the load all on his own.

Lacy is a special player in the perfect situation. If the Packers coaching staff chooses to give him the majority of the work in 2013, fans could be about to witness something special.

 

Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling.

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