"Eddie Lacy, he's got a lot of work to do," McCarthy said, per Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I think I'm stating the obvious. His offseason last year was not good enough, and he never recovered from it. I had a chance to talk to Eddie today and that was pretty much the majority of our whole conversation. ... So, he has to get it done because he cannot play at the weight that he played at this year."
Packers offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett added the team will work with Lacy to sort out the problem, per Silverstein: "He plays an important part. How do we get him back? We educate. We demand, we support. I think that's a big part of it."
After he eclipsed 1,100 yards in each of 2013 and 2014 and scored 20 combined rushing touchdowns, Lacy ran for just 758 yards and three scores on 187 carries this year. He also lost his starting job to James Starks midway through the season.
Criticism about Lacy's weight started before his rookie campaign. It wasn't an issue for him then, though, as he won the Associated Press' Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
"When I get on [the scale], it's like, 'He cool,'" Lacy said. "If I'm not, I'm pretty sure I'll hear from the guy upstairs."
Lacy was referring to general manager Ted Thompson, who can fine players for being overweight at the weekly weigh-ins.
"It's based off of photos that float around, so that's not none of my concern until it comes from the guy upstairs on the third floor," Lacy said. "Until it comes down from there, I'm not concerned about it."
Still, the storyline persisted, and Boomer Esiason offered a harsh critique on an episode of Inside the NFL (via Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman):
mike freeman @mikefreemanNFL
Boomer Esiason on Inside the NFL, speaking of Packers' problems: "You got one running back who looks like he ate the other running back."2016-1-6 16:20:55
It would be shortsighted to place the blame solely on Lacy for his underwhelming numbers, as Green Bay's offensive line was beset by injuries. Football Outsiders ranked the unit 25th in run blocking, a far cry from its position in 2014 (eighth) and 2013 (fifth).
But Lacy won't be able to ignore the matter anymore after McCarthy's blunt assessment.
Lacy is only signed through the 2016 season, after which he will become a free agent. If the Packers are unsatisfied with the Alabama product a year from now, they'll likely be in the market for a new starting running back.