Lacy a Workhorse for Packers
by Mike Conklin
November 26, 2013
There are over one million dairy cows in the state of Wisconsin.
Finally, there is a bell cow in Green Bay.
Bell cow. Workhorse. Strong as an ox. A bull in a china shop. Use whichever farm animal metaphor you’d like. Eddie Lacy fits the bill.
As the pass-happy NFL continues to evolve, players like Lacy seem to become rarer each year.
Ten years ago, offenses still ran through the running back. In 2003, no fewer than 13 running backs tallied 300 carries.
In 2011, only two reached that mark.
In Green Bay, the last time a running back carried the ball that many times was when the offense leaned heavily on Ryan Grant in 2008 during Aaron Rodgers’ first year at the helm. The Packers haven’t had a running back even close to that 300-carry benchmark since then. In fact, no Green Bay running back has even tallied 150 carries in either of the last two years.
Enter Eddie Lacy.
Having split time at Alabama, there were questions about whether Lacy would be able to carry a full load in the NFL. Many teams chose to steer clear of him due to durability concerns. To that end, the Packers even drafted another running back just two rounds after Lacy when they selected Johnathan Franklin.
It may still be early in his career, but Lacy is quickly answering many of those questions.
He has already carried the ball almost 200 times this season. He has also caught 22 passes, and is approaching some of the better receiving numbers Ryan Grant was able to accomplish in any season during his career.
Lacy has also scored six touchdowns, some of them as hard-earned as any you will see. To put that in perspective, that is more than twice as many as any Packers tailback has scored in any of the past three years.
Simply put, Eddie Lacy has become that bell cow back coaches covet.
He has the same number of games with 20-plus carries as Adrian Peterson this season.
He ranks fifth in the league in carries, which is even more impressive considering that he missed nearly two full games due to a concussion.
If he averages 21 rushing attempts per game the rest of the way, Lacy would finish the season with 300 carries. It is certainly within the realm of possibility, considering he already has six-game streak earlier this year during which he had more than that many every week.
If he accomplishes that feat and is able to continue his current production, Eddie Lacy will be called more than just a workhorse or a bell cow back. He may also be called Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Photo Credit: Getty Images