Ahman Green’s Focus is now on First Downs : Packers Insider

Ahman Green’s Focus is now on First Downs

October 24, 2009 by  
Filed under News

First downs now focus for Green

By Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Oct. 24, 2009

Green Bay — Ryan Grant lobbied the Green Bay Packers to sign veteran running back Ahman Green and applauded their decision to finally make the move last Wednesday.

Should he have?           51336450JD_D021303049

There are two ways to look at it if you’re Grant.    

On the one hand, bringing in Green relieves some of the pressure on Grant to produce like a guy who is worthy of the four-year, $18 million contract he received in August 2007. On the other hand, it implies that the Packers no longer think Grant is capable of being a franchise back and probably would be better suited for a job-sharing role.

If the Packers simply wanted to fill the position vacated when third-down back DeShawn Wynn was lost for the season with a knee injury, they would have signed veteran free agent Dominic Rhodes or elevated practice squad running back Kregg Lumpkin. Instead, they turned to Green, a former franchise back whose career took a detour because of injuries.

There are several reasons the Packers took a shot with Green, but simple logic will tell you he might be able to fill gaps that are missing in the team’s mediocre running game.

Things like:

• Better production on first down.

• Better production on screen passes and check-downs.

• Better production running to the left side.

Upon signing Green, no one on the Packers’ coaching staff, including head man Mike McCarthy, characterized the move as having anything to do with Grant, even though the fourth-year back ranks 18th in the NFL in yards with 347, 31st in yards per carry at 3.8 and 28th in runs of 20 or more yards with one.

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