2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Packers rookie RBs friends, competitors

    2013-05-11 12:59

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin say they're already friends. The two Green Bay Packers rookie running backs are also roommates, teammates and competitors.

With the team taking Alabama's Lacy in the second round of last month's NFL draft, then trading up to take UCLA's Franklin in the fourth round, both players understand their connection.

And when they arrived in Green Bay for the team's rookie orientation camp Thursday, they learned they'd be bunking in together at a hotel near the airport, where the rookies are being housed until training camp kicks off in July or they find more permanent living arrangements.

``We're roommates in the hotel, we talk. But we're going to have to compete,'' Lacy said. ``It's just like when you're in college - you get there, you meet the other running backs, you're all friends but you have to compete. It's no different here.''

Added Franklin: ``On the field, we're competing definitely. But off the field we're definitely buddies. But we're here to help each other grow and push each other to get better.''

And the Packers clearly need to get better in the run game. Whether that improvement comes from Lacy, Franklin or one of the team's veteran holdovers - DuJuan Harris, Alex Green and James Starks - doesn't matter. After watching the offense face a steady diet of defenses geared to slow down quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his receivers, coach Mike McCarthy wants a more balanced attack.

``We've made some scheme adjustments. We have already started that process,'' McCarthy said. ``Lacy, frankly will fit into some of these changes we've made. We'll see how it goes through the offseason and training camp. I'm excited about it.''

The Packers haven't had a 100-yard rusher in the last 43 regular-season games, the longest active streak in the NFL. Over the past three seasons, the Packers' running backs have combined for 12 rushing touchdowns and are averaging only 3.8 yards per carry - fewest in the NFL in both categories.

Not since Ryan Grant put together back-to-back 1,200-yard seasons in 2008 and 2009 have the Packers gotten consistent production from a single ball carrier. The 5-foot-11, 230-pound Lacy, who carried 204 times for 1,322 yards with 17 touchdowns in 14 games last season, could fill that void.

``I mean, we're all going to see when the season comes around. I still have to go through practice and the playbook and a whole lot of stuff before I even think about that,'' Lacy said when asked if he could be that back. ``If I go out and do what I have to do, everything will fall where it's supposed to and I'll just move on from that.''

Lacy dismissed concerns about his durability, which he acknowledged caused his draft stock to drop. Viewed by many as the top running back in the draft, he fell to the Packers at No. 61, after North Carolina's Giovani Bernard went 37th to Cincinnati, Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell went 48th to Pittsburgh and Wisconsin's Montee Ball went 58th to Denver.

The Steelers reportedly passed on Lacy because of toe fusion surgery he had in the spring of 2012, while Broncos president John Elway said after the draft that health concerns were the deciding factor for his team between Lacy and Ball.

``I just feel like everything happens for a reason and even though I didn't get picked where I was supposed to, I fell to Green Bay and even though it was the second round, I feel like it's the perfect place to be,'' Lacy said. ``I'm not knocking (those teams) for feeling like that, but I feel like I'm in a great situation and I'm just going to move on from there.''

The 5-10, 205-pound Franklin, meanwhile, isn't conceding anything. He set the UCLA single-season rushing record last year with 1,732 yards, and while he isn't as big as Lacy, he believes he's capable of being an every-down back, too.

``Eddie, he's my roommate. We were laughing all night (Thursday) night. He's a great guy. I met him at the combine,'' Franklin said. ``He's a great player. I'm excited to be on the same team with him. I expect to learn from him and I expect to teach him a little bit.

``They brought us here for a reason. We have to contribute. Competition is going to bring out the best in you. We're definitely going to find out what kind of men we are and what kind of athletes we are. So I'm excited to compete with Eddie and learn from Eddie and get better with him as well.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Ben TateSep 30 01:23p

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate (knee) returned to practice Tuesday, Sept. 30, for the first time since spraining his right knee in the season opener Sept. 7. It means [ More ]

Niles PaulSep 30 01:13p

Washington Redskins TE Niles Paul (concussion) did not practice Tuesday, Sept. 30, and remains in the league's concussion protocol. However, head coach Jay Gruden said Paul is 'making very good progress.'

Mason FosterSep 30 01:13p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Mason Foster (shoulder) is improving, but he is not sure if he will be available to play in the team's Week 5 game. Getting a [ More ]

Bruce CarterSep 30 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (quadriceps) isn't expected to miss a significant amount of time, but he's not expected to play in Week 5 against the Houston Texans. The [ More ]

Jon GrudenSep 30 12:53p

The Oakland Raiders may look at free-agent head coach Jon Gruden for their head coaching vacancy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The team is looking for a [ More ]

Tom BradySep 30 12:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady and the offense struggled mightily in a 41-14 thrashing by the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4 Monday, Sept. 29, and head coach [ More ]

Trent WilliamsSep 30 12:33p

Washington Redskins OT Trent Williams (knee) and OG Shawn Lauvao (knee) both were held out of practice Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Jalil BrownSep 30 12:13p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent CB Jalil Brown (Dolphins) to their active roster Tuesday, Sept. 30. WR Chandler X. Jones (Browns) and LB Rob Ruggiero (Colts) were signed to the practice squad.

Robert MathisSep 30 12:13p

Indianapolis Colts LB Robert Mathis was signed to a contract extension through the 2016 season Tuesday, Sept. 30. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Bishop SankeySep 30 10:43a

Tennessee Titans RB Bishop Sankey's footwork was a little better in Week 4, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

Carson PalmerSep 30 10:03a

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) said the nerve in his shoulder hasn't progressed as much as he'd hoped, but he thinks he could prove capable of starting.

Nick FolesSep 30 09:53a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles has completed 25.6 percent of his throws over 20 yards this season. He is on pace to make 156 attempts of 20 or more [ More ]

Chris RaineySep 30 08:53a

Free-agent RB Chris Rainey (Cardinals) signed an undisclosed deal with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

Knile DavisSep 30 12:12a

Kansas City Cheifs RB Knile Davis rushed for a team-high 107 yards on 16 carries in Week 5 and added one catch for 12 yards.

Brandon LaFellSep 29 11:53p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell had a team-high six receptions for a game-high 119 yards and a touchdown in the Week 4 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiSep 29 11:53p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski hauled in two receptions for 31 yards and a touchdown in the Week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs Monday, Sept. 29. [ More ]

Travis KelceSep 29 11:43p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce had eight catches on nine targets for a season-high 93 yards and a touchdown Monday, Sept. 29.

Dennis AllenSep 29 11:43p

The Oakland Raiders called head coach Dennis Allen Monday, Sept. 29, to inform him he has been relieved of his head coaching duties.

Donnie AverySep 29 11:13p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery (groin) has been ruled out for the remainder of the team's Week 5 game with a groin injury.

Tom BradySep 29 11:13p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady completed 14 of his 23 pass attempts for 159 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the Week 4 loss against the Kansas [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonSep 29 11:03p

Cincinnati Bengals OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) and defensive tackle Brandon Thompson (knee) missed practice Monday, Sept. 29, and are not expected to play in Week 5.

Vontaze BurfictSep 29 10:52p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion) did not practice Monday, Sept. 29, but is expected to play in the team's Week 5 game, according to head coach Marvin Lewis.

Marvin JonesSep 29 10:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (foot) is expected to return in Week 5, and offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said he 'can't wait' to use Jones in the offense.

Teddy BridgewaterSep 29 09:47p

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater (ankle) did not participate in practice Monday, Sept. 29. QB Christian Ponder worked with the first-team offense during practice.

Geno SmithSep 29 09:47p

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan publicly remained supportive of QB Geno Smith Monday, Sept. 29. He said he talked to the quarterback about his incident with yelling [ More ]

Donald BrownSep 29 09:23p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown and RB Branden Oliver combined for 42 yards on 29 carries in Week 4, and although head coach Mike McCoy bashed the running [ More ]

LeSean McCoySep 29 09:23p

Updating a previous report, Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (toe) is not injured, head coach Chip Kelly said Monday, Sept. 29. 'He's not on the treatment list,' Kelly said. [ More ]

Vernon DavisSep 29 09:23p

Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (back) had a 'positive mindset' Monday, Sept. 29, but general manager Trent Baalke said the extent of his injury is 'not fully known.'

Stevan RidleySep 29 09:13p

New England Patriots RB Stevan Ridley was on the field for just one of his team's seven offensive snaps in the first quarter Monday, Sept. 29, in the Week [ More ]

Roddy WhiteSep 29 09:03p

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White said he expects the team to be involved in high-scoring shootouts all year, and head coach Mike Smith agreed to an extent. 'I don't [ More ]

David NelsonSep 29 08:13p

New York Jets WR David Nelson (ankle) suffered an ankle injury in Week 4, and the signing of WR Chris Owusu could be an indication Nelson's injury is significant. [ More ]

Frank AlexanderSep 29 08:03p

The Carolina Panthers reinstated DE Frank Alexander Monday, Sept. 29, after he served his four-game suspension. He won't count toward the 53-man roster limit for one week.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group