GREEN BAYŚ Green
Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy has a new position coach, Ben
The effort to get
Lacy's career back on track won't fall entirely on Sirmans, though.
seasons of 1,100-plus rushing yards, Lacy rushed for 758 last season.
A few days after the playoff loss at Arizona, Packers coach Mike
McCarthy said Lacy was overweight and needed to report to camp in
better physical condition.
Sirmans, who replaced
Sam Gash, will have a role in that.
conditioning, training, nutrition, all those things" also will
have a role, McCarthy said on Thursday. "And everybody's
accountable to their area, and the position coach is ultimately
accountable for the performance and the training of their players. But
Eddie Lacy, conditioning and so forth, is something I have great
confidence will improve or is improving as we speak, and he'll learn
from his performance last season."
Sirmans spent the
past four seasons as Rams running backs coach. Last year, first-round
pick Todd Gurley rushed for 1,106 yards in 13 games to win NFL
Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. In Sirmans' first year with the
Rams, he coached veteran Steven Jackson, a big back in the mold of
Lacy, to a 1,000-yard season.
Sirmans has spoken to
Lacy, but those discussions haven't gone past a personal level, he
"He seems like a
great person," Sirmans said. "You can tell and get the sense
that he's very hungry this year to really get ready to get after it. I
spent a lot of time talking about myself because he has to feel
comfortable with me as his head coach, and from that giving himself a
chance to talk and tell me a little bit about his background. It was a
pretty good conversation."
Along with the
addition of Sirmans, the Packers hired Brian Angelichio as tight ends
coach and promoted Luke Getsy to wide receivers coach. Last season,
McCarthy made the unorthodox decision to have one man, Alex Van Pelt,
coach the quarterbacks and receivers. Now, those duties have been
split, with Van Pelt handling the quarterbacks.
"I think we had
a plan last year. It wasn't executed obviously to the level we look to
achieve," McCarthy said. "I think more has been made of it,
frankly, as an excuse. With that, the excuses are over."
Angelichio spent the
last two seasons as the tight ends coach in Cleveland, where Gary
Barnidge blossomed into a Pro Bowler last year. His 79 receptions for
1,043 yards and nine touchdowns dwarfed his production from his
previous six seasons.
In Green Bay, he'll
be asked to get more out of Richard Rodgers, a third-round pick in
2014 who caught 58 passes for 510 yards and eight touchdowns last
"Rich has some
skill-set that you like," Angelichio said. "I'm continuing
to evaluate and go through that as we do the cut-ups. Obviously, he
was a productive player last year, showed good hands."
As is the case with
Angelichio and the tight ends, Sirmans hasn't done an in-depth film
study of Lacy, though he did recall having Lacy ranked No. 1 among
running backs before the 2013 draft.
"I know that
he's a very explosive player, got a ton of talent, strong, got great
feet," Sirmans said. "Just to have a chance to be able to
coach a guy with those type of attributes I'm really excited
His task will be
getting Lacy back among the top running backs in the game. In 2014,
Lacy averaged 4.6 yards per rush and caught 42 passes. In 2015, Lacy
averaged 4.1 yards per rush and caught 20 passes. In the playoff game
against the Cardinals, Lacy broke into the clear for a 61-yard run. At
one point, he was 5 yards ahead of every Cardinals defender. By the
time he was tackled, five defenders had caught up to him. The hope is
a slimmer Lacy will be more explosive and have more stamina.
be a little bit quicker and, in this league, quickness and those
things, they do matter," Sirmans said. "I haven't really had
a chance to really focus and see the difference between Eddie when he
was lighter and to where he's at right now and to study those things.
Those are some of the things that I want to do so that when he comes
back and we sit down and start talking and develop a plan to help him
to continue to get better, I have a great idea of what he needs to do
from that standpoint."
promoted David Raih from coaching administrator to assistant offensive
line coach and hired Ejiro Evero as defensive quality control coach.