GREEN BAY - For the
first time since their stunning loss in the NFC championship game in
late January, the Green Bay Packers put on the pads Saturday.
Running back Eddie
Lacy responded in a predictable way.
the big backs show up, when it's time to put the ball in their hand
and accelerate the crease," coach Mike McCarthy said after
The Packers' third
day of on-field work in training camp featured plenty of hits during
extended team periods and blocking drills, along with ball carriers
periodically winding up on the ground.
The rugged Lacy
stayed upright wearing the extra gear and excited a
standing-room-only crowd that ringed the practice field by busting
loose for a few big runs.
really want to have (to deal) with him too much," said
linebacker Julius Peppers, 35, the oldest player on Green Bay's
Lacy has been a productive complement to the Aaron Rodgers-directed
throwing attack, rushing for more than 1,100 yards each of his first
two NFL seasons and becoming a reliable pass catcher.
"He's a good
young player, very physical," Peppers said. "I love his
style of running. He's our tone setter on offense, in my opinion. So
it's nice to have a big back like that on your team."
Peppers and others
with the Green Bay defense just aren't thrilled to have to try to
step in and act as a roadblock when the 5-foot-11, 234-pound Lacy
comes running at them.
Perry, who is practicing after recovering from shoulder surgery in
the offseason, talked how he doesn't want to do anything foolish
early in camp to set him back for the start of the season.
He admitted that
trying to get physical with Lacy in practice would be foolhardy.
say get out of the way, but just put hands on him," Perry said.
"I think that would be the best approach for right now."
Veteran nose tackle
B.J. Raji has been a fan of Lacy since the running back plowed over
and spun away from college defenders his final year at Alabama in
2012, helping the Crimson Tide win a second straight national title.
The Packers took
Lacy in the second round of the 2013 draft. He went on to earn NFL
Offensive Rookie of the Year honors by setting multiple team records
for a first-year player, including rushing yards (1,178) and rushing
Lacy became an
every-down back last year. He had another superb season with 1,139
yards and nine touchdowns on the ground as well as personal highs of
42 catches for 427 yards and four TDs.
phrase, but to me he's an animal," Raji said. "So I'm
always checking to see how he's doing . because I know the impact he
And after mostly
relaxing in the offseason when he was at home in Louisiana, Lacy
says he's a lot more comfortable going into his third pro season.
"I'm able to
go out there and play a lot more natural, with my natural ability,
and a lot less thinking," Lacy said.
punishing running style, McCarthy is mindful about having his star
back ready to go when the Packers' season opens Sept. 13 at Chicago.
But McCarthy also wants Lacy to get sufficient work the next few
"Now, that may
equate to less reps in the games, but as you can see, Eddie's taken
a lot of reps here the first three days," McCarthy said.
NOTES: TE Andrew
Quarless, a returning starter, practiced for the first time
Saturday. The sixth-year pro had been dealing with what McCarthy
said was a difficult family matter. Quarless was arrested in Miami
in early July on a charge of firing a gun in public. The case is
pending. . WR Jared Abbrederis remains out with a concussion he