Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) tries to avoid a
tackle by Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs (55) in the
first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014,
GREEN BAY —
Offensive lineman Josh Sitton could use a break.
him, the NFL schedule calls for Green Bay and its standout left
guard to play the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night — just
five days after the Packers' last game.
This didn't make
him happy on Tuesday.
it," Sitton said.
Life in the
trenches can be enough of a grind with the pounding that occurs in
the running game. That part of the Packers offense has been a
problem, so far, ranking just 28th in the league at 73 yards per
Tuesdays are when
offensive linemen really feel the pounding. It's usually a day off
in a normal work week in Green Bay.
This is no normal
it's stupid. I think it's all about money for the NFL,
obviously," Sitton said regarding Thursday night games.
"That's what this league is about, is about making money —
which is fine. I like to make money, as well.
it's tough on your body, tough on your head," Sitton said.
Every team has to
go through it. In one area, this might be an opportune time for a
Thursday game for the Packers given that their passing attack is
on a roll.
threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-17 win last week
over Chicago. Receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb had two
scoring catches apiece. Nelson leads the NFL with 33 catches for
But running back
Eddie Lacy, last year's offensive rookie of the year, had another
subpar day — and his 48 yards were still a season high. Lacy at
least scored his first rushing touchdown of the year on one of his
think we did some good things, but the offense is still not where
we want it," Rodgers said. "Obviously, we'd like to have
some more balance. We didn't run the ball real effectively.
it's going to happen when you throw it so well, but we've got to
be able to close out games running it a little more
Lacy is averaging
3.0 yards per carry. Backup running back James Starks didn't get a
carry, though coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday that was the result
of poor game management and that Starks should touch the ball
But in the
Packers' hurry-up offense, in which tempo is key, sometimes the
opportunities for clock-eating drives marked by grinding runs just
When the Packers
are in shotgun, Lacy is standing next to Rodgers. The bruising
back isn't getting a head start of a few steps to build up
momentum against oncoming defenders. It's an adjustment for Lacy.
Last year, the Packers were more reliant on him with Rodgers out
nearly half the season with a collarbone injury.
that I don't like running from out of shotgun or I don't like
running from (the quarterback being) under center, you have to do
what you have to do. And this is just part of what you have to
do," Lacy said.
Lacy would love to have more yards, but remains patient.
game has been crazy good the past few games so why mess with it?
At the same time, you're going to need to be able to run the ball
just to create balance and make sure the defense can't concentrate
on stopping one thing," Lacy said.
McCarthy sees the
low production as a result of lack of volume. Green Bay had 18
running plays against Chicago, and hasn't had more than 22 in a
game in the first four weeks.
opportunities to both run effectively and maintain tempo, the
biggest thing within our run game is we've got to get the attempts
up, so we need to keep generating first downs," McCarthy
said. "Anytime you have a successful run game, you're
definitely pushing 30 attempts."
Sitton, looking a
bit worn while sitting at his locker, offered his unique view
about the lack of production on the ground.
It was simple and
to the point. He sounded tired.
blocking good enough. The running backs aren't running good
enough. The quarterback is not making the right check all the
time. Receivers aren't making their blocks good enough,"
Sitton said. "We're not good enough in the run game right now
— all around."