The Green Bay Packers have made it a point to focus on the run game more in 2012. While the team is clearly a pass-first offense under Aaron Rodgers, but the Packers opted to drafted two rookie running backs early this year giving them a significant upgrade in the position. Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin are set to battle it out as the starting running back for the Packers. After a weekend of training camp, Franklin has emerged as a real start.
Franklin and Lacy are two different types of running backs. Lacy's strengths are based off power. He thrives off contract with the ability to really move piles and either run over of spin off tackles to get yards. On the other hand, Franklin has speed and can change directions quickly. Considering the first few practices for the Packers were all non-contact, Franklin excelled since Lacy could not hit anyone while running.
"From what I've seen so far, it looks like (Franklin) is going to be a pretty decent player," said Josh Sitton, the Packers' left guard. "Haven't seen a whole lot yet, but he's a shifty little son of a gun.
Lacy is excited for the competition against Franklin. The former Alabama running back said his main goals for the season were to simply contribute to the team any way possible.
"I don't want to come in with certain goals and a mind-set, thinking I need to do this and I need to do that. I just want to make sure that if given an opportunity I can take advantage of it," Lacy said to reporters after practice.
Lacy admitted that he was nervous to take part in his first training camp as an NFL rookie. He does not want to make many mistakes with the goal to come out and prove why he was the Packers' highest drafted offensive player this year.
Lacy and Franklin will be splitting reps with veterans Alex Green and James Starks during practice. The Packers have never really had a star running back that would take pressure off of Rodgers, but Franklin and Lacy are proving they are worthy of being that type of player. It will not be a surprise if it is the rookies that end up with the most touches by the end of the season.