ITEM ADDED TO CART
I've really grown in my first 2 years in the NFL and I'm looking forward to this upcoming season. I've really gotten into a groove and am learning how to better my game everyday.
If you ask Mike McCarthy where Eddie Lacy has made his most progress since entering the NFL, he'll tell you it's in the passing game.
But it's not just receiving. And it's not just pass protection. It's both.
"I would say Eddie Lacy’s biggest growth would be in the pass protection and really, pass receiving, check downs," said McCarthy on Thursday. "I would say that’s where he’s made the biggest improvement, particularly from Year 1 to Year 2 and more so this year. Very instinctive runner. He came here that way. It’s been a product of his success and playing at the University of Alabama, so he really fits into our system, has a clean understanding now. He’s on the same page with the quarterback, so he looks very comfortable."
What's interesting, however, is that Lacy has always been pretty good at pass protection, even his rookie year, before he received NFL-caliber coaching.
According to ProFootballFocus.com, Lacy has ranked in the Top 5 in the league among running backs in their signature "Pass Blocking Efficiency" statistic for each of the past two seasons, not allowing a single sack.
Lacy agrees he's made personal growth as Aaron Rodgers' personal protector but thinks his maturity as a football player goes beyond just that.
"Well, I’m definitely a lot more comfortable and more natural when it comes to running the ball and knowing where my guys are going to be, knowing when they’re going to double-team, when they’re coming off," said Lacy earlier this week. "And for pass protection, I’m keyed in with that as well and I’m not overthinking or worried about if I’m going to miss something, so I’m definitely a lot more calmer in my third year."
The continuity on the offensive side of the football looks to be beneficial to all parties, and particularly in the running game.
Since Lacy has entered the league in 2013, the offensive line has had the same position coach (James Campen), three of the five starting offensive linemen are the same and even some of the key backups are the same too.
And for the second year in a row, all starting five offensive linemen are projected to be the same, barring injury, another aid to Lacy—and vice versa.
"It’s a huge benefit to block for the same guy," said Mike McCarthy. "It’s a huge benefit for the same runner to have the same five linemen in front of him too. But just as far as the timing of the combination blocks and the trust that you have, particularly in the early part of the running back’s course, all those things tie together."
By Brian Carriveau | 247sports.com | August 21, 2015