Grant or Starks?

The Packers were already facing a situation at receiver where there might not be enough footballs to go around, now the same thing could be happening at running back. It was previously a conclusion that Ryan Grant would be the starter, but James Starks may be on his way to changing some minds at 1265 Lombardi Ave.

Both guys are in tiptop shape and Starks even added a little muscle in the offseason without the benefit of an offseason program. Grant is fully recovered from an ankle injury that kept him out for all but two quarters last season. It’s shaping up to be a helluva battle.

Head coach Mike McCarthy said it is an open competition but I still believe it is Grant’s job to lose. Grant is the proven entity who had been a workhorse for two-and-a-half seasons prior to getting hurt. Starks came out of nowhere last December to at least give the Packers some semblance of a running game and it was just what the doctor ordered at the time.

Now that the game film is out on Starks teams will be able to prepare for him better and he will have to adjust. With Grant the starting running back opponents will have to prepare for both players which should make it a little easier on Starks. Plus using Starks has a complement to Grant means McCarthy will probably come up with some new wrinkles to take advantage of his unique ability.

The talent Ted Thompson has assembled here is mind boggling. Unlike when Ron Wolf was here the Packers never seem to age under Thompson. The competition at positions like running back and receiver are prime examples why.

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  • I Luv Brats

    How about splitting carries between the two of them?

  • Packers Fan in Atlanta

    McCarthy seems to ride the hot hand so likely “starting” on this offense isn’t really all its cracked up to be for other teams anyway. Despite this, if what I’m hearing out of camp holds true, Starks might win that role in the end. One thing that remains to be seen in my eyes is how good Starks’ hands really are. Didn’t see a whole lot last year as far as catching the ball, but it could make the difference if his hands prove to be reliable where Grant’s typically haven’t been. Either way, great problems to have.

    Can’t wait for Saturday to see the preseason game.

  • Steve Cheez

    So where does Alex Green fit in?

  • http://www.packernet.com admin

    Running backs need the ball to get rolling so I hope they don’t think they can split carries 50-50, it will only hurt both players. Alex Green is a third down back at best right now. I would ride Grant for one more year and then turn it over to Starks.

    • Rick

      I agree. Set up will be Grant as starter with Starks able to come in as fresh legs and keep Grant fresher longer. Green will be learning his craft behind them and ready to go, he may get some third down duties too. I think Nance is either practice squad or gone.

      Kuhn and Quinn at FB, though if Quinn does not get his act together I am okay with him going away.

      • Packer’s Advocate

        Yeah, me thinks Grant also. Pretty sure it will be his last year as a Packer, hope he get’s another SB ring!!!! Not sure they’ll have enough confidence in Green knowing his 3rd down assignments (at least early in the season) for him to be out there. Kuhn on 3rd down to keep AR feeling safe.

        Driver’s last year also I’d bet.

        As for a SB ring for Grant and the rest of the Packers, the N.E. Cheaters just stuck gold again and are now unbeatable according to the media and pundits. Also, there’s Philly and the pundits and media also have them as almost unbeatable……

        • Rick

          I am getting rumblings the Patriots that Albert has been missing from Training Camp and no reason is being given to the team. It may not be all Unicorns and Puppies up there.

          • Packer’s Advocate

            Well ain’t that a crying shame!!!!! Just breaks my little Packer heart!

          • 4205

            It appears Shanahan figured a way to call Albert’s bluff. Trading him to someplace he will have to work and toe the line to contribute. Moss finally overstayed his welcome and looks like Albert may have reached that point before contributing at all.

        • http://Orlando Mark

          Apparently you can win the SB both ways. A lot of free agents like NO and the Pats have done and the draft like us, Indy and the Steelers. If Grant is the same guy he was two years ago I agree with Al. But I have to say last year he wasn’t the same even before he got hurt.

          • Steve Cheez

            In those four carries?

          • http://Orlando Mark

            He got injured early in the preseason also so he didn’t get much work there. I think he took a hard hit and fumbled and didn’t look good.

  • Packer’s Advocate

    From the JSOnline blog………… Looks pretty reasonable????

    GregJennings85 – Aug 09, 2011 2:28 PM

    » Report abuse

    7 0

    Super early, but I’m taking a stab at the final 53:

    QB1-Rodgers
    QB2-Flynn

    RB1-Starks
    RB2-Grant
    RB3-A.Green

    FB1-Kuhn
    FB2-Johnson

    TE1-Finley
    TE2-Williams
    TE3-Quarless
    TE4-Taylor*

    WR1-Jennings
    WR2-Jones
    WR3-Nelson
    WR4-Driver
    WR5-Cobb

    LT-Clifton
    LG-Sherrod
    C-Wells
    RG-Sitton
    RT-Bulaga

    OL1-Newhouse (T/G)
    OL2-Lang (G)
    OL3-Schlauderaff (G)
    OL4-McDonald (C/G)
    OL5-Dietrich-Smith (G/C)

    LE-Pickett
    NT-Raji
    RE-Neal

    DL1-Wilson (DE)
    DL2-Wynn (DE)
    DL3-H.Green (DE/NT)
    DL4-Guy(DE)

    LOLB-Matthews
    ILB-Bishop
    ILB-Hawk
    ROLB-Walden

    LB1-Jones (OLB/ILB)
    LB2-Zombo (OLB)
    LB3-Elmore (OLB)
    LB4-Smith (ILB)

    CB1-Williams
    CB2-Woodson
    CB3-Shields
    CB4-House

    S1-Collins

    S2-Burnett

    DB1-Bush (S/CB)*
    DB2-Peprah (S)
    DB3-Lee (CB/S)

    K-Crosby

    P-Masthay

    LS-Goode

    * – Retained for STs

    Notable Cuts:

    QB-Graham Harrell
    RB-Nance
    RB-Saine
    FB-Hoese
    TE-Crabtree (has value as a blocker, could be traded)
    TE-Havner
    WR-Swain
    WR-West
    WR-Taylor
    WR-Robinson
    T-Sherman
    G-Battles
    DE-Donaldson
    NT-Ross
    LB-Joseph
    LB-Asiodu
    LB-Francois
    LB-Jackson
    LB-Briggs
    LB-Lattimore
    CB-Gordy
    S-Bratton
    S-Levine

    6 week PUP-Underwood

    PS-Borel (WR/QB) (Rookie)
    PS-Smithson (WR/KR) (Rookie)
    PS-Gurley (WR) (Rookie)
    PS-Dominguez (T) (Rookie)
    PS-Genus (C) (Rookie)
    PS-Joseph (DE) (Rookie)
    PS-So’oto (OLB) (Rookie)
    PS-Ross (CB) (Rookie)

    _______________________________________________________

    Barring injury, of course.

    Thoughts?

    • 4205

      Lot of tough decisions to make – I tend to think Quarless and Taylor are fighting for one spot with Guy having an uphill battle. Bratton and Havner stick for special teams / depth instead, but there will likely be a fewer high profile cuts / trades to make room for a signee or two from somewhere else.

  • Mel e Mel

    I say use grant to start, then use Starks fresh legs vs a tired defense. Starks should get the carries on short yardage situations.

  • snyz

    Starks. The guy has natural running ability inside and outside the tackles. I like grant’s toughness and his “hard running” style, but he can’t make anybody miss and rarely breaks tackels. Starks can do both, has younger legs, and is a beast athletically. I don’t think there really should be a question here unless your loyalty to Grant is clouding your opinion of the matter.

    Just because starks looks bigger doesn’t mean he’s a short yardage back only.

  • Mel e Mel

    Its not a fair competition. Grant is paid far more than Starks. I hope its close to 50-50 but I believe grant will start.

  • http://Orlando Mark

    I don’t like to say this but I don’t like what I hear from training camp this year. #12 downplaying what his coach said about lack of focus in practice. I can just imagine what Lombardi would have told Starr if he came out with that!(of course Starr is a hall of fame person as well as hall of fame player) Finley running his mouth to no purpose. Maybe if he actually had something to do with winning the championship he would act more appropriately. And, most troubling is putting Sherrod at #1 LG before he played a down. These same guys kept trying to replace Wells with higher draft picks who were out of position. This can all get straightened out. I personally hope the Browns play us tough so MM can yell at them all week.

  • Mel e Mel

    If there is a QB this side of Steve Young who has earned the right to talk it is Rodgers. The team is rusty but good.

    • http://Orlando Mark

      Yeah, I know that Mel I’m Just asking you to visualise Lombardi’s response. I’d also like to see the rust get knocked off so we can see how good they are. Last year they came out of the gate smoking hot.

  • Rick

    Defenses are going to rule the first part of the season as their schemes are easier to introduce. The teams that figure out how to get their offense working quickly will have a huge advantage this year.

  • Rick

    The picture on the home page when I log in keeps being Al Harris on the ground in 2009 when he blew out his knee against the 49ers. Ugh I hate seeing that.

  • Rick

    A lot of hitting in camp. Good to see the competition. Shields was banged up but he got the interception.

  • Packer’s Advocate

    With the preseason almost upon us, I really wish they would have went to an 18 game season and 2 preseason games. Up to me, I would have changed it and kept the players at 16 like they wanted by requiring each player to sit out two games during the season. It would have done many things. It would have made depth a little more important to a team as well as getting the backups some playing time as well. Adds a layer of strategy as to who, where, when, why, and how to substitute the starters out . Makes the back end of a roster more important as well and probably coaching too. Two more games for us to watch that count and may help break up log jams in records sometimes. But really the best part would be all the different ways stategy would play into that. What happens if you rest a bunch of players against a poor team. That just might fire them up to take a victory they wouldn’t maybe have gotten. Too bad they misssed a golden opportunity to add another layer to America’s favorite sport.

    • Rick

      Looks a two to three year wait for a possibilty of 18 games to be back on the table.

      • Packer’s Advocate

        Not soon enough for me…….

        Just thinking also, that’d make it harder to hide players on the team. Example: every back up QB would have to play two games each year (as well, as players filling in for every starter at each position). May need a small roster expansion for this, but hey, that’s more jobs for players also!! (and revenue for teams/owners) And most importantly, two less meaningless games the fans have to watch. I’m not saying I hate preseason games but I’d rather watch ones that count.

    • http://Orlando Mark

      PA, that’s the most radical suggestion I’ve heard. The players couldn’t object and more players would get an opportunity. The owners would make more money putting an inferior product on the field so they shouldn’t mind. If the fans would support it, and they came out for an inferior product in Tampa all those years, it’s a no brainer. Some of the games couldn’t be any worse than Indy throwing it’s last two games a couple of years ago because they didn’t need them. I’m for it and hats off to you for coming up with this.

      • Packer’s Advocate

        I’m glad someone likes it, Mark……… now if only some of the right people see it.

        • Packer’s Advocate

          The Indy games that you mentioned Mark, is one way but what happens if left til the end but there’s not enough players to swap out a whole team for two games anyway) and you hit a little losing streak and now all of sudden you need to win those games, then what??? I think it’d be a whole bunch strategy involved in trying to get guys swapped out in certain games against certain teams weaknesses and strengths and injuries will decide some also.

          Teams sticking most of their money into starting blue chippers would now have to use low end of the roster also.

          I just think it adds so, so many new wrinkles the more you think about it.

        • http://Orlando Mark

          I only brought up Indy in case someone complains about coaching decisions that are strategic. I think your idea is great. My only complaint is that I didn’t think of it.

    • Steve Cheez

      I love the idea of 18 but everybody sits out two. Talk about opening the door for second-guessing.

      • Packer’s Advocate

        Yeah, don’t cha love it!!!

  • Rick

    Bishop is fully rested for the preseason game at least.