The Green Bay Packers’ season came to a crazy end, courtesy of a game-tying Hail Mary and then a game ending two-play series from the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Divisional playoff round.
On Monday, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy gave his season-ending press conference. When asked about former Pro Bowl running back Eddie Lacy, he didn’t hold back his opinion one bit.
In fact, he laid it out pretty simply — Lacy can not play at the weight he did in 2015 and be a successful part of the team in the future.
According to The Sporting News, McCarthy indicated that this offseason (just as last) will likely dictate how big a part of this team Lacy will be in the future.
“He’s got a lot of work to do,” McCarthy said. “His offseason last year was not good enough and he never recovered from it. He cannot play at the weight he played at this year.”
It has been a steady decline for a potential star-studded career since the high-water mark of his rookie season in 2013. He rushed for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns in that campaign, earning a Pro Bowl berth and the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
The 2014 season wasn’t bad either, as Lacy had 1,139 yards rushing and nine scores with another four receiving touchdowns.
However, weight has become a major issue for the former Alabama running back. He came in to the NFL at a “lean” 220 pounds, but after an apparent bad offseason of workouts (or lackthereof), Lacy was listed at a generous 234 pounds this season.
Just how big of a difference is it for Lacy?
Here is a view of him during his Alabama days:
Here is what Lacy looked like against the Vikings to end the regular season:
That extra weight was noticeable from the beginning, with Lacy struggling to sustain his speed to go with the power game. He eventually had his body break down and led to numerous injuries and a on-and-off-again relationship with the starting lineup as the season went on.
Lacy finished this season with just 758 yards rushing, with five touchdowns and four lost fumbles on the year.
“As a team we’re disappointed we didn’t accomplish our goal,” offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett said Monday. “He plays an important part. How do we get him back? We educate. We demand, we support. I think that’s a big part of it.”
“We’re not afraid to talk about winning world championships,” the coach said. “We were a successful football team this year. We just didn’t reach the level we wanted to attain.
“We’ll change. There will be changes.”
A 61-yard run in the Divisional round game against Arizona saved a dreadful day, as Lacy racked up 89 yards on 12 carries.
However, even that run was a great indicator of Lacy’s struggles this season, as he failed to get a second gear and was caught from behind on what would’ve been an easy touchdown run in previous seasons.
It is clear that the coaching staff is sending a big message to the fourth-year player, in waht could be a make or break offseason for the former second round draft pick. j