Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ahman Green back in Green and Gold?

Reports are swirling out of Green Bay that Ahman Green is going to sign with the Packers this week. Green is second on the Packers' all-time rushing list, 45 yards behind Packer Legend Jim Taylor (source: here). The Packers worked out Green and Dominic Rhodes on Monday; initial reports out of Green Bay suggested that Green was offered a tryout mostly because he lives in the Green Bay area (source: here). During that workout Green must have shown some promise because Green told two ex-teammates that he received a playbook and would start to workout with the team this week (source: here). Green's agent said nothing is set in stone with the Packers, which leaves open the possibility that the Packers will not sign Green (source: here). In order for Green to join the Packers, someone on the 53-man roster would have to be cut or put on injured reserve. The most likely candidate for being placed on injured reserve is often injured backup running back DeShawn Wynn unless backup fullback Korey Hall's injury is much worse then initially reported. Wynn ended the 2007 season on injured reserve but did not agree with the medical staff's decision at the time. The Packers also have running back Kregg Lumpkin on the practice squad (source: here). Lumpkin was on the Packers active roster in 2008 but did not make the team in 2009 and signed with the practice squad.

The Packers' ground attack is marginal at best but is Ahman Green the answer? In 2007, the year after former Packer head coach Mike Sherman joined the Houston Texans as an offensive assistant coach, he lobbied the Texans to sign Green as an unrestricted free agent. Reports were that the Texans offered Green a 4 year contract worth $24 million. That contract was way too expensive for the Packers so Green signed with the Texans. Green had two injured riddled and unproductive seasons with the Texans before being cut in 2008 (source: here). Green is 32 years old, which means he crossed the notorious line of "running backs over 30" line. Despite what Brett Favre is doing at the age of 40 in Minnesota, 30 is usually where running backs start to have a remarkable decline in production. Some notorious examples are Shaun Alexander (source: here) and Marshall Faulk (source: here). Furthermore, Ahman Green was one of the hardest runners in the National Football League. Analysts loved to talk about how low he got his pad level to help him run over defenders. At the age of the 32, Green will have a hard time replicating that running style. The Packers need a backup running back but Ahman Green is not the answer. Green had one of the most successful careers as a running back in Packers history but his production on the field will not be better than Grant, Jackson, Wynn (assuming he is healthy) or even Lumpkin at this stage in his career.

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