Eddie Lacy is getting his groove back.
Destined to follow in the footsteps of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, Lacy got off to a wobbly start this year thanks to nagging injuries. However, slowly but surely, Alabama's No. 1 running back is finding his rhythm.
"It took awhile, but I'm starting to feel a lot better out there," he said. "I'm getting more comfortable as far as running without thinking so much about the injuries."
In the Crimson Tide's first two games against Michigan and Western Kentucky, Lacy was quiet, running for a combined 71 yards and one touchdown. But then he looked like a different guy against Arkansas and Florida Atlantic, rushing for a combined 161 yards and three touchdowns.
"He's starting to get the little wiggle," wide receiver Kenny Bell said. "He's coming to be the Eddie Lacy of last year."
A story often told, Lacy didn't participate in spring drills due to turf toe, then he missed some time in fall camp with a hamstring and then sprained his ankle in a scrimmage.
"He really has had to fight through a lot," said Alabama coach Nick Saban. "I think that he really didn't get back into shape because of some of the time that he missed. I think now he is starting to get there."
Lacy has never put a percentage on how his injuries have progressed, but it was clear last week against FAU, as he averaged 7.1 yards per carry and put up a total of 106 yards in the first half, that whatever that initial percentage was, is much higher now.
Luckily for the Tide, depth at running back is plentiful. Lacy sat in the second half against the Owls and watched his backups put in the work. By game's end, they had put up 150 of Alabama's 256 rushing yards and averaged over 6 ypc.
"They're doing a great job, you can't ask any more from them," Lacy said. "They get in and do exactly what they have to do. They get big plays, too."
But despite the brotherhood in the backfield, when it comes down to it, is Lacy waiting for a game where he is the one to carry the team in the fourth quarter?
"I'll be able to handle it," he said.
With Lacy's health on the rise, he's able to be his loose self on and off the field.
"I try to keep the tension down," he said. "Just go out and have fun, enjoy practice, enjoy football. You only get to play for so long, so it doesn't make sense to go out and stress about it. Just have fun."
Lacy is one of the team jokesters, although he says he's not the funniest guy on the team (he gave that award to wide receiver Christion Jones a few weeks back). However, though he cracks his teammates—and the media—up, he said he hasn't tried to make Saban laugh.
"I tend not to make jokes when Coach Saban is around," he said. "I haven't tried."
Does he plan to?
"I don't think so," he said, smiling.
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