Pad Level, Not Weight, Impacting Packers RB Eddie Lacy

That's what Eddie Lacy said on Thursday when asked about his weight potentially impacting his effectiveness.

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE Eddie Lacy’s weight wasn’t too high.

Rather, he said on Thursday, he was running too high.

“Watching film,” Lacy said, “I noticed I would take a hit and I would break the tackle, but I would break it sideways, which allows other people to come tackle me versus, in years past, my pads would be low, so when I take the hit, I’m still moving forward. It’s just getting my pads down and getting back to basics.”

After back-to-back seasons of 1,100-plus rushing yards and 10-plus total touchdowns, Lacy is on pace to rush for only 700 yards this season and has only one touchdown in six games. That’s led to questions about whether Lacy is overweight and had lost his explosive running style.

Lacy, however, said he’s “cool” with his weight. Apparently, the staff is “cool” with what the results of the scale say, too.

“When I get on (the scale), it’s like, ‘He cool.’ If I’m not, I’m pretty sure I’ll hear from the guy upstairs,” Lacy said.

By that, Lacy said he hasn’t heard from general manager Ted Thompson, who could fine Lacy for being overweight. Silence is golden.

“Which means I’m cool.”

This isn’t the first time Lacy’s weight has become a focal point – at least from a public perspective. It did early in his first training camp with the team, too, when an unflattering photo went viral. Lacy silenced those critics by rushing for more than 1,100 yards. He didn’t care what people said then, and he doesn’t care what they now.

On Wednesday, coach Mike McCarthy said Lacy is heavier than he was during his first two seasons. Lacy was 231 pounds at the Scouting Combine before the 2013 draft and listed at 230 during his first two seasons with the team. The Packers are listing him at 234 pounds for this season.

“Some people can carry a lot of weight. Some people can’t,” Lacy said. “I’m not the smallest person. Brandon Jacobs wasn’t the smallest person. Jerome Bettis wasn’t the smallest person. Some people can just play like that, not that I’m Jerome Bettis’ weight or nothing like that. I’m just saying, not everybody’s meant to look like Adrian Peterson or somebody like that.”

As for playing with proper pad level, offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett, a former standout running back for the Packers, said that is a crucial element for every player at every position. Last season, Lacy broke 49 tackles on running plays. This season, he’s on pace to finish with about half that number, according to Pro Football Focus.

“When we talk about our foundation and being fundamentally sound, that’s a big part of it,” Bennett said. “As a runner, it helps because, No. 1, you want to finish moving forward. You want to finish going forward. Football, a big part of it is playing with leverage. When he goes back and looks at some of the tape, he should fall forward a lot more. That’s one – you have more momentum. It also affects the hits, the shots that you’re taking. We always talk about your pad level helps from a ball-security standpoint. You get your shoulder down over the point of that ball, that helps. You don’t want the ball at risk. Your pad level plays an important role in all of that. Blocking, running the football, all of that, when we talk about playing fundamentally sound, with leverage, it’s your pad level.”

On Thursday, McCarthy said Lacy is starting to round back into form after being slowed by an ankle injury sustained in Week 2 vs. Seattle. Whether Lacy’s fundamentals got out of whack because of the injury and limited practice time is unknown. Regardless, running backs coach Sam Gash was happy that his star pupil had made the observation.

“It’s a maturation sequence that’s going on with him,” Gash said. “He’s studied himself and he’s seeing the things he can do better on, and every day I go at the same thing in terms of fundamentals, pad levels and pad level balance, things like that. For him to single something out for himself, that’s a good thing.”

Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.


Packer Report Top Stories