Ball Security at ‘Premium’ for Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy

Eddie Lacy has had back-to-back big games but he's already matched his career total for fumbles.

As one of the better running backs in Green Bay Packers history and a former running backs coach, offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett knows a little something about running with proper fundamentals.

Those fundamentals have been stressed this week, with Eddie Lacy having fumbled in four of his past five games.

“Go back to the fundamentals. That’s really the bottom line,” Bennett said on Monday evening. “The way he goes about doing it on the practice field needs to show up on game day – being fundamentally sound with how he carries the football the proper way. We emphasize it on a daily basis with our fundamentals, our teaching as far as the proper way to carry it, the fundamentals that are involved. It’s been addressed and he understands the importance of it. In the National Football League, it equates to wins and losses.”

Lacy’s latest fumble, coming in the second quarter of last week’s loss to Chicago, was huge. Chicago’s first five possessions ended with five punts, including four three-and-outs. Lacy’s fumble, however, gave the Bears the ball at the Packers’ 34, and they turned it into a game-tying touchdown.

“As a ball-carrier, that’s what you don’t want, especially when it turns into points for the other team,” Lacy said after Monday’s practice. “It’s something that you have to put in the back of your mind because you don’t want that to slow you down for the rest of the season, but it’s something that you don’t want to happen as a ball-carrier.”

Fumbling has been out of character for the third-year back. He fumbled only once in 319 touches as a rookie and three times in 288 touches last season. That’s four fumbles in 607 touches in his first two seasons. This year, he’s already matched his career total of four fumbles but has done it in merely 137 carries.

“Ball security, it’s always a premium,” Lacy said. “Whenever you’re going to make a play or you try to make a move, you try to put two hands on it. It’s something that you have be conscious and aware of.”

Given the shaky state of the passing game, the Packers need Lacy to keep producing but to eliminate the fumbles. Lacy was inactive for the Nov. 15 game against Detroit. Without him to provide balance, Aaron Rodgers threw a whopping 61 passes as the Packers were shocked at home. Lacy returned against Minnesota and had his biggest game of the season with 100 yards on 22 attempts, a big key in Green Bay’s lopsided victory as Rodgers completed only 47.1 percent of his passes. On Thursday against Chicago, Lacy was even more productive with 105 yards on 17 attempts, which helped offset Rodgers’ 51.2 percent completion rate and meager 4.70 yards per passing attempt. However, Lacy got only seven carries in the second half as the Bears stunned the Packers.

“I understand the approach that I had since the first day I walked in here, and that’s, ‘Take care of what I have to take care of,’” Lacy said. “Because at the end of the day, that’s all I can control. We have a great quarterback. We all believe in him – players, coaches, fans, everybody. We know he’s a great guy and, for me personally, it’s just whenever I get a chance to make the most of it, try to take as much pressure off of the passing game as possible.”

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.


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