INDIANAPOLIS – First, to confirm one rumor: Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy has worked with fitness guru Tony Horton, the creator of the P90X workout, coach Mike McCarthy said during a lengthy interview with beat writers at the JW Marriott Hotel.
Second, to shoot down another rumor, McCarthy said the team has not told Lacy to lose 30 pounds.
“The numbers that have been out there about his weight are inaccurate,” McCarthy said. “The Green Bay Packers have never, ever asked him to lose 30 pounds. That’s totally out of the realm of what we’re talking about. That’s the facts there.”
Big things were expected from Lacy in 2015 following back-to-back seasons of 1,100 rushing yards and a combined 20 rushing touchdowns from his first two seasons in the league. Instead, Lacy was just big – too big, McCarthy would say in the days following the playoff loss at Arizona. Lacy managed merely 758 yards and three touchdowns rushing. In 2014, he averaged 4.6 yards per carry and caught 42 passes. In 2015, he averaged 4.1 yards per rush and caught 20 passes.
McCarthy said strength and conditioning coordinator Mark Lovat has been in “steady communication” with Lacy. New running backs coach Ben Sirmans, whose former boss, Rams coach Jeff Fisher, called a disciplinarian on Wednesday, also has been in contact.
“Everybody’s genetics are different,” McCarthy said. “Eddie is a guy that he might gain weight but it’s muscle. He’s a thick, muscle-density guy. When you do his body compositions, you’re looking at a very muscular individual. What that number (for weight) is and how you decide, that’s what you’ve got to look at. It’s not just like the guy gained a bunch of weight. He’s a lot bigger and stronger man than he was as a rookie. It’s clear in the weight room and everything that he does.”
McCarthy wouldn’t comment on Lacy’s weight last season. Injuries were one factor. But not the only factor. “I think the reality of this business is like any other: Their responsibilities go up. As guys, whether you’re a coach or player in the league, the longer you’re in it, the more responsibilities and the more experience you have. How you deal with it can affect you.”
McCarthy wasn’t sure of the depth of Lacy’s involvement with Horton, other than to say Lacy is “definitely in a program working out that he hasn’t done in the past.” He said the coaches and training staff will monitor Lacy’s fitness and “absolutely” will visit him before the team’s offseason program begins.
With Lacy entering his final season under contract, it seems like a pretty safe bet that he will be a changed man when he reports back to the team and hits the field for OTAs and minicamp following the draft. The question is, will Lacy’s changes be permanent? Is he someone the Packers can invest significant money in for a second contract?
“Trust me, it’s been addressed,” McCarthy said. “It’s talked about, researched, the education and all that is there. Eddie will take care of business. I have great confidence that he will. I think we’ll see definitely a different guy in April, and more importantly in July.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.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.