Photos circulating around social media show a slimmed-down Eddie Lacy. On Monday, with the start of the Green Bay Packers’ offseason program, Lacy’s teammates got their first look at the running back since the end of last season.
“He looked like Eddie, man. He looked good,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “Obviously been doing a lot of P90X (workouts).”
Lacy is coming off a disappointing third season, with his 758 rushing yards and three touchdowns a far cry from his first two seasons, when he put together back-to-back seasons of 1,100-plus yards and a total of 20 touchdowns. After the season, coach Mike McCarthy made it abundantly clear that Lacy was overweight last season and his play suffered as a consequence.
“He’s got a lot of work to do. I think I’m stating the obvious,” McCarthy said a couple days after a season-ending playoff loss at Arizona, a game in which Lacy ran out of gas long before he was tackled on a 61-yard run. “His offseason last year was not good enough, and he never recovered from it. I had a chance to talk to Eddie today and that was pretty much the majority of our whole conversation. So, he has to get it done because he cannot play at the weight that he played at this year.”
At the Scouting Combine, McCarthy said he was pleased with Lacy’s progress and predicted that “we’ll definitely (see) a different guy in April and, more, importantly in July.”
Well, it’s April and Lacy apparently remains on the right path.
“I think Eddie looks good, man,” defensive tackle Mike Daniels said. “We’ll see when the pads come on and everything but I do think he’s a guy who rises to the occasion. He comes from a great program where they do things the right way. He came under a lot of fire so I think he’s a guy that he got put on the spot and he responded. …
“He’s a guy that has pride. He’s got pride, and I think hearing all the negativity might have sparked him up a little bit.”
If Lacy stays the course, he should be a reason why the Packers’ offense rebounds from a disappointing 2015, when it finished just 15th in scoring and 23rd in yards. With a slimmer Lacy, the return of receiver Jordy Nelson from a torn ACL and the addition of tight end Jared Cook, the offense should look as different as Lacy in 2016.
“He’s a solid football player and a big contributor for us,” Rodgers said. “So he’s going to make sure he takes care of himself the right way and he’s got an infectious personality that everybody enjoys, enjoys seeing that big smile across the locker room. So we’re glad he’s our player.”
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.