Herron, 23, was signed off Pittsburgh's practice squad Nov. 30 by the Packers. He has played in the last three games and gained 27 yards in eight carries Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens. Herron rushed for 2,524 yards on 462 carries (5.5 yards per carry) during his career at Northwestern University. He also caught 72 passes for 781 yards (10.8 avg.) and a pair of touchdowns.
Herron was selected with the second of two seventh-round picks by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2005 NFL draft. A versatile back who also returned kickoffs in college, Herron was on the active roster for four games and played in two this year with Pittsburgh, including his NFL debut in a season-opening win against Tennessee on Sept. 11. He had three carries, for 2 yards in the same game. He went back and forth between Pittsburgh's practice squad and active roster before signing with the Packers.
Herron took time after practice Friday to answer a few questions from PackerReport.com managing editor Todd Korth:
PR: How do you feel you will be used Sunday in the game?
NH: Whatever the coaches feel necessary for me to do. I prepare myself during the week for all situations, wherever they might need me, so whenever they ask me to go in, I'll be ready.
What was your experience like Monday night against Baltimore, carrying the ball with the offense?
NH: It was good. It just kind of gave me a chance to get into the flow of the offense for the first time. You sit on the sidelines and you know the plays. You take the mental reps, but at the same time, there is nothing better than actually going out there and doing it, and get comfortable with how they do it here in Green Bay. It was good for me. It gave me a lot of confidence, so when the chance does come for me to play more, I'll have that (experience).
PR: How would you describe your season thus far?
NH: It's been weird. Obviously, as a rookie and getting drafted, you want to stay with that team. Ideally you want to get drafted by the same team and stay with them for your whole career, but it's rare that it happens like that. But I didn't think it would happen this early where I would change teams. The opportunity presented itself, and it took some thinking and praying about, but in the end I felt this was the right decision.
PR: Were you surprised when you were placed on the practice squad in Pittsburgh, and that the Packers offered to sign you?
NH: Early on in the season I wanted to stay in Pittsburgh and whatnot, but no offers ever finalized, so we kind of waited it out. When Green Bay came with an offer and said, ‘We're going to put you on the active to help this team win,' sitting for so long, watching the games and sitting on the sideline … it kind of drives you crazy. I thought and prayed about it for a whole night. It ended up being the right decision.
Every week it gets so much better. I'm getting more comfortable with the people here and how things go around here in Green Bay.
Did you have the option to decline Green Bay's offer and stay with the Steelers?
NH: I could have said ‘no' and stayed in Pittsburgh, which I considered. They drafted me this year and I wanted to play for Pittsburgh, but things always happen for a reason.
Has it been challenging to learn the Packers' offense in a short period of time?
NH: (laughs) Yes, it's been very challenging. There hasn't been time to actually just sit me down and give me a couple of days to think. Since I've been here, it's been a game plan for this week, game plan for next week, and pick up as you go. That's really what I've been trying to do.
Coach (Edgar) Bennett has been helpful in trying to get me up to speed, but it's a complicated offense, and with a quarterback like Brett (Favre) who has so many years under this offense, it's me trying to catch up to speed with him. It's been tough, but at the same time, it's been a fun challenge.
What is the most challenging part of the offense to learn?
NH: The whole offense is totally different from Pittsburgh. It's the West Coast offense. It's very long. The plays are long with a lot of verbage. It wasn't like that in Pittsburgh, so it's understanding the concepts of the offense and figuring out which things go where and what I do off of that.