Packers notes

Running game has lowest output since 1954

After firing Mike Sherman as head coach Monday morning, general manager Ted Thompson planned to meet individually with the team's long list of free agents.

The Packers have 15 players who are slated to become unrestricted free agents in March. Notables are running backs Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport, fullback William Henderson, center Mike Flanagan, nose tackle Grady Jackson, defensive end Aaron Kampman and kicker Ryan Longwell.

Jackson said the possible promotion of defensive coordinator Jim Bates to head coach could convince him to stay in Green Bay.

"You don't have to learn a new defensive system," Jackson said. "We've had three years of learning a new defensive system" under three different coordinators.

-- Thanks in great part to the Packers going through six featured backs in an injury-filled season, they had their poorest season output from a running standpoint in more than 50 years.

They amassed 1,352 yards on the ground, averaging 84.5 yards per game to rank 30th in the league.

Not counting the strike-shortened season in 1982, when they totaled 1,081 yards, the last time the Packers were so anemic was 1954, with 1,328 yards in a 12-game season.

The per-game average of 84.5 yards is the lowest for a season in the team's recorded history, which dates to 1932.

The Packers' backfield was wiped out during the course of season because of injuries. Six different players started in 2005 and five landed on season-ending injured reserve. Samkon Gado, who led the team in rushing with 582 yards (4.1 avg. per carry), wasn't placed on injured reserve but missed the final two games with a knee injury.

-- Wide receivers coach James Franklin was hired Tuesday as offensive coordinator at Kansas State. Franklin completed his first season with the Packers.

Franklin is the second assistant coach to leave the Packers. Offensive assistant/Director of Player Development Turner Gill was named head coach of Buffalo University in December.


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