Give Packers general manager Ted Thompson a thumbs up on this trade. The move should work well for the Packers for a couple of reasons. Though Gado came off the street and put up numbers last year that were eye-popping, Morency has all the ability to eventually do the same in Green Bay's new offensive scheme. Plus, he appears to be a mature, down-to-earth guy that fans will adore, like they did with Gado.
Gado struggled with the scheme from Day 1. It became quite apparent in minicamps and even in training camp to Packers coaches that he was not comfortable making a quick cut off a block that the current system requires. In the previous system under Mike Sherman, the running backs had to be more patient and wait for the hole to develop. While Ahman Green and Noah Herron have caught on to Mike McCarthy's scheme, the Packers have a good feeling that Morency's experience in the system, plus quickness, will help him be successful as well.
"I think so, but time will tell that," said offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski. "Sam did a great job for us. Wonderful guy. This fit may be better, but time will tell."
Like Gado, Morency can return kickoffs. And, like Gado, he is well aware of the history of the Packers and truly appreciates the opportunity he has to play for the Packers.
"Most definitely. I'm excited," Morency said today after practice. "I'm like a kid in a candy store. Just walking into this locker room with the great talent we've got in here and a great coaching staff … it's exciting."
Morency is no ordinary second-year pro. At 26 years old, he said that he matured professionally as an athlete by playing for a four years in the Colorado Rockies minor league system. Drafted by the Rockies out of high school, he played such cities as Tucson, AZ, and Spokane, WA before he decided to take up Oklahoma State's standing offer to play football. For Morency, returning to football was a no-brainer, especially since his mother's main wish was to see him receive a college degree.
"Football is my first love," Morency said. "I eat, sleep, and manure football. I just love it."
But his experience with baseball paid off. "I learned how to be a professional," Morency said. "Patience. When somebody makes a mistake, take advantage of it. It's the same way in football."
Morency did well enough at Oklahoma State in three seasons to be selected in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. Last year, he played in 13 games, including a start in the season finale at San Francisco, and gained 184 yards on 46 carries with two touchdowns.
"Very fast. Very fast," said Jagodzinski of his first impression of Morency in practice today. "I didn't see him a lot, I just saw him on the look team today, but very fast around the corner. He looked very quick."
Both Gado and Morency have potential to do well in the NFL, but Morency seems to be a much better fit with the Packers than Gado. Look for him to excel in the offense, and when he does, thank Thompson for pulling the trigger on the trade.
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