Green, however, is anything but a normal NFL running back. One of the reasons he has been able to surpass the normal shelf life of a typical running back in the league by more than three times is his determination. Upon surgery on his wounded piston, Green focused on his rehab and raised the eyebrows of all who thought he wouldn't be up to speed until midway through the 2006 season, including this scribe. When he signed a one-year contract that added up to more than $2 million last off-season, many thought it was a waste of the Packers' money, including this scribe.
Green, like he has throughout his career, proved his critics wrong. If Donald Driver uses a chip on his shoulder for motivation, Green carries a boulder on his chiseled frame.
Green was ready to rip midway through training camp. He went on to start 14 of 16 games for the Packers, missing two because of hamstring problems. But he finished with 1,059 yards rushing for an impressive 4.0 per carry avg. and five touchdowns. He also was second on the team in receiving with 46 catches for 373 yards and a touchdown. Even better, he rarely fumbled the ball away in his 312 touches.
Green turns 30 on Feb. 16, an age when most running backs are looking back on their NFL career. Judging his burst and durability in 2006, Green still has plenty more in his tank and the Packers should do what they can to re-sign him. However, unlike last season when he was injured, Green may have more suitors for his services than just the Packers, like the New York Giants, who lost Tiki Barber to retirement.
Still, if the Packers want Brett Favre to return so he can extend his amazing starting streak for quarterbacks, and smash a few high profile NFL records while wearing the Green and Gold, they should also do all they can to retain Green. The 10th year pro is 46 yards away from Jim Taylor's team rushing record of 8,207 yards and two rushing attempts away from Taylor's team record of 1,811. Last year, Green became the first Packer with six 1,000-yard seasons rushing. Green has earned the right to own or extend more Packer records.
Green showed last season that he still has the power and burst to be effective for the Packers. His style combined with the shifty Vernand Morency gave the Packers a fairly potent rushing attack. Of course, it can always be better, which is why the team should select a back in April's NFL draft, but going with Green and Morency as the top two backs next season is appealing.
Green certainly deserves another season with the Packers, so when it comes down to re-signing or parting ways, let's hope he is re-signed.
Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at email@example.com.