Green shoulders the load with style

The fastest player to rush for 3,000 yards in Packer history isn't about to slow down now.<P> Ahman Green has carried 119 times for 552 yards – that's an average of 4.3 yards a pop. The totals are even more impressive when his one-week hiatus with a quad injury are considered. According to the back and his coach, the workhorse tag suits Green just fine.<P>

"Because he takes such good care of his body, I think he's a back that can handle it," Sherman said. "We almost always will take him out so he doesn't risk injury. If he has a long or punishing run we always will put someone in there – most of the time, I should say, even though I'm begging, trying to get him back on the field as soon as possible.

"But we try to take some of that off of him," Sherman said. "I think he's capable. He went to Nebraska for crying out loud, he should be able to handle carrying the football."

Sherman said he thinks Green is capable of carrying the ball close to 30 times per game. He's had 27 carries twice so far, and 31 last week.

Also, Green seems to have shaken the fumble problems that plagued him earlier, because as his totals mount his fumble ratio is plummeting.

"It's an ongoing issue, just like throwing interceptions or just like anything, turnovers. Anything like that is an ongoing thing you have to work on," Sherman said. "He doesn't play a lot of the preseason, and he gets into the regular season and hasn't been hit like he's been hit. Do we risk him in the preseason getting hit more and alleviate the fumbles earlier in the season?

"But I think the fact that he's into his routine now, into the flow, I think he is very conscious about that football and he is securing it ight from the get-go right now. So it's a good thing, and he'll continue to do that."

Sherman said he confidence that Green is the type of rusher who gets the knots of out his game early in the season and then just continues to improve. If that's the case, Green is going to post some unbelievable numbers when the 2002 totals are tallied.

On his current pace, Green's 2002 projections are: 317 carries for 1472 yards ( 4.6 average) 3 TDs , plus 53 receptions for 387 yards, 3 receiving TDs and 8 fumbles. That would top last year's yardage by more than 100 yards. The projected 1472 would fall just 2 yards short of Jim Taylor's franchise record.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Green is back from his injury, has rebounded from early fumbles, and seems to only be getting better under an extremely heavy workoad right here in 2002.

"As I said, I think at the end of the season when you match him against the great backs in the league, he'll have the same as Marshall Faulk and some of those guys, Edgerrin James, he'll be right in that category as far s turnovers to carries.


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