Sydney Speaks! Odd man out

Ryan Grant is the main man in the Green Bay Packers' backfield, but who will back him up? Packer Report's Harry Sydney offers his opinion on the running backs contending for roster spots on this year's team.

With this being the calm before the storm, the coaches are trying to figure out their depth and who will give them the best opportunity to win. Not only that, but they have to look at who can they count on.

As I look at the running back situation, I believe assistant coach Edgar Bennett will have his hands full for many different reasons. I have all the faith in the world that Edgar will get it done and get the best out of everyone he has, but the question remains how good is their best? Let's look at the running backs and I will give you my assessment of each one of them:

Ryan Grant - a very hard runner who does an excellent job of planting his foot and going north and south. He showed a very good feel of the game and did an excellent job adding different elements to his game as he showed an ability to use the cutback as an added weapon. For the most part of the season, Grant ran like he was a man possessed or a man trying to get paid. As I see it, he is the only running back that has a spot on this team and everyone else is fighting to find a place.

Brandon Jackson - has impressed everyone with his new weight gain, especially with the fact that all of it seems to be in the right place. Unfortunately, that weight he thinks will give him confidence and that's not how it works, especially at running back. It might work with offensive linemen that know they need to get stronger, but as a running back either you have it or you don't. You can't fake it or manufacture it. Confidence comes from studying and being smarter and putting yourself in the best situation to be successful. Until that happens, he will just be another guy who gained weight in the offseason.

Vernand Morency - this is a guy that I believe has the quickness to really help the Packers, especially in third-down situations. Of all the backs, he seems to have the skills to make people miss. He should be an excellent screen-and-draw runner, which was missing and has been missing from the Packers offense since Tony Fisher was released.

Unfortunately, Morency seems to keep getting hurt just when the coaching staff tries to find a spot for him. He doesn't take advantage of the opportunities when he gets them. The other thing that I like about Vernand is his ability in pass protection. He does that very well because he uses excellent leverage and technique and strikes defenders instead of waiting for them, which is something, you can't teach.

Noah Herron - is another third-down back that, like Vernand, is very smart and understands the game. The problem is that he brings nothing special to the game that makes him any different than any of the other players battling for a roster spot in this position. I don't think he has the speed Jackson or Morency has nor do I believe he has the ability to make anyone miss, so as I look at it he brings nothing to the table that says, Keep me, keep me!

DeShawn Wynn - he is the guy that probably is the most intriguing because he has the size of a big man, but the feet and vision of a smaller, open field runner. When he was healthy last season, we all saw him run with power. At the same time he showed excellent vision, but it was the thing that we couldn't see that was the problem and that was the question of toughness. It just seemed to surround him and unfortunately he seemed to spend more time in the training room than on the football field.

Corey White - was another guy that had the opportunity in training camp last year, but didn't really take advantage of it so he just became a memory.

As you can see, the Packers have some guys that all bring something different to the table and they all will be fighting to see who will back up Ryan Grant. That's why Edgar Bennett will have his hands full because they all will have to pick up their game. The running game will be so crucial if the Packers plan to be successful this season.

At the fullback situation they have all they need because John Kuhn and Korey Hall do exactly what Packers need them to do, which is tie linebackers up and play very good on special teams.

So much of the Packers' success will fall directly on the shoulders of this position, so Edgar has to be right with the way he plays them during preseason. Not only does he have to find who can play, but he must also discover WHO'S THE ODD MAN OUT!!!!

Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at

Packer Report Top Stories