Training camp preview: Running backs

A quick peek at the positions as the Packers head into training camp

The Green Bay Packers' running game went from embarrassingly bad to one of the NFL's best, corresponding with Ryan Grant's emergence at halfback midway through last season.

Grant averaged a ridiculous 5.1 yards per carry and broke off long runs in practically every game. His decisive one-step-and-explode style is a perfect fit for the zone blocking scheme. His speed and power are surpassed only by his instincts and ability to exploit holes that develop far from the point of attack.

Questions remain at the other spots in the backfield, though.

Halfback: Coaches praised the progress made this offseason by DeShawn Wynn and especially Brandon Jackson. Jackson is significantly stronger this year, and his emergence late last season (combined 31 carries for 172 yards and 5.5 yards per rush in final two regular-season games plus playoff opener vs. Seattle) provides hope he'll be a more-than-competent backup to Grant.

That puts Wynn on the roster bubble, unless he's tough enough to play fullback, too. That's because Vernand Morency and Noah Herron — two veterans who can block and catch — likely will vie for the third-down role. The Packers also like undrafted Kregg Lumpkin.

Fullback: Korey Hall returns as the starter and is a solid favorite to retain that role, though it should be noted John Kuhn played more as the season went on because he's a better blocker. Plus, 260-pound Ryan Powdrell, who missed last season with a knee injury sustained in training camp, has the potential to be a devastating blocker, and the Packers liked versatile Corey White enough to stash him on their practice squad last year.

Bill Huber writes for Packer Report. E-mail him at

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