Position breakdown: Running backs, fullbacks

Kregg Lumpkin the surprise of training camp for Packers

Here is a breakdown of the Green Bay Packers' running backs and fullbacks:

Depth chart: Starters: Ryan Grant (RB) and Korey Hall (FB). Backups: Running back - Brandon Jackson, Kregg Lumpkin. Fullback: John Kuhn.

Strength or weakness? Strength. The Packers should be able to consistenly run the ball this season behind Grant and Hall. That is, if head coach and chief play-caller Mike McCarthy finally decides that he wants to play the kind of smash-mouth football that he talks about but never really carries out. With Brett Favre at quarterback under McCarthy, the Packers were always been a pass-first team. That could and probably should change this season behind Rodgers, a first-year starter, who has enough pressure on him already in his attempt to replace a legend.

Grant, who nearly topped 1,000 yards rushing in a little more than half a season last year, is back and healthy. Though, Packers fans should keep their fingers crossed that Grant's preseason hamstring injury doesn't flare up. Jackson also gives the team a change of pace and showed in training camp that he is much more confident and stronger than last year. Lumpkin, the only rookie free agent to make the team this year, proved that he can be a solid backup and special teams player.

Hall enters his second season as the starter at fullback and key special teams player. Hall and Kuhn are both in their second season in the team's zone-blocking scheme, which should benefit Grant and the other running backs.

The Packers ranked 21st in the league in rushing last season. That ranking would have been much worse if Grant hadn't emerged in the second half of the season after the Packers struggled with various starters in the first half. Look for the rushing attack to be much improved this year.


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