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Rebirth of Eddie Lacy Makes Green Bay Packers Contenders Again

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 16: Running back Eddie Lacy #27 of the Green Bay Packers runs as he is hit by nose tackle Josh Mauro #97 of the Arizona Cardinals in the first half in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 16, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Last season was tough for Eddie Lacy and the Green Bay Packers.  The Packers were able to stumble to a 10-6 record, while losing to the Arizona Cardinals in an overtime heartbreaker of the Divisional Playoffs.  For a team that just went to the NFC Conference Championship in 2014, with a two-time NFL MVP playing quarterback, the their 2015 campaign can best be described as a disappointment.

The loss of star wide receiver Jordy Nelson during the preseason was obviously a tremendous blow, but maybe a bigger contributor to Green Bay’s poor offensive performance was the play of starting running back Eddie Lacy.  Lacy, who was selected by the Packers 61st overall in 2013, had by far the worst season of his young career.  After earning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors and rushing for over 1,100 yards in each of his first two seasons Lacy showed a noticeable lack of burst in 2015.

Lacy rushed for a career low 758 yards and three touchdowns, and was supplanted by James Stark in the starting backfield partway through the season.

Following Green Bay’s postseason exit, head coach Mike McCarthy had some strong words for his young running back.  “Eddie’s got a lot of work to do,” McCarthy said. “I’m stating the obvious. His offseason last year was not what it should be and he never recovered from it. He cannot play at the weight he did this year.”

Obviously Lacy had gotten complacent, no longer putting in the necessary work becoming of a successful athlete, and was not offsetting his lack of a diet.

However, Lacy has taken the challenge to heart and has been working hard this offseason to slim down and give him the opportunity his teammates need him to be.

Nelson, who is on track with his own offseason rehab, said of the slimmed down Lacy, “I was going to crack a joke, but I won’t. He looked good.  We’re glad to have everyone back, get ready to work. That will be for him to answer. I didn’t ask him how much he weighed or his percent body fat or how fast he ran.”

With a rejuvenated Lacy, healthy Nelson, the addition of Jared Cook and whoever the team brings in through the draft, the Green Bay Packers appear ready to reclaim their stake as one of the most dangerous teams in the NFL.

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