Laid-Back Lacy Ready to Reach New Levels in Year Two

By Ryan Rodig |

Published 08/07 2014 07:52PM

Updated 08/07 2014 08:14PM

(WFRV-TV) - Whether it's on the field holding an impromptu dance contest with Randall Cobb during a timeout, or letting out a signature belly-laugh in the locker room, it's easy to see Eddie Lacy is as laid back as NFL players come.

"He's got his own style," said Packers GM Ted Thompson.  "Quite frankly, I admire him for it.  A lot of people are all nervous and fidgety, and concerned about what somebody thinks.  He kind of goes through life having a good time, with a big smile on his face.  He's also a really good football player, so that helps."

New running backs coach Sam Gash says he was brought to the team to make the reigning offensive rookie of the year even better.  He says it's refreshing to coach a player who has so much fun, but also said Lacy knows how to get down to business.

"Don't let kindness fool you for weakness," said Gash.  "He' works hard at everything he does. He goes out every day and plays the way he expects to play on Sundays."

The second year runner set franchise rookie records for rushing yards, attempts and touchdowns in 2013.  Now coaches want Lacy to perfect the other aspects of the position, like pass protection and catching the ball out of the backfield.

"(James) Starks, DuJuan (Harris) and I have definitely caught more passes in this offseason than last offseason," said Lacy.  "I think it's a big emphasis this season going in to the season to catch the ball and be where you're supposed to be."

Head Coach Mike McCarthy has said in the past he'd like to have a three down back, and Lacy may be on his way to becoming that.

"Eddie Lacy looks more polished, more comfortable in the offense," McCarthy said.  "Extremely productive runner as far as running the football, but as far as pass protection and the recognition of defenses identity and pressure schemes, check downs route running he's getting better."

Lacy and Aaron Rodgers started only nine of 17 games together last season, but despite that Green Bay's offense still finished in the top ten in both rushing and passing offense for the first time in nearly a decade.  If both can stay healthy this season, the already prolific Packers offense could soar even more.  Maybe that starts with Lacy catching a few more passes out of the backfield?

"Eddie has a self-appointed nickname of 'Moss,' as in Randy Moss," Rodgers said with a smile recently.  "He thinks he has incredible hands.  His hands are actually very good; he is good catching the ball out of the backfield.  Mike has stressed I know about having a 3-down back at times for play speed to not have to sub out every first down or second down or third down.  If we do that you're going to see more opportunities for catches out of the backfield.

"It definitely makes it harder for them," Lacy said when asked about defenses preparing to stop he and Rodgers.  "They can't just play the run or the pass.  They have to pretty much pick one, or figure out a way to stop both.  Having '12' back there definitely helps out a lot and it makes it tougher for defenses to stop us."

"I tell the runners, do what he tells you to do and you'll be successful," Gash said of Rodgers tutelage of the RB's.  "It is going to be exciting to see all those guys play together and see the outcome."

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