Packers Lacy Takes Adversity and Spins it Into a Positive

Published 05/12 2013 09:57PM

Updated 05/12 2013 10:14PM

Eddie Lacy believed he was a first round talent, but the former Alabama running back won't complain.

"I just feel like everything happens for a reason," Lacy said at Packers rookie camp this week.  "Even though I didn't get picked where I was supposed to, I fell to Green Bay in the second round and I feel like this is the perfect place for me to be."

Lacy fell out of 1st round consideration because of injury concerns.  The 230 pound back played through a number of ailments in college, but the biggest red flag was undergoing turf toe surgery after the 2011 season.

Following the operation Lacy paved the way for the Crimson Tide to win a National Championship by running for 1,322 yards (6.5 yard average) and 17 touchdowns.  Still, those "injury prone" labels were being hurled at him, but still no complaints from Lacy.

"I talked about it for months, it is what it is," Lacy said.  "I don't have a problem with it (the toe).  I played a whole season with it and I'm going to continue to play with it."

In Tuscaloosa, Lacy had to wait his turn to become a starter while playing behind current NFL RBs Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson.  Once again, Lacy finds the positive in the situation.

"I had to compete pretty much everywhere I went," Lacy said.   "So it's not like it's something I have to get used to (in Green Bay).  It's something I've been through already.  I take those experiences and I just bring them here and do it like I've always been doing."

To appreciate the burly running back's outlook and attitude, you have to consider what he's been through.

Lacy and his family were among the more than 500,000 people left homeless in Louisiana when Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast in 2005.

They left their home in Gretna, just across the river from New Orleans, and bounced around between four different houses before eventually settling into a small trailer more than 60-miles northwest of their hometown.

"It pretty much showed me and my family that we can get through anything," Lacy said.  "After that, you're pretty much at your worst.  We were able to pick everything back up and go with the little bit we had.  I was able to overcome it along with my family, now we're here."

Ironically, Lacy is known for his "cyclone" like spin move, a perfect pirouette he's been using since he started playing the sport as a youngster.  It was on full display often as he dominated defenses in the vaunted SEC.

"Growing up I was always smaller so it was a way for me to not take a direct hit," Lacy said of his signature move that earned him the nickname "circle button."I got bigger and it got better.  I don't know; it's natural.  It just happens.  I don't know how to explain it."

It's early in the process but Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy likes what he sees out of the back who could give a big boost to Green Bay's ground game which hasn't seen a 100 yard rusher in 43 straight games.

"He definitely is very smooth," McCarthy said this week.  "You can see the things particularly in the run game that he did at Alabama, and obviously he was really well coached there.  Just his comfort in the inside outside zone footwork's, I'm glad he's here."

Lacy seems happy to be here too, even if the weather is a little different so far from the southeast.  Now he says it may be time to re-evaluate his family's living arrangement.

"They're not going to stay there much longer," Lacy said of his parents' trailer. "It's just a matter of if they want to come out here or if they just want to stay at home.  We have a lot to talk about, but they are not going to be there too much longer."

As far as Green Bay goes, Lacy hopes he's here for the long run.  And the positive spin he puts on the adversity he's faced in life, could prove as valuable as any move he makes on the field.

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