The Packers of Vince Lombardi might have made the power sweep their signature play, but the Packers of Mike McCarthy haven’t had much use for it.
They are a passing team, gaining more than 72 percent of their yards through the air since McCarthy took over the reins. No one is expecting things to swing too far in the other direction this season, but the team is looking to James Starks to provide some balance. Injuries have cost him 16 games over his first two seasons, but the flashes of talent have been there and offensive coordinator Tom Clements has high hopes that they will translate to a breakout season.
“You hope that every guy gets better every year,” Clements said, via Rob Reischel of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “He has a lot of ability. He’s powerful, runs hard, catches the ball out of the backfield pretty well. We’re hopeful.”
The Packers aren’t particularly deep at tailback behind Starks. Alex Green is coming off of a torn ACL and may not be ready for the first week of the season and Brandon Saine has just 18 career carries. There are veteran options like Cedric Benson and they could bring Ryan Grant back, but there’s no sign that the Packers are going to move in that direction.
While the team still has hopes for Green, it looks like the onus is going to be on Starks. The team’s reliance on passing makes it a bit easier to lean heavily on one running back, although Starks is going to have to stay healthy to make good on the high hopes for his performance.