It was a bad year for Packers running back Eddie Lacy, who entered the season as a young, rising star and spent it battling through injuries, briefly losing his starting job due to ineffectiveness, briefly losing it again after missing a curfew, and setting career lows in carries, yards, and touchdowns. Mike McCarthy says he wants to see less of Lacy next year, mass-wise.
McCarthy was asked about Lacy at his season-ending press conference yesterday:
Well, I mean Eddie Lacy, he’s got a lot of work to do. I think I’m stating the obvious. His offseason last year was not good enough and he never recovered from it. I had a chance to talk to Eddie today and that was pretty much the majority of our whole conversation. So he has to get it done because he cannot play at the weight that he played at this year.
A peak Lacy would have come in handy this year for a Packers offense that at times looked hobbled without Jordy Nelson and that switched play-callers last year, and then again before Week 14. (McCarthy said yesterday he will continue calling plays next season.) But it wasn’t to be.
Lacy is listed at 5'11" and 234 pounds, though a report from training camp put him at 242. After Lacy’s first benching in October, amid the circulation of unflattering photos, he declared—accurately—that not every running back is built like Adrian Peterson. (McCarthy said at the time that the Packers had no problems with Lacy’s weight. He was lying.)
Lacy has one of those low, compact styles that can be so effective for NFL runners, but it’s a fine line to walk between “big” and “too big,” and Lacy may just have one of those body types that tends toward being overweight. (Look what happened to Maurice Jones-Drew after just a year out of football.) That it’s been a struggle just three years into his pro career is either a bad sign, or a jarring wake-up call. For Lacy’s sake, he undoubtedly hopes it’s the latter; 2016 will be his contract year.