McCarthy: Green's Our No. 1 Back
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
By Pete Dougherty
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy made it clear Monday that Ahman Green remains the No. 1 halfback despite the significant improvement the running game made without him in Sunday's loss to the St. Louis Rams.
Green is averaging only 3.7 yards a carry. No. 3 halfback Noah Herron averaged 5.3 yards and gained 106 yards against St. Louis, but also had far superior blocking than anything Green has received this season.
However, McCarthy also suggested Green's nagging hamstring problems after major offseason quadriceps surgery might force him to limit Green's work. He's considering reducing Green's touches to about 15 carries or receptions per game from about 25.
"Ahman Green is a fine football player, he's proven that in the past here, that's obvious," McCarthy said. "But he's proved it here just in this season (also), he's got a lot of football left in him. He's a difference maker when he's in there.
"But we need to be real about what's going on here. We talk about accountability and availability, and right now his availability hasn't existed the last two weeks. With that, the other guys have had opportunities and done well. The combination of the three is, as we move forward, something we'll look at."
McCarthy didn't go as far as suggesting the offense might function better in the new zone-run scheme with Herron or Vernand Morency as the primary back instead of the battered Green.
Morency appears to have lost the No. 2 job at halfback because of his fumbling problems and Herron's play against the Rams.
Morency fumbled once against Philadelphia two weeks ago and twice in the first quarter against St. Louis, though the official statistics credited him with only one fumble against the Rams.
"I don't think you can look past Noah's performance (Sunday)," McCarthy said of Herron.
"You say it all the time, a person is given an opportunity, he cashed in on it. I think we need to keep in touch with that."
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