The Ahman Effect
Thursday, October 22, 2009
620 WTMJ

America's economy is struggling to emerge from a crippling recession, our soldiers are waging wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Ahman Green is with the Packers. 2003 is back, baby!

But will Ahman impact Green Bay's fortunes in 2009 the way he did six years ago? In a word, no. He's no longer the powerful north-south runner with lightning-quick east-west elusiveness, making him far less likely to pull defenders out of the box to take pressure off of the Packers' passing game.

Yet Green still might be the most valuable trade-deadline acquisition the Pack might have made because of what I am terming the "Ahman Effect." Green's value extends far beyond his contributions on the field; he is a natural leader on a team in desperate need of a veteran presence. For what feels like the tenth consecuvtive season, the Packers are the youngest team in the league and it shows.

From penalties to missed blocks to what appears to be a general lack of focus, Green Bay is showing its age in this young season, and an established leader in the locker room might be just what itneeds. No, The Ahman Effect won't rush for 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns or completely dominate games, but it will (hopefully) instill a quiet confidence in players struggling to justify massive preseason hype.

The Ahman Effect won't force defensive coordinators to rethink their game plans each Sunday, but it will be able to guide young teammates through the drudgery of Monday-Saturday. And that might be just what they need.

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