Green runs rings around Colts
Running back Ahman Green gained a career-high 153 yards Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts Monday, November 20, 2000
Green Bay News-Chronicle

Running back Ahman Green gained a career-high 153 yards Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts

By Doug Ritchay
News-Chronicle
Green Bay Packers' quarterback Brett Favre must have been dabbling with his crystal ball, because he told running back Ahman Green before Sunday's game he was capable of gaining more than 150 yards against Indianapolis.

So what does Green do? He shreds the Colts' 20th-ranked rush defense for a career-high 153 yards on 24 carries.

Maybe Favre should take a shot at the presidential-election mess and put an end to it.

"He wasn't expected to be used a whole lot this year, and now he's been asked to be our star running back and a featured receiver," Favre said. "Today, he proved to a lot of people what he can do."

"He ran well today," right guard Marco Rivera said. "He had a great day. We expect more of that from him."

Expecting 150 yards per game might be asking too much, but Green displayed the great running talent that made him so enticing when the Packers traded cornerback Fred Vinson to Seattle for Green in April.

Green showed his blazing speed with runs of 36, 25 and 19 yards by getting in the open field and outrunning pursuit. Green displayed all he needs is a crack, and once he gets through it, he's a threat to score.

"They did overpursue," said Green, whose previous career-high was 100 yards on six carries against Philadelphia in 1998. "Once I got the ball, I pressed it as far as I could playside, and once I saw the safeties running playside, the cutback was wide-open."

Green credited his success to the fact he has received most of the snaps with the first-team offense in practice since starting running back Dorsey Levens injured his knee Oct. 29 at Miami. Before then, he was sharing time, and he said the extra repetitions have brought him to the point where he is reaching a comfort level.

"Things are slowing down," Green said. "When I had my first start against the Jets (in the season opener), things were going 110 miles per hour. The more time I'm in there, the more comfortable I get." Favre believes the sky's the limit for Green.

"I told Ahman two weeks ago the only thing that can stop him is himself," Favre said. "Sometimes he plays a little timid. He was a huge factor in us winning the football game today.

"It's just about him playing with confidence. Ahman has as much ability as any running back in this league."

Green will continue to get a chance to flash his ability as Levens might not return this season. If so, Packers general manager Ron Wolf deserves a pat on the back for orchestrating the trade with former Packers head coach Mike Holmgren. Without Green, the running game would have been in serious trouble.

"We're fortunate to have him," Rivera said. "If Dorsey was healthy, that's a dangerous combination. Hopefully, next year we'll have that."

The only negative on the day for Green was an incomplete pass he threw to wide receiver Bill Schroeder in the end zone on an option play.

"The defender overplayed Billy too much outside, so I tried to touch pass it inside," Green said. "Billy slipped a little bit, and we missed a nice catch."

So Green isn't the second coming of Brett Favre. That's OK. The Packers need his feet more than his arm.

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