Green Taking Line Out For Supper
Tuesday, December 19, 2000
Green Bay News-Chronicle

By Doug Ritchay

Does averaging 62.5 rushing yards per game equal a great performance in the NFL?

Most would say no, but if an NFL running back can average 62.5 yards per game for a season, he will gain 1,000 yards. This number has always represented a great season for running backs, and Green Bay Packers running back Ahman Green agrees.

Green topped 1,000 yards for the first time in his three-year career when he gained a career-high 161 yards Sunday at Minnesota. Green has 1,101 yards with a game remaining, and he is averaging 73.4 yards per game.

"It's a milestone, regardless of how you get it," Green said. "For that running back, the offensive line and the offense as a whole, it's like, 'Yeah, we did something. We got our running back over 1,000.'"

Entering Monday night's game between St. Louis and Tampa Bay, Green and 18 other running backs have cleared 1,000 yards this season, and four more have solid chances to top the standard this weekend. Tampa Bay's Warrick Dunn needed 52 yards Monday to join the 1,000-yard club.

Like most running backs who accomplish a 1,000-yard season, Green will reward his offensive line this week by taking them out for supper.

"I have to take them out to a nice place," Green said. "They don't have to remind me. It's their job to block for me and get me to 1,000 yards."

Meanwhile, Green remains the Packers' leader in receptions with 64, which is two more than wide receivers Bill Schroeder and Antonio Freeman each has. Green entered the season with three career receptions for 2 yards, but he knows there's more work to be done as far as catching passes. "Having 64 catches is a great accomplishment," Green said. "I put in a lot of work in practice. There's still some things I have to work on, keep my eyes on the ball a little longer."

Packers' running back Dorsey Levens has missed most of the season because of a knee injury, but Packers head coach Mike Sherman said Levens will begin running this week. However, Levens will not practice.

Sherman said there could be a chance for Levens to play this season if the Packers reach the playoffs.

"If there is a chance for a future next week, the week after that, (I'm) hopeful he'd be a part of that," Sherman said. "Ahman Green has done an outstanding job, but Dorsey Levens has been here and has done it time and time again. I have the utmost respect and confidence in Dorsey. I look forward to his return."

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