One Bright Spot: Green Gains 110 Yards
Monday, September 11, 2006

For much of the last year, Ahman Green has been hearing that he's washed up.

It's easy to understand why people have started to doubt Green. At 29, he's at the golden age for running backs, a time when even the best backs begin to see their numbers take a dramatic drop.

It didn't help Green missed most of last season with a torn quadriceps tendon, an injury that's ended some careers.

So, when Green rushed 20 times for 110 yards in Sunday's season-opening loss to the Chicago Bears, it was a pleasant surprise the Green Bay Packers desperately needed.

"I think you can definitely say Ahman is back," right tackle Mark Tauscher said. "He played incredibly tonight."

Green had a hard time celebrating his performance after such a tough loss but was pleased to be able to help his team, something he hadn't been able to do since October.

"It's bittersweet to rush for 100 yards but still lose the game," Green said.

"You can find some sweetness in it, but not much. It's more of a sour taste in your mouth when you lose a game like this."

It was the first time Green had broken the century mark since Nov. 14, 2004. He said there was a sense of relief to be able to prove he still is capable of playing at a high level.

"I've been hearing for a while that I'm done," Green said. "I've heard it so much that I was beginning to wonder if it was true. I'm glad it's not."

While Green hated his time away from football, he said it helped his body, which had worn down after taking a beating for eight seasons.

"I feel better than I have in years," Green said. "I can't remember the last time I felt this good."

Green's teammates said they're not surprised by what he's still able to do.

"It's a positive, and we didn't have much of that today," center Scott Wells said. "It's hard to be happy about just about anything right now, but Ahman's play might be the only good thing that happened today."

On a day when the Bears' defense shut out the Packers' offense, Green was the only player who caught the attention of the Chicago players.

"Most of that offense doesn't even resemble the one we saw a few years ago," Bears defensive end Alex Brown said.

"But Ahman Green is still great. He's the one guy we couldn't shut down today."

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