One to watch: Packers running back Ahman Green
Sunday, September 14, 2003
By Mike O'Hara / The Detroit News
GREEN BAY -- When Lions safety Corey Harris compares the Packers' Ahman Green to other running backs he has seen or played against, he ranks him with the best.
That means double trouble for the Lions' defense. Green is one of the most accomplished two-way threats in the league. Packers quarterback Brett Favre might rely on Green even more than he has the last three years, because of a shortage of healthy receivers.
Green has proven that he can produce.
"Watching him, one thing I notice versus other running back, he reminds me of Walter Payton," Harris said. "A lot of times, if you watch him at the point of contact, most guys stop running at the point of impact. He's one of those guys whose legs give two or three hard drives when he's hit. It allows him to break tackles.
"Between his balance, his speed, his vision, he's just an all-around running back, one of the best all-around running backs in the league."
Green was Seattle's third-round draft pick in 1998, but he had only 51 carries and did not start a game in his first two seasons. When Mike Sherman became coach of the Packers in 2000, he acquired Green in package deal.
The Packers got some package in Green. He has three straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons and has averaged 64 catches a season. Green has scored 35 touchdowns.
The Lions have had trouble stopping Green. He missed last year's Detroit-Green Bay game at Ford Field because of a thigh injury. In the other five games, Green has wrecked the Lions. He has 496 yards rushing, 181 receiving and eight touchdowns.
Green is such a tough, persistent player that the defense cannot relax for a moment. It makes for a long day for the defense, especially the safeties, who have to come up to stop the run and defend backs and tight ends on pass plays.
"That's the other thing that make him dangerous," Harris said. "You've got some guys in the league, you make a mistake, they don't have the ability to make you pay for it. He's the Priest Holmes, Marshall Faulk type of guy.
"You make a mistake, no matter where you are on the field, he puts six points on the board quick."
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