Leroy Butler makes great point re Ryan Grant

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Read here from jsonline.com – 5 questions with Butler. I really like this column when it comes out and I enjoy listening to Leroy on the radio whenever I have the chance. He has an excellent football mind and from reading and listening to him now, it becomes even more apparent to me why he was such a good safety for the Packers. I particularly like that he isn’t afraid to say what he thinks (read his take on KGB).

Anyway, the great point I think he makes re Ryan Grant is that he believes that Grant’s presence on the field is essentially a 1 dimensional presence – Grant, when on the field, is most likely going to get the ball and run with it. Butler lobbies here for getting the ball to Grant through the air. This is very solid insight. Early in the season, when Grant was hurting, the Packers would limit his plays. So, when he’d come in the game, the other team pretty much knew he was going to get the ball on a run play. I’m not sure that has changed a whole lot frankly. I’d be interested to see what % of times Grant gets a hand-off when he’s in the game. Couple all of this with the very obvious hand-off method of Rodgers’ and it’s no wonder defenses seem to be snuffing out the run.

We at Packergeeks have been calling for more screens for much of the year. Screens, or I’ll add now, even lining Grant up as a wide-out. He may not be the best receiver, but I strongly agree with Butler – getting Grant involved in other ways besides just running, is important.

(By the way, I also agree with Butler re Grant not breaking tackles – in fact I wrote as much last night in the post on why the Packers are 4-4. For a guy who runs so hard and is so strong, it’s really strange the number of times this year when he’s made it to the 2nd level only to be taken down by a very weak DB who gets a finger on his shoe. I almost wonder if his injury has somehow knocked him a bit off balance or something. I do also agree with Butler that Grant will likely turn things around as the season moves forward – that’s why he’s still on my fantasy team).

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4 Responses to “Leroy Butler makes great point re Ryan Grant”

  1. OneTwoSixFive Says:

    re: Packergeeks have been calling for more screens for much of the year.

    Since this piece has its focus on Grant, it is worth mentioning that he averaged only 4.8 per catch in 2007. This was not a problem with catching the ball (81% completion), just that he did little with it after the catch.

    For comparison, Wynn and Jackson both averaged exactly the same, at 8.1 yards per catch, and Hall averaged 6.1.

    So in conclusion, if you want Grant used more for screens, he has to get better at it. The alternative is to use someone else, but that will be a tendency that opposing defensive coordinators will pick up on, quickly.

  2. awhayes Says:

    Interesting point – but ypc is a bit less important here than just the act of varying the offensive playcalling by throwing the ball to Grant more. Getting 4.8 ypc now would be just fine with me (that’s more than his average yards per carry) as long as they at least get him more involved in catching passes. The point here is that when he’s in the game, it’s very easy for opposing defenses to guess at what’s coming.

    Also, Wynn and Jackson gets balls thrown their way usually on 3rd downs when defenses are in pass defense – if Grant were the 3rd down back, he’d likely have a similar average. Now, the Hall stat is interesting – and I’m big-time in favor of working him into the offense more.

  3. bucky Says:

    I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing if we can’t get the ball to Grant on something other than the standard stretch play that we run. But I’m not sure what kind of receiver he is; it’s one of the reasons, by the way, that I wanted to keep Herron on the roster. Using Jackson as a receiver scares the shit out of me; among other reasons, he’s the guy responsible for Rodgers’ first pick of the season, when a five yard dump off bounced right off his chest and into the arms of Derrick Brooks.

    I’d note that Grant averaged 4.3 ypc versus the Titans, nearly a yard above his average, and not a bad figure against one of the stoutest defenses in the league. He seemed to run hard and run smart; hopefully this is the harbinger of another second half explosion by grant this season.

  4. Homepage Says:

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