Sloth: Packer Backfield Thoughts
The Packers seem set in the offensive backfield with the signing of Ahman Green, Najeh Davenport and William Henderson. Along with returning Vonta Leach and 2005 bright spot Samkon Gato the lineup hasn’t changed much from a disappointing 2005. The only real difference is Gato for Fisher, which I see as an upgrade. Not to diss Tony, but he didn’t really acquit himself very well last year even taking into account his rib injury.
Considering the toll the injury bug took on the running backs last year, it isn’t fair to say that this is a “bad thing”.. Yet.
Green is coming off an injury that kills careers. Even if he is healthy, a giant if, he still has fumbling issues. He is (or maybe was) a great playmaker but I don’t see a free agent that would be a better option. Trading up for Reggie Bush would be a disaster. The one-year, incentive-laden contract was a good move by Ted Thompson.
I am a huge Najeh Davenport fan. He will get his chances this year, just as he has in past years. If he can stay upright and can show some of the flashes he showed against New Orleans last year (before he was injured for the season) he will be a highly sought after free agent next year. Again it seems prudent to only offer a one-year contract, given his injury history.
William Henderson is one of my all-time favorite Packers. A position cemented this off-season by resigning after visiting the (dreaded) Vikings [spit]. He may have lost some of his blocking punch, but he has become a formidable passing target. I just love seeing him rumble down the sidelines looking for contact and the extra yard instead of the out-of-bounds marker. The fact that he loves special teams is also something that endears himself to the fans. Is there tread on the tires? I think so, maybe 2 more years worth. Signing him is a class move by both William and the team.
Vonta Leach could be the next “William Henderson”. He brings a load in the running game, but lacks that “something special” in the passing game that William has in spades. Have another year or two to be around William could be the best thing that ever happened to him, if he takes advantage of it.
Is Samkon Gato for real or a one hit wonder? I don’t really know but my intuition is that he is the real deal on the field; there is no doubt that he is a quality person off the field. Truthfully, I hope he doesn’t see a whole lot of action this year. A year to learn the craft is a good thing for him. Of course, if 2006 is as much a disaster as 2005, we will see him just to provide a spark and get the fans energized (as if being in Lambeau isn’t enough). We should see just enough of him to see if he is our starter next year.