by Matt Bowen
October 21, 02009
What does Ahman Green have left to offer for the Packers?
That seems to be the question of the day after Green Bay decided to bring back the 32-year old veteran for another tour of action up north. This isn’t the same Ahman Green that I used to play with back in the early 2000’s, a guy that ran with such force and power, high knees and a running style that looked similar to Walter Payton.
No, Green is now like most other running backs in his 30’s. He struggles to stay healthy, and in the offseason he waits for a phone call that never comes. But, Green Bay must have seen something when he worked out for the team recently, and because of that he is now on the practice field wearing a Packers uniform for the second time.
Still, why now and why bring him in when we all know that Ryan Grant is the feature back behind an offensive line that is fighting it out with Chicago for the biggest disappointment as a unit for ’09?
From my perspective, this is pretty simple if we are just talking about football. Forget age and forget injuries for a moment—because I don’t see how that is going to factor in the game plan for Green, if there is one.
I would expect Green Bay to dress him this Sunday, and after that, we can’t really be sure how much he will see the field. It won’t be on special teams, and the only way I can see Green getting meaningful minutes is in the Packers’ red zone package, or a carry or two throughout the course of the game if Grant gets dinged up.
I don’t see a package solely created for Green because this team already has enough offensive weapons to score points; that would be a waste of practice time. Instead, use him where you need him most—on the goal line. Green can still run with power—that shouldn’t be questioned. He just can’t do it for an entire game.
Yes, he was a great receiver out of the backfield in his prime, but from my vantage point, you don’t take the ball out of Grant’s hands for a recently signed veteran.
I can understand the talk about this move because Green still has a name that people recognize, but the bottom line is that there is really no risk here for the Packers. If they can get him on the field, great. If not, then cut him loose next week if you have to.
The Packers aren’t tied to Green with any sort of contract, so the risk here is almost nothing. If he can still play, you keep him. If he can’t, then move on. At this point, this probably is the same Ahman Green we saw in Houston when he started to break down. That is just the reality of how this league can wear down running backs.
Sure, I loved watching Ahman run back in the day and despised going against him in camp, but this move should just be called what it is—a chance to see if there is something left.
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