Is Ryan Grant still the No.1 in Green Bay?

From the perspective of an ex-player, I agree with Green Bay’s Ryan Grant on his stance as it applies to the top of the Packers’ depth chart in the backfield.

The RB told the "Big Show” on WSSP in Milwaukee (via sportsradiointerviews.com) when asked if he is still the starter, “I would think so. I don’t know. From what I’ve heard, that’s the conversation that was told to me.

Ryan Grant ICONAfter missing time in 2010 due to injury, Grant will have to win his job back this summer in training camp.

"I was told that by [former running backs coach Edgar Bennett], initially. Jerry [Fontenot, the new position coach] didn’t tell me that anything changed. Jerry told me that as of right now I’m still the leader of the backfield and the expectations won’t change. I do believe there will be competition, which is fine. I’m all for that.”

Grant even went on to say that he can handle what is best for the team in terms of playing time. But when you go down with an injury as the No.1 guy, you expect to come back to camp the following season in the same spot on the depth chart.

That is how players think and Grant is no different. We aren’t talking about a guy that lost his job during the season due to a lack of production or grading out low on Sundays.

However, the coaching staffs (and front offices) of the NFL don’t always agree. Injuries—season ending injuries—bring a different dynamic to the depth chart. Especially when a team goes on to win a title without you in the lineup.

I’ve been in the same situation (without the ring, of course) when I blew an ACL in Washington as a starter in ’04. Missed the majority of the season (11 games) and came into training camp in ’05 faced with a true battle for the No.1 job with Ryan Clark. The same player that took over my job the season before.

And he kept that No.1 spot—which he deserved.

Does that mean we can’t pencil Grant in as the No.1 when camp (eventually) opens? Of course not, but he is going to have serious competition from James Starks—the RB that took over his role during the Green Bay's Super Bowl run. There are other names, such as rookie Alex Green and Brandon Jackson (if he sticks). Players that want the No.1 job also.

I am pulling for Grant to go out and win his job back. Spending the season in the training room is the equivalent of being a ghost in the NFL. You immediately vanish from the game plan, and after rehab, all you want to do is get on the field and start competing again.

But it is never that cut and dry in this league. Miss time and you have to make up for it daily in training camp by showing the coaching staff that you deserve to be in that huddle on the first drive of the season.

Sure, we still have to weed through more reports on the lockout this week, but when camp does get rolling, I would head up to Green Bay if you have the chance. Because watching the RBs practice is worth standing in the heat. These guys are going to compete hard—and Grant is looking to get his job back.

That’s good NFL football to take in.

Follow me on Twitter: MattBowen41

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