GREEN BAY, Wis. — If it was up to Eddie Lacy, the talk of his weight would be shed by now.
But the subject is a matter of quite a bit of conjecture in these parts, ever since Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy called out his running back for his level of conditioning last season — Lacy’s worst as a pro.
After averaging 1,158.5 rushing yards and 10 rush touchdowns his first two seasons, Lacy fell back to 758 yards and three scores with a long run of 29 yards on 187 carries. He has always been a bigger back, and he joked as he was coming out of Alabama that he gained “a pound or 3” before the NFL scouting combine, which raised eyebrows then.
Lacy was seen a few months into the offseason looking svelte after a few P90X sessions, which obviously excited Packers Nation. He also took up boxing and played a lot of hoops and has made changes to his diet (side note: Lacy says he doesn’t eat cheese) and hooked up with P90X founder Tony Horton between minicamp in June and the start of training camp.
Is he still that way on the first day of camp? The team is no help; he has been listed at the same 234 pounds on the roster that he was at the start of 2015. The eye test, though, says Lacy looks good, and believes that should suffice.
“Do I look like I lost a few pounds over the summer?” Lacy asked rhetorically, and a bit defensively, when asked about his weight. When informed that, yes, he does, he added: “Well, you can go with that.”
Lacy wants to put the weight issue behind him.
“I’m tired of talking about it,” Lacy said after Tuesday’s practice, the first of training camp. “I’m pretty sure you all are tired of asking about it. I’m tired of hearing about it everywhere I go. I’m done with that.”
Don’t expect many more words from McCarthy on the issue — until it becomes a problem. He said earlier in the day that he, too, was done with the topic.
“I’m just going to be frank here, I’m done talking about people’s weight,” McCarthy said. “I’ve never put a guy’s individual weight in the media, that’s not something I talk about, and in Eddie’s particular case, I’ve talked enough about his weight.
“Well, I think there was a lot of drama added to that statement, quite frankly. I felt like I gave an honest answer to a question that I think was obvious. Everybody has things they need to work on, we all do, and frankly like I said, Eddie’s ready to go.”
Lacy passed Monday’s conditioning test, and he looked good in the first practice, running hard during the full-team team sessions and showing some burst to the edge on a few stretch zone runs. Here on Tuesday he looked nimble in pass-protection drills.
Eddie Lacy in pass pro drills. How do you guys think he looks? pic.twitter.com/hvqWiHrySk
— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) July 26, 2016
This season is huge for him. Lacy’s contract is due to expire, and he could make himself a lot of money with a big season in line with Years 1 and 2. Lacy spent extra time after practice catching passes off the JUGGS machine and showed real confidence in his hands, looking the most natural catching the balls of all the Packers backs. “I got hands, folks!” he yelled after flawlessly snatching every ball.
One day is not evidence enough, but Lacy appears to be in better form now than he was a year ago and that could result in big things for the Packers’ offense, especially when Jordy Nelson returns to action.
“Last year wasn’t that good for me, and I don’t want that to happen this year,” Lacy said. “[I want to] just go out and be in the best shape physically and mentally that I can be in and contribute any way I can.”
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