I have it from a reliable source that the Green Bay Packers tried to bring in former Ashwaubenon star Aaron Stecker for a tryout today.
Unfortunately, the Packers didn’t get a chance to take a look at the former Tampa Bay and New Orleans running back/kick returner, as he had already signed with the Atlanta Falcons.
Although the Packers look at any number of players each week, this is still an interesting development. Either the Packers aren’t happy with their return game (likely) or they still aren’t happy with their running game (possible), even after signing former Packers running back Ahman Green, last week.
The Packers return game remains a big question mark heading into the contest with the Minnesota Vikings. Will Blackmon, the Packers top punt and kick returner, was lost for the season during the first matchup with the Vikings. Tramon Williams replaced Blackmon on punt returns, but hasn’t looked very good – he averaged only two yards per return against the Cleveland Browns. Jordy Nelson initially replaced Blackmon on kick returns, but he was injured last week against the Detroit Lions and will be out for at least two more weeks. In Nelson’s absence, running back Brandon Jackson averaged a pedestrian 18 yards per return against the Browns. The Packers other option on kick returns, running back DeShawn Wynn, was lost for the season during the Detroit game.
Stecker, who has averaged 23.2 yards per kickoff return in his career, would certainly have given the Packers depleted return game a boost.
Although it’s unlikely Stecker would have played much of a role in the Packers running game, he may have taken some carries away from Jackson, who was supposed to serve at the team’s primary third down back this season. Stecker is the type of quick back suited for such a role and Jackson wasn’t terribly impressive in his first action of the season, on Sunday. Jackson recorded 31 yards on nine carries – a less-than-average 3.4 yard average – despite facing the worst rushing defense in the NFL.
While the Packers won’t get to see what Stecker can do, expect them to take a look at some other potential return men this week.