Parting Notes on Eddie Lacy’s Time in Green Bay

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Eddie Lacy

Though the Seattle Seahawks now must deal with the challenge that is Eddie Lacy, the Green Bay Packers ought to at least go back and review its relationship with this potential superstar. Maybe they’ll learn something that they can apply down the road.

Lacy squandered a great deal of talent and potential by eating too much. His weight certainly reduced his ability as a running back – just think of the force he could have been, and might still prove to be, with the Seahawks had he not been carrying from 30 to 40 pounds in excess weight – which for someone 5’10 ½” should have been at most 220 pounds. I would think that 230 would be the upper limit of acceptability.

In addition, it is more likely than not that his being overweight contributed to his injuries, and primarily to ankle stresses and strains that hampered him throughout most of his four years in Green Bay.

Eddie’s weight was but one symptom of this player’s immaturity, or if you prefer irresponsibility. You might recall the missed curfew that caused the Packers to part ways with his buddy Alonzo Harris.

And do you remember when Aaron Rodgers leveled criticism at those on the team who were not adequately focused or dedicated to their jobs? He mentioned something about players spending too much time glued to their iPads and tablets. I recall one source indicating that this criticism was primarily directed at Lacy.

But my purpose isn’t so much to rag on Lacy, as it is to question the team for allowing this unfortunate situation to continue right up to this unfortunate but inevitable breakup.

As to Lacy’s weight, some commenters have indicated this problem dates back to his days at Alabama. I hadn’t heard that and couldn’t find evidence of it. At the NFL combine in early 2013, he officially was measured at 5’11’ and 231 pounds – which is already past his optimum.

In a very long post about Lacy’s weight, I felt what he could best handle was from 225 to 230 pounds. I would now amend that to 220 – Marshawn Lynch, who had similarly huge thighs, was the same height and played at 215.

I’ve watched tape of Lacy during his career at Alabama, and Lacy doesn’t appear to be overweight. I have my doubts that Alabama coach Nick Saban would have tolerated it. But if the problem had already surfaced during Lacy’s college days, that’s all the more reason for the Packers to have been proactive when they hired him. The Packers could have put stipulations in his contract that assured that Lacy would not be overweight – or he would not play and his pay would be greatly diminished.

Instead of addressing the problem, and perhaps applying some tough love, coach Mike McCarthy tolerated it for three years. In fact, he consistently denied the entire time that Lacy’s weight was negatively affecting his performance. McCarthy waited until after the 2015 season before finally calling Lacy out for being overweight and out of shape.

Lacy responded by associating himself with P90X founder Tony Horton, but that turned out to be a lot of hype. Prior to the start of the 2016 regular season, my eyes told me he was the heaviest he’d ever been as a Packer.

Yesterday, we had ex-Packer Greg Jennings, now a Fox Sports analyst, talking about the opportunities Eddie had in Green Bay: “And he wasted it away, because he was unwilling to commit to his personal training. His health. And to that team. It was the ultimate sign of selfishness.”

So, even without any contractual safeguards, the blame ultimately must fall on Mike McCarthy – though that amounts to the pot calling the kettle black. What might McCarthy have done? Surely by 2015, how about weekly weigh-ins, and declaring him inactive for each game he is overweight? How about him being accompanied and monitored 24/7 by someone assigned to oversee every ounce of food or drink he consumes? How about being put on a strict diet, and being closely monitored?

Act like a juvenile – be treated like one. Act like a professional…

The signing by Seattle piques my interest. Coach Pete Carroll is known as a loosey-goosey coach. Is he going to sit back and trust Lacy to discipline himself? I doubt it. I would expect that they already have strict provisions and penalties in Lacy’s contract to incentivize him to keep down his weight.

If Lacy blows his chance with the Seahawks, I’ll admit the guy’s a hopeless case. But if he resolves his weight issues in Seattle, that will lead me to conclude that Green Bay’s coaches and front office dropped the ball, big time, on this one.

It’s a shame because I, like almost everyone, find him a really likable guy.

About The Author

Rob is currently twiddling his thumbs on Whidbey Island in Washington. He likes to do research, although he has no shortage of opinions. He saw his first live Packers game in 1958, the only win of the year.

14 Comments on "Parting Notes on Eddie Lacy’s Time in Green Bay"

  1. The head coach and his staff are the ultimate responsible party in doing something about player issues. That may be weight, ahchol or drug use, etc. I do not believe the Packers staff including trainers, nutritionists and the player development director have been strong enough and proactive with some of the players. Maybe Lacy leaving is part of a change in that philosophy, but the skeptic in me thinks it was just the money.

    The individual player has to take care of theirselves. Some tend to forget they are a business and they need to develop and protect their brand.

    I know a lot is made about the strength of the Packer locker room. The Packer locker room appears for the most part to get along well. Is it really a strong locker room if everyone for the most part get along, but the players do not calling out or assist a player that is not helping the team by being overweight or abusing alcohol or drugs?

    No matter what everyone thinks about the Seattle team, I have the feeling the personalities in that locker room will force Lacy to put forth his best effort to produce for the team. If the individuals in that locker room can’t do it no one can.

    To me even if Lacy is in shape his feet and ankles have taken too much abuse over the years to hold up for an entire season of a heavy load of carries. More often than not ankle injuries are from being tackled from behind and low and Lacy has never outran anyone.

    • PF4L

      Ya know something Howard, your viewpoints, as the ones above are spot on. Which is why i view you as the 2nd most entertaining post to read on this site.

      Lacy has chronic foot and ankle injury history dating way back. It’s also very true, that a locker room that gets along, isn’t necessarily a strong locker room. Which leads me to respect Rodgers more as he’s been the only person to call people out. Some people say he’s not a leader….I say he’s their only leader.

      You are probably correct in the team not being strong enough in disciplining Lacy. Maybe the reason for that is, he has an innocent childlike personality, but i’m just guessing. Also…it’s hard to try to help someone, who isn’t interested in helping themselves.

      I’m thinking, they just had enough of dealing with him, tired of trying to get him take his career seriously. But in the bigger picture, it’s a team problem, it’s not just about Lacy. It’s hurts the team, when Lacy doesn’t take his job, or team, serious enough to discipline himself, be self motivated. If the other players are doing everything they can to be their best, for the team to win, while Lacy was saying fuck it, and eating. Any other player on the team has a right to not want that player on his team.

      The Patriots were Lacys best bet. I honestly thought he was gonna end up there.

      If Lacy wasn’t doing right by the team…i have a feeling Belichick would bench him, where as the player coach Pete Carroll might be taking him out for drinks and pizza.

  2. Phillthy

    Good point, great article.

    I’ve met him before, talked at length over a cocktail or two, I can tell you that the man struggles with maturity. Blame it on age, blame it on money, the guy just seemed distracted from football. I can honestly tell you he feels like the kid who got forced into football because of his size, but wants to do other things. I’m sure he will mature, I just hope it’s in time to catch any weight issues he will have in the future.

    It’ll suck to see him perform better elsewhere, but it’s inevitable. The draft and develop philosophy lends itself to one glaring issue, maturity or lack there of.

    • stickman

      I believe PHILLTHY is right about his maturity and not really into playing football. His heart is not into it, but the money is not something to ignore. He`s there for the money and his love for the game is not there. So go eat some cheeseburgers with a side of large fries in Seattle. Let him eat his ass off to gain more weight and try playing NT

    • knucklehead

      @Phillthy,

      “I can honestly tell you he feels like the kid who got forced into football…”

      Maybe what you were picking up was “the kid” who was forced into a conversation ABOUT football with YOU when he was only out to meet some friends and girls NOT YOU. Some fans have trouble understanding that when players have free time they don’t want just talk about football with strangers on the street. They actually have other interests being people and what not.

  3. Cheese

    Not that Lacey couldn’t have played better at a lighter weight, but he wasn’t terrible with the weight. Sure he didn’t have break away speed like AP, but he got stuff done when you gave him enough carries to get in a groove. Of course if that isn’t working don’t keep running it to get to some magical number of run plays like McDerpy. Sans injury, I think Lacey will do well in Seattle.

  4. PF4L

    For Lacy’s conditioning, look no further that he missed the combine, and came up lame and couldn’t finish his Pro day. Although the apologist blame injuries. The consensus was he lacks conditioning and couldn’t make it through as he was highly winded, the same people explained it was a problem through college.

    Bucky Brooks ✔ @BuckyBrooks
    The lack of conditioning exhibited today will lead some coaches and scouts to question his work ethic. Concerns must be addressed in Mtgs.

    His injuries, conditioning, his questionable commitment were the reason’s he fell to the late second round.

    His new contract has a $385,000 bonus to be in shape. But it’s been reported the Packers fined him for being over his goal weight. So is he motivated by money? His he motivated…at all?

    NFC scout: Good player but not spectacular. He plays his (expletive) off on game day but during the week he doesn’t do much.

    I’m not sure why he would get serious now with Seattle, when after he lost weight, he instantly put it back on, in a contract year.

    Like i said in the past..it’s hard to commit to Lacy…when Lacy can’t commit to himself, or the team.

    Seattle has a weak 0 line….Godspeed my pudgy friend.

  5. Robster

    Lots and lots of good points. But when Lacy discovers “Dick’s” – the old fashioned Drive-Ins with 5 locations in Seattle, it might be all over. Dick’s has been named as having America’s most “Life Changing Burger.”

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