Packers Bring Back Ryan Grant: Desperate Move Or Clever Addition?

By on December 5, 2012



Packers Bring Back Ryan Grant

Ryan Grant returns to GB!

Jason Wilde on Twitter is reporting that ex-Packer RB Ryan Grant and the Packers organization have “agreed to terms,” effectively ending the recent divorce between the two. But is this a desperate move on the Packers behalf or simply a clever addition?

With the floating rumor of James Starks possibly being put on I.R. and Cedric Benson already gone for the season, the move does appear to be out of desperation.

The Packers know they cannot roll with Alex Green alone. And behind Green is a 5’7″ RB in DuJuan Harris—recently signed off the practice squad—and the highly limited Johnny White.

Not exactly what I would call star quality here.

But every once in a while we find that a desperate act isn’t really as bad as it sounds. The Packers know that every game is crucial for them down the stretch, which raises the team’s sense of urgency. They are also aware that having a running game—any running game—helps the team better balance their attack and manage each game.

Having enough running backs is just as important.

Ryan Grant had two incredible years out of the five he spent in Green Bay. In 2008 Grant rushed for 1,203 yards and added 116 receiving yards. While in 2009, Grant rushed for 1,253 yards, adding 197 receiving yards.

In his last year playing for Green Bay, Grant rushed for just 559 yards, but did add a supplemental 268 receiving yards—the most of his career.

So what’s the verdict?

Well, I think the move is a bit more clever than many realize.

Sure. We’re gonna have everybody and their mother coming out in the coming days repeating what has already been said by the beat writers, self-proclaimed experts and even esteemed fantasy writers:

1. He’s too slow
2. He’s lost a step
3. He’s not that guy anymore

Well to be honest, he never was that guy. Ryan Grant is a skilled runner, but he’s also a skilled pass-catching back and blocker, which is more valuable to the Packers than his rushing skill set.

“But Ray, Ryan Grant was a beast in his glory days.” No. Ryan Grant did post 11 rushing TDs in 2009 and 8 in his rookie year back in ’07, but never repeated this feat for a variety of reasons including the way he was used.

Will he be a little rusty? Yes. But I think he’ll be worth the price in the end for sure. Will there be fantasy relevance? Not this week at least.

Sorry, I had to throw in some sort of fantasy prediction.

Grant already knows the Green Bay offense, which all but eliminates any learning curve. He’s familiar with the passing routes allocated to the RBs (big plus) and he also knows the blocking schemes that the RBs are responsible for (bigger plus).

In a sense, he’s the total package.

Will Grant usurp Alex Green’s starting RB role? I don’t think so. But then again, anything can happen.

What I do see from the immediate future is the Packers getting the veteran back into the mix early either as a change-of-pace option, an extra blocker or both.

I also think Grant’s presence will allow the Packers to deploy a lot more two-back looks.

This could, in turn, help the offense move the ball more fluidly, and it could also help the O-Line with their pass-blocking woes.

There’s so much positive potential here, it’s a little hard to ignore.

In the end, I think the Packers acted out of desperation, but made a clever roster addition. And that should help this team down the stretch and in the playoffs.

So to answer the original question: Yes.

 

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