Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy was named the 2013 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year at the “NFL Honors” show in New York February 1st. Lacy earned an overwhelming 35 out of 50 votes winning the first Rookie of the Year award for Green Bay since 1972 (Willie Buchanon).
Lacy is accustomed to winning being part of three BSC National Championships at Alabama. The Packers seem to have stolen buried treasure in the 2013 draft. Despite college football stardom, Lacy fell to Green Bay in the second round.
Oh, not to mention, Lacy also was chosen making his first Pro Bowl appearance. Lacy is the first rookie running back to be selected to the Pro Bowl since John Brockington in 1971. Cloud nine may be an understatement describing the freshman campaign.
Ironically, the Rookie of the Year struggled out of the gate. In his NFL debut visiting the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers, Lacy fumbled on his fifth carry and was sent to the bench. He suffered a concussion in Week 2, and fought a sprained ankle most of the year.
Nevertheless, Lacy proved the old saying true, “it’s not how you start but how you finish”. The rookie played through pain missing just one game all year. His first fumble in San Fran was his last. In essence, Lacy led the Pack in Aaron Rodgers’ absence. After Rodgers’ broke his collarbone, the Packers started more quarterbacks in 2013 than in the last 21 years (Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien, Matt Flynn).
With Rodgers sidelined, a rookie literally carried the Packer offense. Coach Mike McCarthy fed him the rock essentially saving their season on the way to another NFC North title.
The Rookie of the Year totaled 1,178 rushing yards, averaging 4.1 yards per carry. Lacy broke 100 yards in four games. His 11 touchdowns ranked third in the league and led all rookies in total yards from scrimmage (1,435). Imagine having to bring down a 230 pound tank who can catch.
Every down running backs are a dying breed in today’s NFL. Brady, Manning, and Brees break new records every year it seems. But Lacy showed this season that old school smashmouth football still works.Eddie Lacy goes airborne for the touchdown in Dallas.
He grinded out wins as a closer in the final minutes. He powered through eight man boxes on third and inches. His specialty of course is the human catapult into the endzone.
Eddie Lacy holds a bright future. As a Green Bay Packer, a tradition of success by his side sees opportunity knocking. More important than stats, Lacy has shown the ability to learn from mistakes, carry an offense, and show up in the spotlight; a well-deserved honor as Rookie of the Year.