Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy had a rough time last season. It was the first time in his three-year NFL career when he didn’t gain over 1,000 yards, and he only found the end zone three times. The off year was caused in part by Lacy coming into training camp too heavy. The running back out of Alabama was slow with his cuts and out of shape after runs, and his playing time was reduced as a result.
At the end of the season, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was upset with the way Lacy came into the 2015 season, and he shared his thoughts at an end-of-the-year press conference. “Eddie Lacy, he’s got a lot of work to do. His off-season last year was not good enough, and he never recovered from it,” McCarthy said. “He cannot play at the weight he was at this year.”
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Lacy found motivation in McCarthy’s words. All off-season, he worked with P90X creator Tony Horton and got back into good football shape.
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Lacy’s hard work is already paying off. During the Packers’ first two pre-season games, the 5-foot-11, 230-pound running back looked like his old self again. In the first pre-season game, against the Cleveland Browns, Lacy only carried the ball four times but gained 24 yards. In his longest run of 11 yards, Lacy made a quick cut, broke a couple of arm tackles and showed his explosion out of the hole.
In the Packers’ most recent pre-season game, against the Oakland Raiders, the Pro Bowler ran even better. He had nine carries, 45 yards and a touchdown. Lacy’s best run was a 20-yard dash.
Lacy had another run that showed improvement over last year. He found a hole and exploded through it without slowing down. It took several Raiders to bring him down after initial contact.
It’s clear that Lacy is on the right track to have a bounce-back season. Fans and coaches already see improvements, and Lacy feels he’s got more burst after the weight loss.
“I feel more explosive, yeah,” Lacy said via the team’s official website. “It’s how fast you make the cut, how fast you get north and south out of the cut, and how fast you’re able to put your pad level down. And once you and the defender make contact, who goes back or if it stalemates.”