Eddie Lacy is one of the most talented running backs in the NFL, but he is fresh off of a 2015 season that was a major struggle. He came into the season out of shape and overweight and it ended up being a big issue for him. Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy expressed his frustration with Lacy and made it clear that he wanted his running back to lose weight this offseason.
Throughout the course of the 2015 season, Lacy ended up putting up disappointing numbers. He was expected to have a third straight 1,000-yard season, but he didn’t do that and was unable to get into the end zone.
He carried the football 187 times for 758 yards and three touchdowns for the entire season.
Green Bay needs their running back to come through with a big season in 2016. It was obvious that Aaron Rodgers and the aerial attack was struggling without having a legitimate ground game.
That being said, what five reasons can be given to support the statement that Lacy will break out for the Packers in 2016?
Obvious Weight Loss Already
After being called out by Packers’ coach McCarthy, Lacy has already been working hard with P90X creator Tony Horton. Recent photos surfaced of Lacy and it is obvious that he has already been cutting down weight. It is a very good sign and shows that the former Alabama star running back is serious about getting back on track.
— Journal Sentinel (@journalsentinel) March 24, 2016
Even though Lacy struggled last season with the Packers, he still proved in his first two years that he is more than capable of being a star. One season can be a fluke, but two years is proof that he is capable of being a top back. He has pure talent and that will show in 2016 as he looks to get back to his old self.
Green Bay’s Healthy Offense Provides Help
Last season was a struggle for the Packers’ offense from a health perspective. Jordy Nelson tore his ACL in the preseason and there were multiple injuries to the offensive line as well. Getting everyone back healthy will help the offense and will help take some of the pressure off of Lacy’s shoulders.
The Confidence of His Teammates and Coaches
If anyone truly thought that Lacy was going to continue struggling like he did last season, the Packers would have done something about it. Instead, Lacy has been receiving the support of his teammates and coaches. No moves were made to bring in another running back other than re-signing James Starks to be Lacy’s backup.
High expectations have made things much more difficult for many players in the past than they needed to be. That will be the case for Lacy as well, as he will have lower expectations moving forward. At just 25-years-old, having lower expectations will help give Lacy confidence as he continues exceeding them.
Obviously anything could end up happening, but Lacy is too good of a player to continue struggling for a second season.
There are going to be differing opinions regarding whether Lacy can turn things around in 2016 or not. It is also easy to come up with more reasons why he will or will not succeed next year. While those statements are facts, Lacy has shown flashes of his full potential in the past and will finally put things together.
Expect to see Lacy return to the form that he showed in his first two seasons with the Packers. He is getting back in shape and received a wakeup call from his head coach following last season.
Do you think that Eddie Lacy will break out with a huge season in 2016 for the Green Bay Packers?
[Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini]