Schedule Works in Jackson's Favor

Let me preface this by saying that I like Ryan Grant. The Packers offense will be less effective without him, no doubt. Since arriving from Mars in November, 2007 he had not missed a start and was a large reason the Pack came within a Favre interception of a Super Bowl appearance.

It's just that this offense is designed to be a plug and play for the running game: like the schemes in Denver, Atlanta and Houston, where they plug in obscure running backs and if you have a good line in front of them they occasionally burst into superstardom.

Besides, ultimately with this high powered passing game, the Pack treats running plays a bit like parmesan cheese on a pizza: it's nice to sprinkle in from time to time, but everyone comments on the mozzarella.

Losing Grant after week 1 is the best possible scenario for Brandon Jackson. The next three games feature the two easiest games on the schedule: Buffalo and Detroit at home, with a Monday night game in Chicago in-between. For a young back getting his shot, you can't ask for more than this.

Imagine if Grant had gone down one month later, and Jackson had to cut his teeth on the run defenses of Miami, Minnesota, the Jets and Dallas before the bye. Rodgers would probably be forced to pass 50-plus times a game, putting pressure on the line and jeopardizing A. Rodg's health. This way, if the Pack takes care of business and gets ahead, they can hand off 20-25 times a game and get him, (and maybe Dimitri Nance) and the line more confident and comfortable.

Whatever happens on the field the next few weeks, I hope Thompson continues to sniff around for a deal that would bring in a veteran back that's expendable somewhere else to add some proven depth at an important position.


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