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Backfield in motion: Packers will have opponents on the run

Back in the day, the Green Bay Packers (www.packers.com) had a dominant running game.

Backup QB Matt Flynn has taken the steps to become a starter in this league.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
James Starks was chief cook and bottle washer on the opening drive finishing it off with a 20-yard touchdown run in the first preseason game for Green Bay in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The backs would punish you on one play and finesse you on the next.

It was the epoch of the power sweep and the mantra made for a great book title: Run to Daylight.

It was complemented with a passing game that featured a whip-smart, pinpoint accurate quarterback named Bryan Bartlett Starr.

Names like Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung gave way to Jim Grabowski and Donny Anderson.

This was the golden era in the epic history of the team sponsored by the Acme Packing Company.

Grabowski and Anderson were even dubbed the Gold Dust Twins.’

Are you ready for the sequel?

A single preseason outing has never been much of a barometer.

And Saturday’s effort against the Tennessee Titans (www.nfl.com/Titans) in Nashville is no exception.

Especially a rain-soaked affair that mustered just a 7-6 Green Bay lead after a half of action.

By way of example, James Starks opened the scoring with a 20-yard gallop.

He had substantial runs leading up to the score.

Green Bay only threw the ball once in that opening series.

DuJuan Harris, who missed all of 2013, made the most of his reps with a few nifty runs.

Undrafted free agent Rajion Neal, who played college ball in Knoxville for the Volunteers, showed off his skill set by following his blockers for the Pack’s second touch in the third quarter.

He has the low center of gravity and a turbo-charged second gear that puts grins on coaches faces and keeps the Turk out of your locker.

And last year’s workhorse, Eddie Lacy, hasn’t even been mentioned yet.

He will be ready to bust the myth of a sophomore slump.

This a stable of rushers that hearkens back to those sanguine and championship-rich years.

The Pack is back…to thinking run.

This has defensive coordinators heading for the Advil.

They not only have to worry about the run, of course.

There’s the prolific, efficient and wily Aaron Rodgers to add to the migraine.

Gone are the days when you ceded the run and focused on stopping A-Rod.

The Packers are going to be a force to be reckoned with on the offensive side of the ball.

As with every team at every level in all sports, health is a factor.

The offensive line took a hit when Don Barclay was lost for the season with a torn ACL.

But there is a decent amount of depth up front so no one is headed to the panic room just yet.

It doesn’t mean a lot in yet another meaningless preseason game.

But it is clear that the Packers have a whole lot of ways they can get after you offensively.

Given that Rodgers is unlikely to miss seven games this time around….woe betide the NFC North and the rest of the NFL for that matter.

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