No. 9 on my Top 10 in 2009 countdown is RB Ryan Grant.
There are several things wrong with including Grant on the Top 10:
- He signed a big contract last season and then immediately injured his hamstring.
- His yards/carry dropped from 5.1 to 3.9.
- Although his carries increased from 188 to 312, his ran for 4 fewer TDs (8 to 4) and had 5 fewer runs over 20 yards (11 to 6).
- His fumbles increased from 1 to 4.
- RB Brandon Jackson ran for 5.5 yards/carry last season and looked like the better back.
All of these points are true, but it doesn't matter because Grant is the guy. As a team the Packers only had 437 carries in 2008, and 312 of them went to Grant. He's the big back that Mike McCarthy prefers, and the other two big backs on the roster (RB DeShawn Wynn and RB Kregg Lumpkin) combined for only 9 carries last season. They are there to provide insurance, not competition. Plus, barring a complete collapse during the preseason, his big contract guarantees that he'll win the job.
I was in love with the guy after his incredible 2007 season, but he fell to earth in 2008. The Packers are counting on him to play better in 2009 because he is the run offense.