What To Expect From James Starks In His Second Season

CHICAGO IL - JANUARY 23: Running back James Starks #44 of the Green Bay Packers runs the ball against the Chicago Bears in the first half of the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23 2011 in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Here's another article praising all the good things Green Bay Packers RB James Starks did last season, who "conceivably could become their best ball carrier," while skimming over all the times he did nothing. From the Press-Gazette:

Playing in an offense that finished the regular season ranked No. 24 in the NFL in rushing yards per game and No. 25 in average yards per carry, Starks had two especially good games in the postseason: He rushed for 123 yards (5.3-yard average) in the Packers’ wild-card playoff win at Philadelphia and a 4.7-yard average on only 11 carries in the Super Bowl against a Pittsburgh Steelers defense that ranked No. 1 in the NFL against the run.

He was great in those two games, and I'm very impressed that he didn't have a single fumble in 81 postseason carries. Just remember back how devastating the forced fumble of RB Rashard Mendenhall was to the Steelers during the Super Bowl. 

But overall his 2010 postseason stats were 3.9 yards per carry, 1 touchdown, and he carried for a 1st down on 19.8% of his attempts. If anything, those stats are average. He's a solid, unremarkable, bigger back. On the other hand, the coaches showed a lot of faith sticking with him throughout the playoff run and into the Super Bowl. I'm sure some coaching staffs would have stuck with the safe, veteran performance of Brandon Jackson, and showed more reluctance to play Starks. 

After missing all of training camp, and most of the regular season, as he recovered from his college injuries that wiped out his senior season, he did make a good showing as a rookie despite it all. If 2010 was as good as it gets, then I'm not too impressed, and I'm not penciling him in as their best ball carrier. He certainly needs more experience, and deserves more time to improve, and I'm really looking forward to see what he can do next season. 

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