For months now we have all been crying out for help at defense. While the names and positions have differed, we all wanted some serious talent on defense to stop the hemorrhaging of yards. I do not disagree, but lately we've struck a new tune, and it goes something like this:
- In our pass-first offense, we don't really need a great running back.
- Investing in a high-caliber back like Adrian Peterson would be a waste of his talents.
- We really just need someone that can block for Rodgers and catch a few dump passes. Can he play special teams?
- The importance of running the ball is really just to make the play-action pass more effective.
But consider this: in time of possession, the Packers ranked dead -x-x-x-x.
Okay. Stats failed me. Our average time of possession was actually pretty good - 11th in the league according to Team Rankings. But stay with me - [too close for missiles,] I'm switching to qualitative analysis. How many times did you see our defense get tired because Rodgers et. al scored so quickly? Adding a dynamic running back that was a real threat in his own right would help us dominate time of possession, dictate the tempo of the game, and give our defense a rest. Far too many times this past season we had to punt the ball away and give our opponents another chance to score because we couldn't run the ball to eat up the clock and move the chains.
I'm not saying we should have spent a first, second, or even third round pick on a running back. I do think that we have been tending to undervalue the running back position because the offense is on fire and scoring points. Being able to pick up yards on the ground would give us more control over the overall game and would help keep our defense fresh. Some have projected we'll have the best offensive line in the league. To not use that talent to block for a talented running back would seem to be a waste.