Jon Bois did some analysis at SB Nation on how teams use running backs. How many teams use primarily one-back and how many use a platoon? Which is the better approach? One thing he notices is that the average "stud back" is younger than the average running back. From SB Nation:
A difference of 1.5 years is a big one if you're a running back. We've all heard the anecdote: an average running back's career is only 2.57 years. This data illustrates how important it is to be young if you want to be an effective "stud back;" at the same time, it suggests to me that perhaps a multi-back approach is the way to go.
The Packers didn't have a "stud back" in 2010. RB Brandon Jackson had just over 50% of the carries among running backs during the regular season. But RB Ryan Grant had approximately 75% of such carries in 2009. Assuming he's 100% healthy in 2011, it would seem likely that he'd return to that "stud back" role.
While I had been assuming Grant would return as the starter, and RB James Starks would become the primary backup (with rookie RB Alex Green in the 3rd down back role), maybe "a multi-back approach is the way to go." Grant has obviously taken a lot of hits from 2007 to 2009, he's coming off a major injury, and he'll be 28 years old next season (well over the average "stud back" age of 24.6). Maybe all three backs (assuming Jackson is gone, and Green works out) should have about the same playing time next season.