GREEN BAY, Wis. — Getting on the field for the Green Bay Packers as a running back means in large part showing competence in one important skill that has nothing to do with carrying the ball.
They have to protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
So consider pass protection a work-in-progress for the young corps of running backs at Packers camp. The team had its first practice in pads of the preseason, so there are still six weeks to perfect the nuances of pass-blocking until the season begins.
“Now let’s see them do that in pads. So just take another step,” coach Mike McCarthy said on Saturday. “I think we’ll all be watching the pass protection, because that’s the thing you really have to get the pads to get a look at it.”
The Packers have revamped the running back position this year. Eddie Lacy signed with the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent in the offseason, while longtime backup James Starks wasn’t re-signed.
That leaves converted receiver Ty Montgomery as the starter at running back going into his first full season in the backfield. The Packers took three running backs in the draft, led by BYU’s Jamaal Williams in the fourth round.
They’re all learning about pass protection together.
“It’s definitely something I think I got better at today. I had a couple bad reps because I got overly aggressive, some technique stuff. But it is stuff I’m going to learn,” Montgomery said.
Linebacker Jake Ryan, a third-year pro like Montgomery, beat the running back in one blocking drill. Montgomery dusted himself off and learned from his mistake.
“I just need to watch the film, fix my…
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