The Green Bay Packers used two of their first five draft picks in the 2013 draft on running backs Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin.
Lacy and Franklin were believed to be backs that could be a dominant one-two punch for years to come. Lacy being a back who is physical and can run through the hole and be a power back, while Franklin is thought to be more of a finesse back who can catch balls out of the backfield and spell some carries for Lacy.
So far this season, Packers fans have seen positive signs from both of the backs. However, with success, you must deal with failure and adversity.
Both Lacy and Franklin have had fumbling issues in big games for the Packers. Lacy was guilty of a fumble in Week 1 against the San Francisco 49ers which ultimately led to the Niners scoring and padding their lead.
Franklin, who had a very solid game against the Cincinnati Bengals, also had a costly fumble. With the Packers leading late and driving into Bengals territory, Franklin fumbled on a fourth and inches. The ball came loose and cornerback Terrence Newman recovered the fumble and brought it back for the go-ahead touchdown.
Fumbling the football for a running back is a no-no. You must be able to be trusted in games, and as a rookie, you have to prove yourself. I believe both Lacy and Franklin will learn from their early mistakes and make positive steps forward.
It is clear that both of the running backs have remained positive through the fumbling issues. They have both shown true professionalism and manned up to their mistakes. After Week 1, Lacy was quoted after the game saying, “I should have gone down and protected the ball a little more, but I tried to get extra yardage, and it was a mistake on my part.” This quote to any fan shows you the growth in Lacy as a pro and gives you confidence he will rebound quickly.
Franklin was also critical of his play. After his costly fumble in Week 3, Franklin said, “I was trying to make a play and everything, and I know the game was on the line right there. I’ve got to get better. I can’t do that.”
Any Packers fan should have plenty of confidence in these two rookies. They are both explosive backs who are playmakers. Along with their ability, they are very smart and hard working. Expect a big rest of the season for both Lacy and Franklin as the year progresses and you should also expect these two to be a dominant force for years to come.