Running back Alex Green has no issue with what the Green Bay Packers did during the NFL draft. In the second round, they drafted Alabama's Eddie Lacy. In the fourth round, they took UCLA's Johnathan Franklin. His position overcrowded, his future blurred, Green's phone was buzzing after each pick. Yet two weeks later, standing in front of the Tailgate Tour bus at Lambeau Field, Green called the picks "great" and "best for the team." He's open to any competition. For the starting job. For a roster spot. "Last year, I didn't do anything too good in the running game," Green said moments before the Packers' annual tour, "so I think it was a great thing for us to get back out there, make a step in the draft and help the team win football games." Whether that includes Green will be determined through organized team activities, minicamp and training camp in what should be a lively, up-for-grabs competition. Lacy, Franklin, Green, DuJuan Harris, James Starks and Angelo Pease make up the deepest running back room Mike McCarthy has had as coach. Maybe Green is at peace because he's finally healthy. A torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered seven games into his rookie season in 2011 has been a cruel detour to Green's career. Last off-season, Green hurried back from the injury - prematurely, he admits now - to compete for carries in training camp. He did earn an on-again, off-again role as the team's No. 1 back. But by December the knee was sore and swollen and Green finished the 2012 season on the sideline. When the San Francisco 49ers thumped the Packers in the postseason, Green was a game-day inactive. In sum, the miraculous recovery of Minnesota's Adrian Peterson shouldn't be the barometer for all running backs returning from a torn ACL. At no point, Green said, was he 100% last season. "No, I wasn't, I wasn't," Green said. "I came back, I got close to it, but once I got close, then I had a couple setbacks. I was never really quite where I wanted to be, but I made great strides in the off-season. I'm definitely getting ready for this year." Once Cedric Benson went down with a Lisfranc injury in Week 5, Green became the starter. He started slow. In his first three starts, the 2011 third-round pick out of Hawaii mustered only 2.4 yards per carry. Initially, Green struggled pressing the hole and waiting for cuts to develop. But through November into December, he found a rhythm with the offensive line in Green Bay's zone-blocking scheme. Through a five-game stretch, Green rushed for 245 yards on 59 attempts (4.2 average), blending well with Starks. And that's when the soreness set in. A concussion sidelined Green for one week and scar tissue built up in his repaired knee. Green didn't have a carry in the Packers' final four games. Instead, he had a front-row seat to watch Harris' emergence from obscurity. Green wanted to play, but he couldn't. Rushing back from rehab cost him. "I just couldn't handle it anymore," Green said. "It got to the point where it was getting worse and worse. We just had to cut back and let it heal a little bit more."
Packers' Alex Green back to earn feature role
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | May 15