Is James Starks ready to break out for Packers?


The Green Bay Packers rained down points last season, almost in spite of the team's unrewarding ground game.

James Starks was the best back on the roster, but he only had 578 yards, and the Packers finished 27th in rushing. It makes what Aaron Rodgers accomplished even more impressive, but coach Mike McCarthy would like the option for a little more balance this season. With Ryan Grant out of the picture, Starks has been tapped to lead the way.

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The Packers had high hopes for Starks after he rushed for 315 yards in four games during Green Bay's Super Bowl run two seasons ago. He was derailed by injuries late last season, and when he played, he was inconsistent. The team, however, is encouraged by his first full offseason with the team.

"He looks great," McCarthy told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He had a breakout playoff run (in 2010). Some guys just hit that injury phase in their careers and just have to work themselves out of it. Starks has some of that. He's had some tough challenges just getting hurt."

We've become accustomed to a thin ground game in Green Bay, and you could argue it doesn't matter. The Packers leaned hard on Rodgers last season (gaining 77 percent of the team's yards through the air) and managed to win 15 games. The New York Giants couldn't run the ball to save their lives last season and won a title.

Teams don't buy into Green Bay's running game right now. We're not sure Starks will change that, but the Packers are going to give it a try.