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Aaron Rodgers seeks quality out of Packers' run game


The Green Bay Packers have dealt with an anemic run game since Ryan Grant posted consecutive 1,200-yard rushing seasons in 2008 and 2009. Running back Cedric Benson was the big offseason signing, but he was placed on injured reserve with a sprained left foot.

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The Packers are on pace to have fewer rush attempts than in 2010 and 2011. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is more concerned with quality as opposed to quantity.

"The quality of them has not been anywhere where we'd like them," Rodgers said Tuesday on his weekly radio show on ESPN Wisconsin with Jason Wilde. "We've got to run the ball better. If we can do that, then we are going to have the opportunity to make some of those play-action gains, make some of those gains with big plays over the top."

Rodgers explained that the lack of explosive runs has contributed to the lack of explosive passes. Teams are relying on four to rush the passer and six or seven to play the run. That allows for two-deep safeties to keep the ball in front. The Detroit Lions have faced a similar problem against defenses.

Rodgers is on pace to set a career-high for pass attempts by more than 50. His yardage, though, is on pace to be his second lowest in the last four years.

The Packers also probably would have more explosive passes if Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson weren't missing time, but this has been a common problem in Green Bay. The running game isn't enough of a threat to keep teams honest. That's why Benson was brought in as a veteran free agent despite the fact that general manager Ted Thompson doesn't build his team that way.

This isn't a problem that will be corrected in a week or two.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.


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