Back with Pack, Green says family strife affected focus with Texans

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Packers running back Ahman Green says injuries weren't the main reason he didn't live up to high expectations in Houston.

Green, who signed a deal to return to the Packers this week after being cut by the Texans in February, said emotional turmoil within his family affected his ability to concentrate on football the past two seasons.

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Green said Thursday that his relationship with his two daughters was "on the rocks" after he left the Packers in 2007, and he was hit hard by the death of his father. He blamed a lack of focus on the field, not his advancing age or persistent injury problems, as the main reason for his disappointing two years with the Texans.

"To me, it wasn't the fact that I was getting old," said Green, 32. "I had a lot of different stuff going on personally, off the field. (My) relationship between myself and my daughters was kind of on the rocks, so that was a big part of my life."

Green now says his relationship with daughters -- Ahmani, 12, and Myahni, 7 -- has greatly improved.

"It was a rough road with them," Green said. "Now, it's a lot better. So that is a big thing why I'm feeling the way I am. I feel good, and I'm ready to focus -- get all my focus on the football field now, because some of it was split."

Family turmoil isn't something new to Green, who was arrested after a domestic dispute with his wife, Heather, in 2005. The former Nebraska star filed for divorce in the aftermath, but a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge was dropped after Green and his wife agreed to try to reconcile their marriage. Green filed for divorce again in 2006.

Green played the 2006 season with the Packers, then left as a free agent when the Texans gave him a four-year, $23 million deal. He played in just six games for the Texans in 2007, rushing for 260 yards with two touchdowns before he was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury.

As much as Green struggled on the field, he said things were tougher off of it.

"It was a whole transition for me that year," Green said. "I was moving from somewhere I had been a long time, here in Green Bay, and then adjusting to new teammates and a new city. Then in October of that year, my father passed away, and then stuff was going on with my daughters. It was just a lot of different things going on for one person. I'm only human. And I can only handle so much."

The following season wasn't any better, as Green gained 294 rushing yards and scored three touchdowns in eight games before once again landing on injured reserve.

Green is back with the Packers and needs just 46 yards to surpass Jim Taylor and become the franchise's all-time leading rusher.

Green isn't expected to be ready to play this week -- and when he does, he knows he'll be closer to a third-down back than a featured player on offense. But Green says he's willing to do whatever he can, and he believes his renewed focus will help him on the field.

"If I'm not 100 percent on football right now, I'm damn near close," Green said. "It feels good to have that balance again."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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