Green Bay Packers backup running back James Starks is an ideal assistant to second-year workhorse Eddie Lacy, because he has the ability to run for a high amount of yards per carry and show a blend of different traits. You can call him a backup, change-of-pace guy, handcuff, or whatever other name you like to associate with backup RBs, but there’s no questioning that he’s more than capable of moving the chains for the Packers rushing attack. He’s not “the guy”,but he’s a valuable backup.
Of course, everyone knows that the one issue for Starks is health, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tyler Dunne writes that Starks’s top priority going forward is to stay healthy. It isn’t an easy task, and it largely falls outside of a player’s control. All Starks can do is condition as hard as he can and hope for the best, though Packers RBs coach Sam Gash adds that his No. 2 RB can help avoid nagging injuries by staying on his feet, giving past stars like Curtis Martin and Jamal Lewis as examples.
Starks also added that he views himself as a well-rounded back, “I kind of do it all. I can break a big run. I’m powerful. I can catch out of the backfield. I’m shifty to make guys miss. So I think I’m pretty well-rounded in each area.”
In 2011, Starks caught 29 passes, but his best season as a rusher came last season when he had a career-high three rushing touchdowns with a career-high 5.5 yards per carry in 13 appearances. He received just 89 carries, but he clearly made an impact and will continue to do so. With Johnathan Franklin now retired in a devastating turn of events, Starks means that much more to the Packers offense.