Backfield workhorses 

August, 21, 2013
8/21/13
4:45
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lsMatt Hawthorne for ESPNBaylor's Lache Seastrunk is talented, but can he be consistent?
Redskins RB Alfred Morris (5-feet-10, 218) and Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (6-0, 225) are a pair of bigger running backs who started their careers with productive rookie seasons. In 2012, Morris was a sixth-round selection and was a perfect fit within Mike Shanahan’s offense. Last season, his 1,613 rushing yards placed him second in the league behind only Minnesota's Adrian Peterson. Baltimore took Pierce in the third round and saw strong return late in the year when the first-year running back accounted for 414 of his 532 rushing yards in the final six games, including playoffs. He played a significant role in their Super Bowl run.

This year, Green Bay’s Eddie Lacy (5-11, 230) and Seattle’s Christine Michael (5-10, 220) are rookie running backs similar to Morris and Pierce in terms of size and they have created some recent buzz. Now grading or projecting any first-year player two weeks into the preseason would be ridiculous, but these two have shown promise early in their respective careers.

During his time at Alabama, Lacy had a laundry list of injuries including a broken left hand that required surgery to insert a metal plate and seven screws. These durability concerns appear to have played a big role in Lacy falling to pick No. 61 in the second round. While Lacy has been hampered by a hamstring injury that forced him to miss the preseason opener against Arizona, reports are he has been impressive in practices. Lacy confirmed those good reviews with a solid debut against St. Louis as he rushed for 40 yards on eight carries Saturday. Green Bay hopes Lacy can be the workhorse the Packers have been looking for to find balance, to take pressure off of an injury-battered offensive line and, in turn, help keep QB Aaron Rogers upright.

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