After four seasons with the Green Bay Packers, running back Eddie Lacy signed as a free agent with the Seattle Seahawks in March. When the Seahawks kicked off the 2017 NFL season on Sunday afternoon, the former Alabama standout was where he expected to be — in Green Bay.
Seattle opened its schedule at Lambeau Field against the Packers in a 17-9 loss.
“I thought I would be back there,” Lacy said about re-signing with Green Bay. “I was there for four years. I just thought it would continue. But sometimes it doesn’t work out like that, and sometimes a change of scenery isn’t bad.”
When Lacy played for Green Bay, the Packers defensive backs had fun at the expense of their counterparts around the league who found themselves facing the rumbling Lacy in the open field and had to make a “business decision” about how to take him on. Now, they could be the ones making the decision.
“You should never want to shy down from a tackle, because then it just looks bad,” Green Bay cornerback Davon House said about the prospect of tackling Lacy on Sunday. “Everyone across the league will see it. It’s not good to make business decisions out there, but it’s good to make smart decisions. For example, I’m not going to go head up with Eddie. I’m going to hit him low and, hopefully, our inside linebackers and safeties will come around and help out a little bit.”
Lacy’s first two NFL seasons were a fun ride for the Packers and their fans. He earned the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2013 after running for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns on 284 carries and catching 35 passes for 257 yards. In 2014, Lacy had 1,139 yards and nine touchdowns on 246 carries and 42 receptions for 427 yards and four touchdowns.
But in 2015, Lacy gained 758 yards and scored three touchdowns on 187 carries and caught 20 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns. At his season-ending press conference, Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy called out Lacy for being overweight and said he had to have a better offseason preparing for 2016.
Lacy had run for 360 yards on 71 rushing attempts last year when an ankle injury that required surgery ended his season after five games.
“When he was here, everybody loved him,” said safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who was a teammate of Lacy’s at Alabama and Green Bay. “Everybody was so high on Eddie. Everybody loved No. 27. The minute he gained a little weight, or you guys thought he couldn’t move the way he wanted to move, everyone wanted to kick him down and throw rocks at him.”
Clinton-Dix said he thought Lacy would want to prove something in Sunday’s game. In Sunday’s game, Lacy carried the ball five times for 3 yards.
“He definitely has a chip on his shoulder coming back to Lambeau Field,” Clinton-Dix said. “Me personally, I don’t plan on letting him get anything going on this field. But he’s definitely going to have a point to prove coming in here. Trust me, I know exactly how hard it is to tackle this guy. He’s definitely a big back and hard to take down.”
Lacy said he had no animosity about his time in Green Bay or the Packers’ efforts to sign him during the offseason.
“I’m just going to go out and play the game that I love to play,” Lacy said. “It just so happens that I’m on a different team playing against where I came from.”
Lacy said he was nervous when the preseason started about his ankle, but the exhibition games had demonstrated he was ready to play.
“I haven’t played (in a regular-season game) since October,” Lacy said, “but going through the first preseason games and getting the feel back and getting hit and reassuring myself that my ankle is perfectly fine, I feel like I’m equipped to do whatever I have to do.”