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Starter Pack: Slow start not unique to Lacy

A roundup of what’s happening on the Green Bay Packers beat:

There was much excitement around these parts when the Packers drafted Eddie Lacy in the second round.

Finally, many suggested, the Packers will have a respectable running game.

Then Lacy went out in his NFL debut and made little impact during Sunday’s 34-28 loss at San Francisco. He fumbled once and rushed for just 41 yards on 14 carries.

But, as ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert pointed out, Lacy wasn’t the only rookie running back to have a slow start. In fact, Lacy played more snaps and gained more yards than any of the other neophyte backs who played in Week 1.

The Packers expect big things from Lacy, but it may take some time, as running backs coach Alex Van Pelt pointed out Thursday.

"We’re just trying to get Eddie to be a pro, teach him to be a pro," Van Pelt said. "Teach him now to take care of his body, learn in the classroom and transfer it to the field. All those things, but that being said, I think Eddie after a rough start there really settled in, and I think you got to see the true ability he has making the right read in the run game and being able to run with some power there, quickness as well.

"It’s going to be a growing thing with Eddie. Obviously, we expect continued growth each week, didn’t start well but finished strong in the San Fran game and expect to build on that in the upcoming games."

Elsewhere:

  • Our ESPN.com coverage included linebacker Clay Matthews’ brief response to those (e.g., Jim Harbaugh) who think he’s a dirty player; the daily injury report with updates on Morgan Burnett, Jermichael Finley and Josh Sitton; plus an examination of how rare it is for the Packers to have a fourth-round pick and an undrafted free agent as their starting tackles.

  • In the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Weston Hodkiewicz explained why the Packers believe it’s worth it to have a $2 million fullback like John Kuhn, and columnist Mike Vandermause believes general manager Ted Thompson’s decision to ignore the safety position in the draft was costly.

  • In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Tom Silverstein said one of the keys to the Packers’ defense might be the 1,000 pounds it has up front in starters B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and Johnny Jolly.

  • At ESPN Wisconsin Radio, Jason Wilde also wrote about Eddie Lacy’s up-and-down first game and explained how rookie running back Johnathan Franklin’s limited role now may help him in the long run.