Writers name Packers' Lacy top rookie

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By Tyler Dunne
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
January 15, 2014

GREEN BAY--Eddie Lacy’s trip to New York City for the NFL draft last April was a disappointment. As he continued to slip and slip, he decided to fly back south. His plane landed. The Green Bay Packers were on the line.

The rest is history.

Turns out Lacy is the workhorse running back Green Bay has sorely missed. On Tuesday, he was named rookie of the year by the Pro Football Writers of America.

The 230-pound Lacy, a second-round pick out of Alabama, received 45 of the 93 votes. San Diego Chargers receiver Keenan Allen (24 votes) and New York Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (16) were next.

Lacy, who was the fourth back taken in the draft, finished his rookie campaign with 1,178 yards on 284 carries with 11 touchdowns.

After fumbling in the Packers’ season opener at San Francisco, Lacy never fumbled again. And for a player who fell to No. 61 overall in the draft due to injury concerns—including a toe fusion surgery—Lacy was remarkably durable. By late December, he gritted through an ankle sprain to remain the team’s go-to back.

Lacy is the obvious front-runner to also take home The Associated Press rookie of the year award, which will be announced Feb. 1, the night before the Super Bowl.

Allen, who had 71 receptions for 1,046 yards with eight touchdowns, was named the PFWA offensive rookie of the year. Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso (159 tackles, four interceptions) was the defensive rookie of the year.

In breaking John Brockington’s 1971 team rookie rushing record, Lacy endeared himself to the fan base with his rugged, tackle-breaking style. His shining moment may have been Green Bay’s 37-36 win at Dallas on Dec. 15. With the Packers trailing, 26-3, Lacy’s 60-yard run sparked the comeback. And then he capped a 141-yard day with the game-winning touchdown.

The only other Packers player to receive a PWFA rookie award is safety Tom Flynn, who was the defensive rookie of the year award-winner in 1984.

There were no other Green Bay players on the all-rookie team. Left tackle David Bakhtiari was beaten out by New York’s Justin Pugh and San Diego’s D.J. Fluker, who both play on the right side.

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