Interpreting Mike McCarthy’s comments about Brandon Jackson’s workload

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 19: Brandon Jackson  of the Green Bay Packers celebrates a touchdown run against the Buffalo Bills at Lambeau Field on September 19, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Bills 34-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

In the world of fantasy football, there was a bit of an uproar over how the Packers plan to use Brandon Jackson going forward. Here’s Rotoworld’s blurb about the situation:

Packers coach Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Joe Philbin have indicated that they don’t see Brandon Jackson as a carry-the-load back going forward.
McCarthy still plans to have Jackson on the field for a starter’s snap-count, but his carries will be limited. Packers coaches don’t trust Jackson’s body to hold up to the toll of 18-20 touches per game, and he’s still too valuable as a situational passing-down back. Barring a trade, Jackson will continue to split touches with John Kuhn and Dimitri Nance. Those who went “all-in” on their waiver wire budget will be disappointed to learn that Jackson is not going to be a reliable RB2.

Here’s what Mike McCarthy actually said, via 540 ESPN Milwaukee:

“Frankly, if you take (a look at) the snaps the way we’ve played here in the past, it has been by committee,” McCarthy explained. “Now, the run game was not because Ryan Grant had the bulk of it, (but) really our plan of how we utilize the running backs as far as how many plays they play in the game is very similar to our approach to the past.

“(Before his injury), Ryan Grant didn’t play on third down all the time. Brandon Jackson (did). I never had an intent – and will not going further – to see Brandon Jackson carry the ball 30 times in a game. It’s a long season. We’re not trying to play one running back 55, 60 plays in the game and have the other two or three sit on the sideline. We’ve never played that way.”

As a fantasy owner who dropped all of his bidding bucks on Jackson after Week 1, I don’t really care if he’s the primary ballcarrier, though it should be noted that he did have the most carries against the Bills in Week 2. I just want him to get the most snaps (at least 60%). He’s going to be on the field on third downs, so when the Packers go into catch-up mode or their two-minute offense, he’s going to see a lot of dump-offs in the passing game. This coupled with 10-15 carries in the running game will make him a solid RB2 in 12-team leagues. That’s the plan, anyway.

There’s nothing that McCarthy said that worries me about Jackson’s forthcoming production. He said he’s not going to carry the ball 30 times a game. We knew this. He’s going to get most of the work, but the other RBs are going to be involved, just like the Grant/Jackson combo that the Packers used over the past couple of seasons.

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