GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It doesn't seem to matter what kind of shape Eddie Lacy is in -- enter your round-is-a-shape joke here -- when the Green Bay Packers powerhouse running back puts the pads on, it's all the same.
Lacy looks big, but probably no bigger than he's been in his first two NFL seasons, when he did this:
Win offensive rookie of the year after rushing for 1,178 yards in 2013.
Come back with another 1,100-yard season, 1,139 to be exact, last year.
Play in 31 of a possible 32 regular-season games and all three playoff games.
And when the Packers practiced in full pads Saturday morning for the first time in training camp, it was the same old Lacy. He barreled through defenders during the run-specific, half-line drill, and showed his deft footwork by avoiding defensive backs in the secondary to pick up extra yards.
"That's when the big backs show up, when it's time to put the ball in their hand and accelerate the crease," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after Saturday's two-and-a-half hour practice. "It looked like Eddie had some really good reads and runs in both the half-line drill and the team periods."
Just how big is Lacy?
The Packers list him at 234 pounds -- which is four pounds more than they did last season. But who knows what the real number is?
And as far as Lacy is concerned, who cares?
"I don't get that at all," Lacy said when asked whether he's under any weight restrictions.
In some ways, Lacy is a throwback to players who came to camp to get into shape. Yes, he works out in the offseason when he's home in Louisiana, but he also knows the importance of resting his body.
"You can't just come straight here because then you're labeled 'not conditioned,' and that's not a good label going into any training camp," Lacy said. "Yeah, you continue to condition during camp, yeah."
After two productive years, just about everyone has come to expect that Lacy, at minimum, will crank out another 1,100-yard season.
"Eddie Lacy, to me, excuse the phrase, but he's an animal," Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji said. "I'm always checking to see how he's doing, checking with Sam [Gash], his coach, like 'Is he OK?' Because I know the impact he can have.
"But Lacy, he's always going to be tough, even when we're just in helmets. You're just trying to get [him] down and you don't know what he’s going to do, is he going to spin? I feel bad for the guys in the back end because they're running full speed and have to stop on a dime. But Lacy has always been a challenge for us. It's going to be great work for us going forward."
McCarthy limited Lacy's workload during the OTA and minicamp practices because he wants his star back fresh for the long haul. But he also would love to see Lacy get off to a faster start than he has in each of his first two seasons. Each time, Lacy did not post his first 100-yard game until the fifth game of the season.
"I really want to get him as much as work as he can possibly handle this preseason," McCarthy said. "Now, that may equate to less reps in the game but as you can see, Eddie's taking a lot of reps here the first three days."