Posted by: Opey | July 28, 2007

Packers Preview: Training Camp Edition

It is that time of year again.  The fresh smell of pads and pigskin begins to fill the air with increased intensity this weekend.  The Packers open training camp this weekend and all systems appear to be go.  Just last night the Packers signed their first round pick DT Justin Harrell to a 6 year deal.  Harrell was the last of the draft picks to sign, so all of the rookies should be able to report to camp on time, which is a huge plus for a very young team.  In addition, Favre has been cleared to practice, so he will be out slinging missiles this weekend.  In addition to the on the field movement, ESPN/CBS/FOX and all the others have dramatically increased football coverage in the past week.  All of this flurry of activity got me thinking about putting out a pre-preseason preview.  I thought about coming up with win projections and statements about their chances in the NFC, but I’ve rethought that.  There is too much time between now and the start of the regular season to make such claims.  Instead, I’ll go position by position and evaluate how we have improved/regressed since the end of last season.  So here we go:

  • Offense
    • Quarterbacks: There is no question that Brett Favre is one of the best quarterbacks ever.  What is questionable is his current ability to play the game at a high level.  He had knee surgery in the offseason, so he should be a bit better health-wise, but he is a year older.  On top of that, Rogers looks like a potential bust.  Really no movement at this position: Push
    • Running Backs: The Green and Gold lost a great player in Ahman Green in the offseason.  In addition, they really didn’t add much to replace him.  They drafted Brandon Jackson out of Nebraska, but there are questions about his durability.  Morency is slated to be the “starter”, but the team will feature a running back by committee set up.  This is the position with the biggest question marks and it is also where the team regressed the most: Downgraded
    • Wide Receiver: I believe that this position will be a strong point for the team this year.  In addition to Donald Driver, a highly underrated player, the Pack has Greg Jennings who should improve with another year under his belt.  The Pack also picked up two WR in the draft in the form of David Clowney and Jame Jones.  This combination of possession and speed skills will help out Favre mightily: Upgraded
    • Tight End:  There’s not much to say about this position.  Bubba Franks is marginal at best and we lost David Martin, a serviceable TE.  The Pack didn’t pick up a TE until the 7th round, but he may pan out, but I doubt it: Downgraded
    • Offensive Line: There were no major additions or subtractions to this unit, but they should be the most improved squad on the team.  All of the young players will grow with experience and Tauscher and Clifton look to come back strong: Upgraded
  • Defense
    • Defensive Live: The Pack used their first round pick to bolster this position, picking Justin Harrell, so it should be much improved.  Aaron Kampman had a break out season last year and shows no signs of slowing down.  KGB will be useful as a pass rusher and Cullen Jenkins coming back is a huge positive for the team: Upgraded
    • Linebackers: This squad has the potential to turn some heads this year.  Barnett has had a year to study his game and become smarter, so look for him to not make the mistakes he has made in the past.  I predict AJ Hawk to be a dominant force in the NFC this year.  Last year he played well, but a year of NFL experience should help him improve by leaps and bounds.  Now, if only they could replace Poppinga with Hodge this would be a great linebacking corp.  All in all there are good signs from this position: Upgraded
    • Secondary: This position was all about subtraction by inaction.  The CB position isn’t getting any younger and Woodson was oft hurt last year.  The only draft addition, Rouse, probably won’t contribute much this year, so this unit is a glaring weakness on a good young defensive squad: Downgraded
  • Special Teams:  There wasn’t any movement at this position, so it all comes down to the progression or lack there of of the kickers from last year.  Rayner and Ryan played well, but I just don’t believe that they have the talent to repeat their performances.  But saying that, no one can really predict how kickers will do (see Vanderjagt): Push
  • Coaching: I like McCarthy as a coach.  Some of the offensive schemes he and his staff put in showed some promise.  He managed an 8-8 record which is pretty good for a first time head coach.  I see nothing but improvement from him in terms of coaching ability, so that should really help a young team in terms of leadership: Upgraded

There you have it, my upgrade/downgrade evaluations of this year’s Packers team.  Overall, I see this team as improved, but just barely.  The downgrades at the RB and DB positions are huge, enough so to nearly overwhelm the upgrades at the WR, DL and LB positions.  Hopefully this team can join together at camp and give Wisconsin a great show come Fall.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. […] or professional, football in all of its forms is my fall addiction. I’ve already written my Green Bay Packers Training Camp Preview and I plan to write up a Packers Season Preview just after the end of the preseason. As for the […]

  2. Hello webmaster
    I would like to share with you a link to your site
    write me here preonrelt@mail.ru


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: