The Green Bay Packers are always a team that relies on internal competition to rise up everyone’s play. The team is known for its depth and with a new draft class added onto what was already a very deep team that is true again. The good news is that most of the starting positions are locked up, which is the sign of a good team. However, that doesn’t mean this won’t be a very competitive summer with players fighting for playing time and backup spots. Here are a few interesting battles to look forward to:
I’d actually be surprised if this is much of a battle. I would expect Scott Tolzien to win the job fairly easily with continued improvement and knowledge of the offense. However, Hundley may be the most interesting player to watch this summer. Mike McCarthy finally has a backup quarterback to develop with real talent and skills after years of wasted time with Graham Harrell and Matt Flynn. Hundley should easily be able to force the Packers to keep three quarterbacks for the second consecutive season.
Wide Receiver Depth:
The top three spots and the majority of the playing time will go to Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams. The Packers figure to keep six wide receivers with the other three spots going to Ty Montgomery, Jared Abbdrederis and Jeff Janis, but which one of the three emerges and gets the most playing time will be interesting. Only five figure to be active on game day with Montgomery seeming like a lock due his kick return abilities, even if he is not ready for many snaps on offense. That leaves Abbrederis and Janis to battle it out for one active spot on game days. Janis will have to show he learned the offense and became more of an all-around receiver, and Abbrederis will have to prove his health following a torn ACL.
Starting Inside Linebacker:
It’s hard to predict this without really having a great idea about what the Packers will do here. The word put out there again is that Clay Matthews wants to go back to outside linebacker, but Green Bay’s actions suggest they may have different ideas. The only inside linebacker they acquired was fourth-round pick Jake Ryan. Perhaps they believed in Ryan more than any of the early inside linebackers where they went, but it seems like Matthews will play some early downs inside at the very least to keep defenses guessing. It’s hard to understand his apprehension since he already got paid and the defense was so much better with him inside, not to mention his play improved. How well Ryan plays in camp may determine how much Matthews we see inside. Also, Carl Bradford will have a says at some playing time.
You have to put defensive backs for this team because you really have no idea who’s playing where. That’s probably how the Packers want it. Maybe Quinten Rollins play so well that Casey Heyward moves back inside? How much slot corner or safety does Damarious Randle play? If Hayward plays well outside and Randle emerges inside is Micah Hyde only the dime back? Much like last season there will be an odd man out between Hayward, Randle, Rollins and Hyde. I haven’t even mentioned Sean Richardson yet and the Packers aren’t paying him $2.55 million to ride the bench on defense. Also, McCarthy was not ready to write off Jarrett Bush yet and Demetri Goodson is still around. This will be so much fun to watch play out.——————