Marcedes Lewis Signing Diversifies Packers Offensive Playbook
After an offseason filled with questions about the offense, the Packers seem to be filling in the missing pieces and will look to have their offense round into form during OTAs and training camp. The question of who will fill the shoes of Jordy Nelson looks to finally be answered in large part due to the signing of Marcedes Lewis.
The signing of Marcedes Lewis gives the Packers a true tight end to go alongside Jimmy Graham. Throughout his career, Graham has been more of a hybrid tight end and even fought to be paid as a wide receiver before an NFL arbitrator back in 2014 when the Saints franchise tagged him.
Despite losing the case, Graham spends most of his time in the slot or on the outside which is the vision that the Packers and Aaron Rodgers had for him when he signed with the team this offseason.
Lewis’s skill set allows the Packers to put his hand in the dirt to block and have him function as more of a traditional tight end. His addition allows the Packers to fully harness Jimmy Graham’s production by playing him at both the inside and outside wide receiver positions, where he excels.
Signing Lewis could open the door for Graham to replace Jordy Nelson on the outside position opposite Davante Adams and utilize Randall Cobb at the inside position. A starting trio of Davante Adams, Jimmy Graham, and Randall Cobb could allow the Packers to get creative on first down and take some shots on play-action early in the game.
Adding Lewis allows the Packers to go with a more veteran group at wide receiver which will allow the newly drafted rookie receivers to develop at their own pace and not force them into meaningful reps at the outside positions early in the season.
If the Rookie receivers do end up developing ahead of schedule and are ready to start outside early in the season, you can always move Jimmy Graham back to the tight end and inside positions and feature some two tight end sets with him and Lewis.
Marcedes Lewis was the piece that the Packers were looking for to solve the conundrum of who would replace Jordy Nelson. Like Aaron Rodgers said last week, it just doesn’t (didn’t) make any sense to cut Jordy Nelson and replace him with Dez Bryant, who would have commanded more money than the Packers were willing to pay Jordy Nelson.
At the end of the day, the Packers signed a player in Lewis, that matched the skill set that they needed on offense. He makes other players on the offensive unit a better fit for the Packers scheme and allows a big target like Jimmy Graham to move outside.——————
David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave