The Packers kick off OTAs this week and three practices are open to the public. As the team gets closer to training camp, here are three things fans could watch for during the open to the public practices.
How are the new defensive free agents lining up?
The Packers opened up free agency spending big on the defensive side of the football. General Manager Brian Gutekunst made a splash by signing outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith, safety Adrian Amos, and outside linebacker Preston Smith. What will this new defense look like? These open to the public and media OTAs provide a glimpse of how this made over defense will look and operate. There was a lot of excitement when all three players were signed, so expect to see all of them making a difference early on and throughout the season.
What is the run to pass play ratio?
When head coach Matt Lafleur was hired, he stressed his desire to have a more balanced offensive attack and to run the football more. It will be interesting to how this not only transpires during the off-season at OTAs and then at training but how it evolves throughout the regular season. Will Aaron Jones be getting most of carries? Will there be pass plays that look like run plays, where Rodgers fakes the handoff to Jones? Will there be more screen plays to the running backs? Fans have been screaming for more running plays that past few years, it will be interesting how this plays out. I for one will be interested in how the running game looks early on in the off-season.
What is the order of the WR group?
Davante Adams is clearly the number WR on the team. There is no question about that. What will be interesting and something to watch is how it unfolds after him. Geronimo Allison seems to be the number two wide receiver. The three wide receivers that were drafted last year, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown, and J’Mon Moore are all in the mix and should get plenty of playing time throughout the season. Who is the number 3 wide receiver in the bunch? This will be a fun competition to watch throughout the off-season and even to an extent during the regular season. Plus, we can not forget the fan favorite from UW-Whitewater, Jake Kumerow. How will his role be defined this season? How has he progressed during the off-season and will he take a step forward?
There are a lot of questions to be answered yet, but this off-season will be an exciting one in Green Bay. There is new energy around this Packers team and a new sense of hope that this team will not only bounce back from the last two seasons but also make a run in the playoffs. Remember, these are just OTA practices and there is no tackling. With that stand, this still provides us with the opportunity to see the new additions and new look offense in action.
Anthony Haag is a writer for PackersTalk.com. He has been a Packers fan since the day he was born and truly bleeds green and gold. He makes annual visits to Lambeau Field and has attended his fair share of games. You can follow Anthony on Twitter at @anthony_haag