The Packers have now finished OTA’s and the Mandatory Mini-Camp. There is once again excitement surrounding 1265 Lombardi Ave. The atmosphere in Mini-Camp was very much one of enthusiasm with learning a new system, bonding among new teammates, and continuing developing of veteran players. The coaching staff from Matt LaFleur and Mike Pettine on down the line have high optimism where their team is concerned. Pettine of course is highly optimistic because so much talent was added to the defensive side of the ball through FA and the 2019 Draft. As usual some hidden gems will rise to the surface as well.
On Aaron Rodgers side of the ball, it’s mostly returning talent among the WR group that just needs to take a major step this season. The offensive line added depth through FA, the draft, and the return of 2018 draft pick Cole Madison. There should be more competition and depth along the offensive line when Training Camp arrives July 25, and the pads go on. The RB situation seems to be fairly set, carrying over Jones and Williams from last season and possibly draft pick Dexter Williams.
The most intriguing group for me to watch when Training Camp begins will be the defensive Front 7. There are returning veteran’s, FA acquisitions, and young talent who will all be competing for possibly 12ish spots on the 53 man roster. That will definitely be a position group competition to watch. My “surprise player to watch,” will be Kendall Donnerson, because I know all the work he put in during the off-season improving his agility skills and instinct.
It appears most fans will focus on the WR group mainly because of last years 3 draft picks will now be in their second season. We should hope their connection with Aaron Rodgers will be greatly improved from last season, where we definitely saw some flashes of hope, but mostly inconsistency. I believe Matt LaFleur will utilize his HOF QB to enhance the offense he and Hackett are installing. There is definitely talent at the RB and WR groups with great size and speed, which should bode well for the new coach. Depth behind Aaron has always been a concern (especially under Mike McCarthy), and is no different this year.
The offensive line may be the area of greatest concern for the Green Bay Packers. The starting five is very talented (Bakhtiari, Taylor, Lindsley, Turner and Bulaga) behind them will be the greatest competition. Let’s hope this line has a solid year, because keeping Aaron clean is directly connected to the Packers success in 2019. Cole Madison and Elgton Jenkins may be the solid backup answers here, with Jason Spriggs definitely a question mark. Jason has not performed to expectations thus far.
I’d like to see Aaron take advantage of what the opponents defensive gives him in contrast to going for the deep hit constantly, as was the case last season. I realize given the roster last season and the predictable play calling, Aaron felt he had to carry the team. I don’t see that being a problem with this current roster or system under Matt LaFleur.
If you refer to my article where I discussed the up coming season I predicted each game and a final record of 12-4 with the NFC North title. I’m excited to see where this team goes during 2019!
As Always, Go Pack Go!
PackerGregPackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter