The Annual Green Bay Packer’s Family Night was another resounding success! Attendance was down slightly, which I would attribute to holding the event on a Friday night, thereby forcing fans to take a day off work. My opinion is quite contrary to those who were attempting to paint it as some sort of displeasure by Packer fans, in light of all the negative press this off season. It’s a shame that all the negative press has found it’s way into our Sports. Coach Matt LaFleur said the environment was electric and like nothing he has ever seen before. That’s good enough for me!
Now, down to business.
First, Wide Receivers appear to have found some separation last night. While Adams, Allison and Valdes-Scantling appear to be the top 3, St. Brown, Kumerow and Davis appear to have locked down the next 3. Where does that leave Moore (last season’s 4th round pick) and a host of others? Kumerow and Davis were the stars of the WR corps (Adams withstanding) during Family Night with some fantastic receptions. At this point I can’t imagine those two not being on the 53. This opens the possibility of a trade involving Moore, maybe part of a deal for a back up QB?
Second brings us to the Quarterback position. All Everything Aaron Rodgers is back. His leg injury from last season appears totally healed and he is dropping dimes out there once again. His relationship with Coach LaFleur appears solid, with mutual respect and trust in place. LaFleur’s fresh approach, coupled with accountability and discipline appear to sit very well with Rodgers and the team as a whole. But, the back up to Rodgers is much more clouded. Once again Kizer appears easily shaken and not consistently precise, even though he possesses all the physical tools. Boyle has a rocket arm, but is still very raw. Wilkins appears solidly headed to the Practice Squad. Maybe package J’Mon Moore, Kizer and Marcedes Lewis for a veteran QB like Matt Schaub. Brian Gutekunst must strengthen the back up QB position before the season begins.
Third, Packers Defense. Wow! Mike Pettine almost smiled last night! I told my wife that perma frown was his happy face and she should see him when he’s angry! I haven’t seen that kind of speed on the Packers defensive side of the ball since their Super Bowl season in 2010. This defensive squad is more talented than that one. The Dline has depth, size, speed, experience and a new found enthusiasm. The front seven is set, Lowry, Clark, Adams, Smith, Smith, Martinez and Burks. The next ones in appear to be Fackrell, Gary, Gilbert and Crawford. I believe any other LB’s will be fighting for a position on Special Teams. Due to a few injuries the secondary is still in flux, but locks appear to be Alexander, Williams, King (barring injury) Amos, Savage (back from wisdom tooth suregery) and a host of others competing for the back-up positions. I thin we’ll hear names coming from this group of Greene, Jackson, Hollman, Jones and Brown filling out the rest.
Fourth the Offense. Led by Aaron Rodgers the offense seems primed to have another great season. The OLine of Bakhtiari, Taylor, Lindsley, Turner and Bulaga should be the starters. I would say Spriggs, Light and de Beer will compete for back up tackle, with Patrick, Jenkins, Madison and McCoy competing for back up guard duty. We covered QB and WR earlier, but Running Back concerns me because Jones and Williams are already injured. After them there a just a bunch of career back-ups or rookies competing. Tight Ends are locked in with Graham, Tonyan, Sternberger (3rd Round 2019 Draft Pick) then what happens to Lewis? Does Gute keep 4 TE’s? Time will only tell.
Fifth and final “Thing We Learned.” The Packers as a team have found a new energy under Matt LaFleur. As many have said multiple times McCarthy and Thompson’s message and plan for the Packers had grown stale and complacent. Being satisfied with just winning and division titles without Super Bowls isn’t enough in Titletown USA. Combine that with nearly 30 years of Favre and Rodgers and only 2 Super Bowl victories in 3 appearances is paled in light of what the New England Patriots have accomplished. I don’t believe the Packers are rebuilding, I believe in a short period of time this season, the Packers will show the rest of the NFL they have arrived.
As Always Go Pack Go
PackerGregPackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter