This week has been busy for Packer’s GM Brian Gutekunst. WR/KR Trevor Davis was traded to the Oakland Raiders for a 6th Round Pick. He promoted TE Evan Baylis to the 53 man roster, signed CB/KR Tremon Smith off waivers from the Chiefs, and signed WR Keon Hatcher to the Practice Squad. Let’s just say Gutekunst doesn’t ever sleep, he’s constantly attempting to improve the team. By trading Trevor Davis (which I predicted at Cut Down time), it opens it wide for Darrius Shepherd to showcase his skills. Keon Hatcher (University of Arkansas, 2017) was originally signed by Oakland, then spent time with Detroit and Green Bay last season. Smith, a former 6th Round pick of the Chiefs, was named to the All-Rookie Team last season for his performance as a KR. His 26.8 yard average was good for 4th in the NFL. Smith is out of the University of Central Arkansas and runs a 4.38 40. It will be interesting to see how Special Teams Coach Shawn Mennenga utilizes Shepherd and Smith.
On the offensive side of the ball, huge news came from Coach LaFleur, rookie Guard Elgton Jenkins will start in place of Lane Taylor (Out-Biceps). Jenkins was the Packers 2nd round pick out of Mississippi State, who most people thought would start at some point sooner than later. On defense Oren Burks is still out, but unfortunately Montravious Adams was doubtful with a shoulder injury. Twelve Packers were removed from the injured list, but nineteen appeared on this weeks report. This is concerning, not only because Denver will be a challenging opponent, but the Packers have a quick turn around, facing the high flying Philly Eagles on Thursday Night Football. I think the Packers could use some prayers from the spirit of Reggie White.
According to Aaron Rodgers and Coach Matt LaFleur, they don’t consider Denver a “trap” game. Rodgers said the Packers are focused on maintaining the momentum of a 2-0 start and improving each week. LaFleur said he’s taking the approach of going 1-0 each week (something former Badgers and Arkansas Razorback Coach Bret Bielema used to say). We saw a sampling of how potent the offense can be on the 3 scoring drives against a very good Viking defense. None of which were a clock killing, consuming drive that will be needed at times this season. Even though the defense has played well in their first two outings, they are not talking about a letdown this Sunday. They want to prove they are a top five all around defense. The key for the defense is to set the tone early and pressure Joe Flacco into mistakes. The offense must strike early again and keep the Bronco defense on it’s heels.
I’m off to Lambeau, hopefully to witness win number 3! I had the Packers picked to win this contest, I’m hoping they don’t let me down.
As Always, Go Pack Go!
PackerGregPackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter