Brace yourselves Packers fans, training camp is just a couple weeks away.
To me, the sting of the NFC Championship game loss still feels like it was yesterday. But it’s time for us to move on from that loss and gear up for the 2021 NFL season.
While there’s still one uncertainty about the Green Bay Packers at this point (I’ll let you figure that one out), there’s still plenty of reason to be excited for training camp.
There are three main players/positions that I’m excited to pay close attention to during training camp. These aren’t the players that are necessarily guys who have to stand out to make the team. These guys, more so, are the ones that I’m hopeful to see excel during camp.
Yes, I know this is a pretty basic pick for players to watch during training camp.
However, I genuinely am excited to see the progress that Jordan Love has made since last season – regardless of if Aaron Rodgers is there or not.
It’s clear that Love will at least be the backup in 2021, so the work he gets in during training camp will be incredibly important for this season. Gone is the time where he can comfortably sit as the third-stringer who doesn’t dress for actual games.
I’m not going to say it’s now or never for Love, but how well he plays this training camp will hold plenty of weight in management’s decision for his future in 2022, especially if Aaron Rodgers does come back and play this fall.
And if he doesn’t… well, this progress Love makes in camp is crucial.
Is it fair to say that Amari Rodgers is already a fan favorite, even though he has yet to play a down in the National Football League?
I think so.
From what I’ve seen from his interviews, his tape and how he played in OTAs, the kid has real potential to be a breakout player on the Packers offense in 2021.
But it all starts in training camp.
I’m hoping that Rodgers will be the next coming of Randall Cobb for Aaron Rodgers or Jordan Love to throw to. He’s shown serious versatility as a special-teamer, lateral quickness that would work great in the slot and talent in the backfield.
Sometimes it can be tough for rookies to break out in year one, but Rodgers very well could be a key piece in the Packers offense this season.
Kamal Martin/Krys Barnes
Kamal Martin and Krys Barnes each showed plenty of potential in a season in which nobody expected them to play last year.
The inside linebackers, when healthy, were two of the best rookies linebackers in the NFL last season. However, fans could tell how raw both their talents were in 2020.
I’ve written about this before, but many thought that GM Brian Gutekunst would draft inside linebackers in the draft to help out. Instead, he hardly touched the position in the offseason – which explains how he feels about just how good these two players are.
I’m excited to see how this tandem improves in training camp. The middle of the Packers defense is always a major factor in how well the team performs.
With these two making calls for Joe Barry, hopefully improvement is seen.——————
Gunnar Davis is a lifelong Packers fan and a recent graduate of Simpson College, where he was a 3-year letterwinner on the offensive line and graduated with a degree in multimedia communications. You can follow him on Twitter at @Gunnar57Davis.