Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Packers Training Camp 2012 Preview

Today is the first day of the Packers 2012 Training Camp, I am going to go through each position and tell you what I expect or hope for for the coming season.

QB: I expect another dominating performance from Rodgers, the key question for this position is can Grahm Harrell be a quality back up like his successor Matt Flynn? I believe that with the amount of time Harrell served on the practice squad, he will do just fine in the backup role.

RB: James Starks is going to have to step up and be the main guy with Ryan Grant's departure. I don't see the running game being quite as successful as last season on the ground but with Saine and Green helping out in the backfield, they will be good options for some screen options.

TE: I don't see Jermichael Finley dropping as many balls as he did last year, I think last year might of actually been a humbling experience for him. DJ Williams will get more playing time this season, and maybe put a tad bit of pressure on Finley. Now the question remains, with Quarless, Crabtree, and Taylor, how many tight ends will the Packers keep on their roster this season.

WR: The wide out situation is only improving for the Packers. Starting with Jennings, Nelson, Cobb and Jones still makes one of the best receiver corps in the NFL. With their leading Donald Driver returning it's going to be an interesting funnel for the last spot on the roster for the WR with the much promising Gurley, Borel, and Smithson fighting for it.

OL: Pretty much the same offensive line from last season is returning this season, except for C Jeff Saturday. I'm hoping he can hold up for the duration of the season or Evan Dietrich-Smith will have to step up big time. It looks like Marshall Newhouse will start the season at left tackle and I look for him to play even more solid than he did last season with a full training camp to get ready for the season. Once Derrick Sherrod is 100% he should expect to see some time at the LT position as well.

DL: Packers 2nd round pick Jerel Worthy will be asked to step up big for the team in his rookie season. Putting pressure on the QB was the biggest weak spot on the team last year, with a little bit better DL lining up with Pickett and Raji should certainly spread the focus of opposing offensive linemen, helping cure that for the Pack in 2012.

LB: Last season the Packers kept 10 linebackers on the roster, I don't see that number changing to much this year. 1st round pick Nick Perry will be another guy asked to help shed focus off Pro Bowl LB Clay Matthews to help with the pass rush. It will be a fun preseason to watch Jones, Zombo, Walden, and So'oto make sure that they will remain with the Packers for the 2012 season.

DB: The secondary for the Packers should improve from last season as well as long as the pass rush does as well. With the release of Charlie Peprah today it appears that the Packers are expecting another draft pick, Jerron McMillan, to step up and play opposite of Morgan Burnett. One wish I do have, and I know it's not the Packer's MO to do this, is to take a look at free agent Jim Leonard.

ST: Not much change in the special teams for the Packers this season and that's a good thing. With Crosby kicking and Masthay punting, them having another middle of the road stats as they did last season leaves little to complain about. Cobb returning kicks will be exciting like last year, hopefully he would put us to much on the edge of our seats like last year, wondering if he is going to hang on to the ball when he doesn't fair catch it.

Overall I think the Packers are once again in good shape for the upcoming season. I don't think there will be another 15 win season, but my early prediction would be 12 or 13 wins. Now all we have to do now is sit back and get ready for some Green Bay Packers football!

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