It's not that bad. He really moves well, smoothly, that's kind of eye catching because he's so tall. When Nelson and Rodgers schooled him in two-minute last week, his coverage wasn't that bad, it just showed how good you have to be against the top-flight QBs and WRs in this league. He needs to be more aggressive and physical at the line, sounds like he played more off coverage in college. But the guys ahead of him (House, Rollins, Randall) have played better than he has.
That's what makes that game interesting. Hard to see how it can be that bad again, though you never know. Rollins and Randall are better players this year -- they're healthy and noticeably better. House is an upgrade from what they had. Just think about it, Gunter was their No. 1 last year, now he's probably their No. 5. Now, it's not like they have somebody as good as Sam Shields, so it remains to be seen just how much better this group will be. Also interested to see if Jones is making any kind of impact early. He looks like a pretty explosive player.
Randall or Rollins for bounce-back year. Maybe Lowry for biggest jump.
Amichia is a possibility, though I don't have a great feel for him yet. He's been working with the second team OL. The UDFA Gray from Canada might be a dark horse, a guy who could develop over a couple years. Very well could be they'll have to draft a guy in round 3 or 4 next year.
Matching up with Lacy could be tough, he's a big, physical downhill guy.
I'm sure there is, so they might have to fight that inclination. Clark still is a real long-shot, he's just so raw. He's a perfect practice squad guy. They draft guys for a reason, they like something about them or their upside. So McCaffrey is in for a battle. But if he keeps doing what he's been doing, he's got a real shot.
More the latter, but the time he's missed already has compromised how much he'll contribute this year. He's missed so many valuable snaps and so much technique work already. The first 1 1/2 weeks are the most valuable of camp, that's when they're competing the hardest and not preparing for a game. If he's back by the start of the season or in September, he still might get regular playing time by the end of the year. But he's missed a lot of football going back to May, and each week that goes by, the odds of him helping much go down.
I wouldn't think it's a liability at all. Taylor has proven to be fine at guard, and so far no red flags on Evans. LT, RT and C are all well manned.
I'd still think the chances of a trade at the end of camp aren't that great -- you can't rule it out, to be sure, but he'd have to play great and a team would have to make a pretty good offer to get the Packers to bite. Chances are much better that that kind of deal will come in the spring. I don't know if they could go with Callahan as the No. 2 or not. He knows the offense and they like him, but there are some size/athleticism limitations that could be a concern. I guess we'd have to know who's available after final cuts to make a better guess at what they'd do.
Yeah, he has some say. For instance, it was his idea to move Matthews to ILB in midseason a couple years ago. I'd bet he had some say in emphasizing the Nitro package. But he also hired Capers for his expertise, and with McCarthy back calling plays he probably doesn't have a lot of time to devote to the defense during the season.
No idea if he's any kind of runner, but last week he made a really impressive one-handed catch on an out-and-up route in a one-on-one drill vs. a linebacker.
Like I said, a couple other teams were doing it, and I and other reporters had asked Capers about using a safety at LB starting a couple years ago, probably more in the context of as the MLB in the dime, but the possibility of doing it was on the radar because other NFL teams were doing it, and everyone knew it. And they were having plenty of problems on defense. I just think they could have been a little more proactive, the info was there and it wasn't like Thompson was going to draft an ILB high.
It's mostly human nature. They don't want to make the big mistake (ie, an INT) that turns around a game at that point.
OK, went way overtime, have to end this now, but thanks for all the great questions, and remember we'll be doing this every week. The Nitro will be more vulnerable to the run, no question, but remember, they have plenty of other defensive packages, including their normal nickel, that they can use. It will be a game-by-game thing, and against teams that run inside a lot, they probably won't play Nitro as much. But this is the way the league is going, it's matchup-oriented, and you have to match up with all those athletes in the passing game, including the top TEs, plus the RBs who are legit eceivers like Montgmery, Christian McCaffrey, James White, etc. Plus, Jones is a 220-pound guy, a little bigger and more explosive than Burnett, so maybe he plays more at ILB against teams that run the ball better. OK, that will have to do it, but thanks again for stopping by and coming up with all these questions. Sorry if I didn't get to yours, there were a lot. We'll talk again next week, so try again then. Keep checking back to PackersNews.com for all the news, we update it frequently. Take care.