Hi everybody, let's get this going. No updates. So far, King's body has not held up to the rigors of the NFL. He's missed 17 of 32 games and a lot of offseason and camp practices because of injury. Sometimes guys have injury issues early in their careers but then are healthier later, but King's first two-plus years in the NFL do not bode well. His shoulder and hamstring issues are starting to look chronic. We'll just have to wait and see. He's a very talented player, and their defensive is noticeably better when he's on the field. Same goes for Aaron Jones on offense. Talented but injury-prone players. The Packers are going to have to be really careful with them to keep them healthy for a full season.
Dexter Williams, and he's been practicing, in fact I think he might have been working with the starters yesterday because of injuries to Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and Carson. I know scouts and coaches can tell some things about running backs when there's no tackling, but I really can't. So I can't tell you whether they have anything there or not. When Aaron Jones was a rookie I didn't know he was good until the regular season.
It does hurt that he goes to a division rival because he can share some things, and moreso if he's still a good player, because they're going to face him twice. As I've said the last couple weeks on these chats, if it were up to me I'd probably have kept him, but I understand why they did it. In effect they traded Daniels and a possible compensatory pick in the 2021 draft (fifth or sixth rounder I'm guessing) for $8.5M of cap room, some or all of which will carryover to future caps for at least a year and probably longer. I get why they did -- the better a year early than year late thing, injury concerns -- he missed eight games the last two seasons and I think didn't practice in the offseason while recovering from a foot injury. He's 30, so he's starting to get up there. And M Adams is starting to show something. So I get why they did it, and it could turn out to be the right move. He'll still probably be a good player, but maybe he'll injury problems this year too. But push to shove, I'd have kept him. That depth on the line for pass rushing could have really paid off.
So thinking out loud here, Adams, Allison, Valdes-Scantling and St. Brown's are givens to make it, and really have to think Kumerow is close to that too. T. Davis is their best returner and looks OK at receiver, so his chances should be pretty good, health willing. That's six. A lot of years that's all they keep, but seven wouldn't be a surprise. I don't know who the seventh would be. I'm just not sure J'Mon Moore catches the ball consistently enough to keep. Darrius Shepherd looks kind of interesting. Maybe one of those two or someone else will jump out in the preseason games.
CB Kabion Ento has made some plays on the ball. He was a receiver in college so is making the conversion, but looks like there might be something to work with there. T Yosh Nijman from Va. Tech (6-7) and seems like he's doing OK as a pass protector too.
He's there in the mix, I have to think he's going to make it and play some. He doesn't have the big-play ability of Valdes-Scantling, but he does seem to get open a lot and catch the ball, and the QBs seem to like throwing to him. I'd think the WRs after Adams will all play a decent amount in rotation over the course of the season.
I don't think so. All our tweets go directly to that feed, but we all also have all our own followers who aren't keeping up with the feed. So sometimes we'll re-tweet each other or tweet the same thing for them. I realize it's a pain for people like you following the live update feed, but I just don't think there's a solution for that. Thanks for following though.
Haha, interesting question. Maybe. But it's probably a tougher call, because with players age is a big indication, and in the NFL, 29, 30 is getting up there for a lot of positions. I don't know that I've seen an age demarcation like that for GMs, plus they get those jobs at different ages -- some as young as late 30s, others like Thompson not until their 50s.
He's been wearing a brace in camp -- at least he was early in camp, I haven't looked for it more recently but have to assume he's going to use it all season long. I haven't seen anything to suggest it's bothering him. From what I understand with players in similar situations -- Dallas DE Guy Lawrence last season -- they can play through it as long as they don't aggravate it too badly during the season. But Lawrence then had surgery immediately after the season, and it sounds to me like Gary will after this season.
Haven't gotten a straight answer on this, but my guess is they think/thought Jenkins might be able to push Lane Taylor for the starting job at LG, whereas he wasn't going to beat out Linsley at C. Jenkins is taking occasional snaps at center, in fact he's taken more in the last few days than he did the first week or so of camp. Not sure on Madison. He started working more at guard than center in the two practices against the Texans. He's been having real trouble with shotgun snaps, he's been really high on more than several in team drills, which is a lot.
Not sure what the odds are, but if I'm the Packers I'm really disappointed if they don't finish top 10 in yards and points.
Yeah, Josh Jones is in jeopardy. Not saying he won't make it, I'd still think at this point his odds are better than 50-50. He was a good special teams player last year, so they know he can do that, and maybe he'll start making some plays as an ILB when they go with their small nickel, though Raven Greene is ahead of him for that job through two weeks of camp. Didn't help himself that he skipped all the offseason stuff except the mandatory minicamp. Part of it will depend on whether they think he'll be a disgruntled presence in the locker room. I addressed King in an earlier question, but yeah, they have to be really concerned. He just can't stay healthy.
It's up there because of the trade up. They gave up a fourth-rounder and seventh-rounder to move up 19 spots in the second round to get him. That means they missed on three picks. That's why the analytics say that as a general rule it's better to trade down and acquire extra picks and then up, because if you trade up and miss on the player, you've missed on multiple picks. That's not to say you should never trade up, sometimes it pays off big (Clay Matthews). Anyway, I'd still probably say Justin Harrell and Derek Sherrod were Thompson's worst picks.
I'm not sure at this point whether Kizer or Boyle are any better or worse than Hundley at this point. Probably similar caliber if different kinds of QBs. Kizer at times has looked a little better than last year, he's had some good throws and he's playing more from the pocket and not bolting so fast. But then he had the two interceptions on Family Night, and when I watched the offense on Monday against the Texans' D, he appeared to bolt the pocket a little quicker. Boyle had a slot start to camp but picked it up later last week. He's the better thrower of the two. I think we really need to see these guys in preseason games, see if they can move the ball and put up points, that's what the game's all about. Your last question about the odds of them bringing in a QB after cuts -- maybe one LaFleur has worked with in the past -- is a good one but I can't say I have an answer worth hearing. Your guess is as good as mine. It's certainly a possibility. But so much depends on the preseason games.
It mostly means his ability to defeat the jam at the line of scrimmage against press coverage.
Could be very important, and it has to be a big concern, they are thin at backup tackle. That must be among the reasons they're giving Bulaga a lot of rest in camp, they need to do everything they can to keep him healthy. It might turn out that Billy Turner will move to tackle if either of the tackles gets hurt. Right now Alex Light has been working as the swing backup. He got off to a good start in camp, has taken some lumps more recently. But they could be in trouble if either of their starting tackles gets hurt for an extended time.
He's had some moments, a couple hot reads where his chemistry with Rodgers looked good, and I can think of a red-zone touchdown early in camp. Haven't been any plays down the field that I remember.
Nijman looks better than DeBeer to me. Preston Smith is an OLB, I can't say I've seen him move inside as a rusher like Z Smith sometimes does. Yeah, Preston Smith is a three-down player. My guess is Lazard couldn't move to TE, he just doesn't look thick enough.
Have to think they'll keep at least four: Graham, Lewis, Tonyan and Sternberger. Not sure McKeever or Baylis warrants a spot, I would bet against it now, especially because they're going to keep a FB (Vitale).
No, haven't heard anything about the severity of Jackson's foot injury. He's on the non-football injury list, I believe. They don't have to say anything about it, so they don't. Unless they say a player's injury is serious, it's generally a good idea to be skeptical of what they say publicly about injuries. A lot of times they downplay the severity or they just can't be sure (hamstring injuries seem to be the ones they have the most difficulty knowing how long a guy will be out).
He looks like he's moving well to me, but you really don't know until he's been chased by guys who are actually going to tackle him.
He is skinny, there's no getting around that, one of the skinniest players I can remember with the Packers. I've been wondering if that's the reason, too. But Tramon Williams is skinny -- he was even more wiry early in his career than now -- and he's almost never been hurt in his long career. So I'm not sure whether that's it or not. Maybe there's something more to it, like genetic muscle, tendon and ligament structure, etc. Or maybe King has to do more in training and diet.
I know a lot of people disagreed with me, but I thought RB should have been high on the priority list in the offseason because of Aaron Jones' injury history. He's a really good runner, but the chances of him making it through a full season are low, and it probably would be smart to plan for the possibility he'd end up on IR. Williams is a good football player but not that caliber a player as a runner. So I'd have done more to draft an RB in the first three or four rounds if I were the Packers. That said, if they were right on Williams, then he could end up helping them a lot this season. But yeah, they're really thin at RB, considering that in this league you really need three pretty good ones if you don't have one of those great ones like Elliott or Gurley (when healthy).
Yeah, I don't remember ever seeing him with the twos. Yeah, he's facing an uphill climb. A really good candidate for the practice squad after his year off from football.
They're probably fine or at least Ok at backup G/C with Jenkins, McCray and Patrick. But backup tackle, as we talked about earlier, has to be a big concern.
What they gain is the roster spot, and while it's a relative long-shot, you never know how the guy they add might end up doing. They'd seen him for three-plus seasons, so I think they had a pretty good idea what they had there. I do not know how severe the back injury is. We'll get a better idea of that when they do an injury settlement with him. The settlement will be based on how many more weeks he's expected to miss because of the injury.
I can't claim to have watched him a lot. Haven't noticed him being a problem, put it that way. They signed him because they saw him as a good fit for the outside zone, he's a mobile guy, and they need that in the outside zone. He doesn't look like a physical player for his position. Rodgers talked him up before camp, so he seems to think well of Turner.
I could end up being dead wrong, but really since the middle of last year I've thought they have some talent to work with at WR. Valdes-Scantling is a tall, very fast guy, and he gives off the vibe of wanting to be good. Maybe I've misread that, but he seems to want it. St. Brown has great size and pretty decent speed, and he showed last season he has some ability. Allison was off to a good start last year before getting hurt. And Kumerow has potential as a possession receiver. I do think they have ability and could be a real solid WR corps as the season goes on.
They could probably try to line up a TE in the backfield, but the blocking is different there, that's why some coaches like having true fullbacks, because they're shorter and generally lighter, so they're better at hitting moving targets (ie, linebackers). So if Vitale ends up playing a decent amount and then gets hurt, they'd probably have to drop that package or use it a lot less. The hard part is finding a FB like the 49ers' Juscczyk, a guy who runs well enough, is a true threat in the passing game and blocks well.
Yeah, Burks clearly is the other starting ILB, though they also have a package for obvious passing downs where he comes out and S Raven Greene replaces it. Burks has looked OK, he sometimes looks pretty good in passing coverage, has knocked down a couple passes in team drills. He's given up some completions too. Can't think of any interceptions he's made. He looks improved, more sure of himself, and he has some coverage ability, but I can't say he's jumped off the field.
OK everybody, this will have to be the last question. Have some other things to work on -- we'll have a couple special things coming out in the next couple weeks for the team's 100th Anniversary that I'm helping with, so look for that. As to your question, the biggest difference is that LaFleur's practices are shorter. I think his first two practices were 2 hours, 15 minutes, and most since then have been under two hours. The longest might have been 2:19. McCarthy used to have several camp practices that ran more than 2 1/2 hours -- sometimes 2:40 or so -- and his shorter ones were 2:15. So that stands out most. LaFleur has music playing all the time, McCarthy did it only at times, during water breaks and to mimic crowd noise in some periods. LaFleur said he likes it because it adds energy to practice and also gets them used to working in constant noise. As for what they do in practice, in many ways it looks the same. One difference is that in one-on-one pass rushing drills, the reps go faster than any of the previous coaches I've covered -- they have the same two players take back-to-back snaps, and they do it fast, and then they move on to the next pair very quickly. Another small difference is they don't do a short gauntlet drill early in practice where offensive skill players run through a gauntlet of the rest of the roster, with everybody trying to rip and strip the ball from them. McCarthy did that pretty much every day. Another is that for some team drills, LaFleur will split the team in two, with two QBs and half the offensive players and defensive players going to one end of the field, and two QBs and the other half of the O and D going to the other hand. So he runs two sets of team drills at once, that's one way to get in more reps while not spending as much time on the practice field. And that does it for today. Again, thanks everyone for participating and sharing thoughts and questions, very much appreciated. Keep checking back to PackersNews.com for the latest news, we update constantly. And thanks subscribers for helping pay for our coverage of the team, it costs a lot of money to cover the Packers as thoroughly as we do, and every subscription helps. If I didn't get to your question, try again at next week's chat. Until then, take care everybody.