Some Green Bay Packers Pre-Training Camp Ramblings

With training camp just a few weeks away, here are several quick thoughts that I have on this Green Bay Packers team.

It is the quietest part of the NFL offseason as we all wait for training camp to begin. The good news is that it is just a few weeks away.

For today’s article, instead of focusing on one topic, in particular, I’m basically doing a brain dump, sharing a number of my pre-training camp thoughts.

Let me know if you enjoy this style because If you do, I’ll plan on doing it once more before camp begins, as there are plenty of other thoughts that I have to share.

Kabion Ento

As is wrote about in more detail recently, I believe Kabion Ento makes the 53-man roster at cornerback. He’s a special teams contributor — which Josh Jackson and Ka’dar Hollman were not — and before placing him on IR in 2020, Green Bay did put him on the initial 53-man roster, which gave him the opportunity to return if healthy. Had they placed him on IR immediately, he wouldn’t have been able to return. This speaks volumes about what they think about him.

Devin Funchess and special teams

Will a lack of special teams contributions keep Devin Funchess off the roster? I certainly think it could. Four receiver spots are guaranteed, Green Bay has five viable options at tight end, plus Aaron Jones — and maybe more AJ Dillon — out of the backfield—they aren’t lacking pass-catchers, by any means.

So does it make sense to keep a 5th receiver on the roster, whose snap count could be limited and likely won’t help much on special teams? We will find out.

Green Bay Packers LBs

I don’t think this unit will be elite by any means, but I am intrigued by them. Both Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin are poised for Year 2 leaps, while De’Vondre Campbell brings durability, experience, and a well-rounded skill-set. Couple that with Joe Barry’s defense which does a good job of keeping the LBs clean, and I see the potential for this group to make a bigger impact in 2021.

I really like Patrick Taylor

At least from what I’ve seen, many assume that Kylin Hill will be RB3—and perhaps he will be. But don’t overlook Patrick Taylor either. He was a productive back at Memphis, a good pass catcher, and a willing blocker—which as we know, is a must in the LaFleur offense. And while he didn’t play in 2020, he has a year of experience in the offense under his belt. Keep your eyes on Taylor.

OL configuration Week 1 without David Bakhtiari

Jenkins - Runyan - Myers - Patrick - Turner

OL configuration Week 1 with David Bakhtiari

Bak - Jenkins - Myers - Patrick - Turner

Star CB by committee

“Committee” might be a strong term because I do believe that at the end of the season, Chandon Sullivan will have taken the most snaps there—it’s not going to be an exact split. But I also expect to see more of Jaire Alexander and Darnell Savage there than what we have in years past. I also expect to see Adrian Amos and Will Redmond take some snaps there as well.

The Joe Barry defense

This defense is loaded with talent -- don’t let the stats fool you -- and hopefully, Joe Barry can help this unit reach its full potential. With that said, while there is overlap between what Barry and Mike Pettine run, it’s still a new defense and is going to take some time to adjust to. So have some patience.

Notable players that I think end up cut

Josh Jackson, Oren Burks, Ka’dar Hollman, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Devin Funchess. Of course, there could be others, but these few stand out above the rest at this time.

Jordan Love

Again, patience. And mini-camp is a prime example of why as we saw Love struggle and then light it up the very next day. He’s a young quarterback and is going to struggle at times. But I also believe that he’s going to have plenty of success during the preseason as well. I can’t wait to see him in action.

Still cap space to create

According to Over the Cap, the Packers are $5.08 million under the salary cap. However, that only includes the top-51 contracts on the roster; as we all know, an NFL team has 53 players. Amari Rodgers is still unsigned; that cap figure also doesn’t include the practice squad or any reserve funds for an in-season addition like a Snacks Harrison.

Some under the radar names to watch in camp

Juwann Winfree: He can contribute on special teams and was making play after play during mini-camp.

Vernon Scott: I like Scott to win that third safety role. He’s versatile and can play close to the line of scrimmage, he is a willing tackler, and is familiar with the two-high safety look from his time at TCU.

Kabion Ento and Patrick Taylor: As noted above.

Kurt Benkert: If the Packers choose to roster three quarterbacks again, that third QB will be Benkert, not Blake Bortles.

Ben Braden: OL Coach Adam Stenavich told reporters that he believes Braden will compete for starting time at both guard and tackle.

Playing time breakdown between Preston and Gary

I find this discussion really interesting. Despite Gary being the far more impactful player in 2020, he saw roughly half the snaps that Preston Smith did. Gary has earned significantly more playing time, but how will Barry go about dividing it up? My guess is that we see a lot of Za’Darius, Preston, and Gary on the field together.

Amari Rodgers and Josiah Deguara

Each of these players brings an element to this LaFleur offense that has been missing. Rodgers fills the slot/gadget role that was meant for Tyler Ervin, but he struggled to stay healthy. While as the H-back, Deguara can do a little bit of everything and can be moved around like a chess piece within this offense. It’s going to be incredibly fun to see how these two are utilized this season.

Find a way to extend Adams

Obviously, this is a two-way street as Adams will have to want to re-sign with Green Bay. But if he does, or is at least willing to negotiate, it’s a move that must be done. We already know about his connection with Rodgers on the field, but if Love is under center in 2022, there’s no one better to have your young QB relying on. Make it happen.

Adrian Amos is so underrated

Over 1,123 snaps in 2020, Amos allowed only 7.9 yards per catch when targeted while tallying three interceptions, seven pass breakups, and a passer rating of just 79.0. He also added two sacks and 26 stops.

By PFF’s grading system, he received the second-highest grade among safeties along with the best coverage grade. Amos doesn’t typically make the flashy plays, but he is as steady as it gets at the safety position. More fans and folks around the NFL need to recognize just how good he’s been.

Aaron Rodgers and training camp

He will be there.

---------------------

Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

NFL Categories: 
14 points

Comments (45)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
porupack's picture

July 16, 2021 at 06:30 am

Good dump of thoughts and glad for your call-out of Taylor, Ento, Winfree and Scott. I like rooting for these under the radar guys. There's no question this roster has an elite level of talent:
Aaron Jones, Kenny Clark, Za’Darius Smith, Darnell Savage, and Adrian Amos and best at positions: David Bakhtiari, Jaire Alexander, Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers. Add in likely ascendent players: Tonyan, Gary and Elgton Jenkins. Add in the probables Dillon, Daguera. Add in a dice-roll of rookie impact player; Amari Rodgers or Stokes.

WIth the over comittment on salary mentioned here and recently by Ken Lass, one thing can be concluded: the packers went "all-in" this year, so those who whined about the packers settling for status quo, should be sending in your bananas to the front office. This team is very, very solid; of course not perfect as you we should remind some draftologists that you can't put 22 1st rounders on the field. 3 years ago, there were a lot of weak units: TE, WR, RB, ILB, IDL, S. Now, maybe even ILB can be a serviceable unit that isn't the culprit of easy 3rd down conversions. RB and TE group will make statements all year long. Safety tandem could be elite. The CB group is still questionable, for one spot, but the GM certainly invested in elite speed and track record.

As you say, its up to Barry to make the sum of parts better than the individuals, and if he does, then the playoffs are owned by the packers.

This team is built for SB, and could use another year of good fortune on the injury list, especially during the playoffs once the Pack gets there.

+ REPLY
10 points
11
1
NickPerry's picture

July 16, 2021 at 06:44 am

Excellent comment porupack... Especially the "All In" reference because that's exactly what Gute did!

+ REPLY
9 points
10
1
egbertsouse's picture

July 16, 2021 at 10:01 am

Sorry, overpaying your own underperforming stiffs is not going “All-in.”

+ REPLY
-10 points
1
11
Coldworld's picture

July 16, 2021 at 12:26 pm

The only one this year I could put in that category that is likely to make the roster is King, and even with him, if they were playing him while injured, the King of previous years would be worth it at that price. The only other player I see as notably overpaid given performance at this point is Lowry. That’s a lot better than has frequently been the case under prior GMs.

+ REPLY
4 points
6
2
NickPerry's picture

July 17, 2021 at 09:24 am

Hmmm...I really have to disagree with that. David Bakhtiari is the best LT in football and definitely deserved to get paid. Kenny Clark was amazing in 2019, injured most of the year in 2020 but was finally healthier down the stretch and it showed in his play. Aaron Jones is a WEAPON in this offense and IMO will be even more dangerous with a #2 RB like Dillon.

Everyone of his FA signings in the last 2 or 3 years has worked. The Smiths, Turner, and Amos have been Godsends to this club, and they were needed to get the Packers back on top in a VERY short period of time after Gute took over. Granted Jimmy Graham was bad but that's it.

Because Rodgers has been a bit difficult this offseason, Gute and Ball did what they had to to do to. THIS club is good enough to win a SB this year, just like they were last season. With just a little more luck on the injury front they'll be there. Trust and believe THIS team is better than last years because of Dillon, the continued improved play of Jenkins, Savage, Gary, Big Bob Tonyan, and more improvements with players like Amari Rodgers, Stokes, and others this team is LOADED. To suggest otherwise after going 26-6, IMO is just wrong.

So I'm curious...What "Underperforming Stiffs" are you talking about?

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
blacke00's picture

July 16, 2021 at 07:01 am

The weakest link on this team is the DL. I wouldn't be surprised if "additional" players will be "found" either throughout TC and certainly during the season. And it won't be because of injury.

+ REPLY
3 points
4
1
jeremyjjbrown's picture

July 16, 2021 at 09:40 am

If Z and Gary play with their hands down more often that changes drastically. I'm thinking this is what happens.

+ REPLY
6 points
7
1
dobber's picture

July 16, 2021 at 10:58 am

Agreed: Z and Gary have the dimensions of 4-3 DEs, but more athletic. Plenty of opportunities to put these 3 OLBs on the field together...now, who's the 4th OLB?

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
Coldworld's picture

July 16, 2021 at 02:52 pm

I don’t know who will be 4th, but i will be looking to see who will replace the Fackrell cover/speed rush role. Last year our 6th OLB and cover prospect starting out was Burks. That was not an inspired move to say the least. We need someone to legitimately emerge in the coverage role.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
jannes bjornson's picture

July 16, 2021 at 07:40 pm

Then you need a creative D coordinator who understands Dynamics; run 4/2 and 4/3 looks along with 5-2 smash.
The days of Dom are over. Setting up a picket line in stasis or letting the inmates out of the asylum on a jailbreak are not answers.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

July 16, 2021 at 07:08 am

I say Jackson, Burks and Funchess will all make the roster. My OL configuration has Patrick at center, Turner going back to RG. And a new face at RT -Braden. My Committee says Sullivan. Redmond is a cut. Adams needs to say he loves GB and sign for less then 25 million. Have to agree. Rodgers will be here.

+ REPLY
-5 points
3
8
Coldworld's picture

July 16, 2021 at 09:06 am

I think LaFleur loves Funchess in his O. I think it is very unlikely that he misses if healthy. I don’t see Jackson finding a role and I’d not be shocked if Burks is one of the first out.

As to the DBs, I will wait till I see what Barry has in mind, but if Scott (whom I like) makes it, it’s not as third safety unless his coverage ability is a revelation. As a closer to the line player, yes, assuming that the really hard tackling Black doesn’t oust him. I’d rather see one of them (or an unknown like Gaines) there taking a pounding than Amos on a regular basis. Similarly I only want to see Redmond deep (unless beaten out in coverage by younger DBs). Use players according to their skills not as Pettine did.

+ REPLY
16 points
16
0
stockholder's picture

July 16, 2021 at 07:39 pm

I don’t see Jackson finding a role and I’d not be shocked if Burks is one of the first out. I picked them because of the comp pick Formula. Burks- makes it on special Teams. If Jerod Bush could hang on. Jackson will.

+ REPLY
-2 points
0
2
jannes bjornson's picture

July 16, 2021 at 07:44 pm

A Game of Replacement as they say, especially for redundant hamsters in the Wheel.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
jeremyjjbrown's picture

July 16, 2021 at 09:46 am

"Adams needs to say he loves GB and sign for less then 25 million."

If giving Adams 25 million means that they can't pay Jaire I don't want them to do it. The Packers have gone 6-0 without Adams in MLFs offense. I LOVE Davante, but he'll be on the wrong side of 30 before the end the 2022 season, he hasn't played 16 games since 2016.

+ REPLY
15 points
15
0
bjkdad44's picture

July 16, 2021 at 11:42 am

Good comment... I agree 100%!

+ REPLY
5 points
5
0
NickPerry's picture

July 16, 2021 at 08:17 am

Well I for one really like this piece Paul so I hope you do it again and will look forward to it. You hit on several things I agree on and some I'm a bit on the fence about.

I think Funchess sticks and is on the roster. Perhaps 2 FULL seasons except for a few snaps in 2019 of week one will too much to overcome, but I still like him on this roster. BUT, I've read more than once about how impressive Winfree has been so if the kid out plays Funchess or brings things to the table that Funchess can't, then he deserves that 5th spot. Thing about Funchess is the Packers have someone very similar to him in Lazard except Lazard is a BEAST with his blocking.

The TE position will be one I'll be looking forward to watching. IMO Big Bob Tonyan just scratched the surface last season and be even better this season. 11 TD's will be tough to match again but I think Rodgers will throw to Big Bob more often, especially between the 20's. Deguara became one of my POST draft crushes. Once I started looking into him, the effort he gives on EVERY play, and how much MLF gushes over this kid, I couldn't wait to see him used.

The "Star" position I hope is handled by Savage. Pettine finally started using Savage closer to the LOS the last 9 games or so of the 2020 season and according to PFF he was one of the best safeties in the NFL over that span. I'm not crazy about Sullivan period. I know this won't be popular but I still have some hope for Josh Jackson. Since he most uses a zone defense perhaps they can get something out of him this year. In half the snaps last season he graded out better than Kevin King in Pass Defense and overall. He's was pretty bad as a run defender though where King actually was pretty good. Maybe they could use Jackson at Safety some when Savage is playing the STAR position...Just spitballing here folks.

Rodgers... Win, lose, or draw this will be Rodgers last season in GB. I had always had some hope that perhaps he would take less, much less than $45 million anyways, so the Packers could resign those they need to and add some others where they can. But I'm about 99% convinced that isn't in Rodgers makeup, especially with these issues against the FO. Hopefully he can help the Packers win an NFFCG for the first time in 11 years and get them to the dance. IF that happens have no doubt they have the team to get in done.

Oh, and Amos is a stud. I'm laughing at you Bears fans. Especially those who felt HHCD was better than Amos. Hey, is HHCD even IN the NFL still?

+ REPLY
14 points
18
4
Coldworld's picture

July 16, 2021 at 08:33 am

Not currently. I guess he was a guy who wasn’t prepared to commit to the game enough to match his talent. A very appropriate swap with the Bears and one I laughed at then and continue to celebrate. Amos transformed our S position and gave Savage’s chances to develop a big boost while doing so.

+ REPLY
10 points
10
0
Hematite's picture

July 16, 2021 at 08:52 am

"I still have some hopes for Josh Jackson".
I agree pretty much with all your points except this.
Color Josh Jackson gone!
Just my humble opinion of course!

+ REPLY
8 points
8
0
NickPerry's picture

July 17, 2021 at 01:28 am

I think it's a strong possibility Jackson doesn't make the team either. The ONLY reason I brought it up was because of Joe Berry's scheme and how much he plays zone. I know it's a stretch though.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
davekenya's picture

July 16, 2021 at 12:19 pm

I like this style for occasional articles as well and hope to see it continue! I think it works especially well during training camp -- providing quick updates on player performances & battles while sharing your 'on the scene' observations.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
HarryHodag's picture

July 16, 2021 at 08:45 am

I agree with everything except extending Adams. It will be costly and quite honestly, the Packers might not be able to afford him.

My mantra today is wide receivers and running backs are a dime-a-dozen. You might find a slightly less talented receiver but the price will be more in line. A couple of websites have his worth in the next contract at $25 mill per year.

All resources have to go to extending Alexander, a true defensive superstar. While there are many cornerbacks available, really good ones are as hard to find as quarterbacks.

If you need to save money, letting Adams go is better than Alexander and it's clear to me you can't keep both players.

+ REPLY
15 points
17
2
dekan51's picture

July 16, 2021 at 11:10 am

agree and interesting. how much of adams success was AR? esp in the fact that AR did everything in his power to get Adams the ball...........except the one free play he got in the NFCCG where he inexplicably threw to Daphne instead of a WIDE OPEN Adams that would have been a TD....

+ REPLY
6 points
7
1
Leatherhead's picture

July 16, 2021 at 09:17 pm

You and I are of the same mind on this Hodag. I think you spend your resources on the offensive line and economize on the skill position players. For example, the Vikings spend high picks at RB, TE, and WR. The Packers have Day 3 guys like Jones and Tonyan and MVS and Lazard . That gives us a competitive advantage, IMO.

Defensively, your DBs are on the field on every play, and are a big part of most big plays, so you’ve gotta use your resources to get those guys, and keep them. Much better to sign Alexander than Adams. .

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
dobber's picture

July 16, 2021 at 08:46 am

Very much appreciate the broad scope of this article, Paul. It's like spending the evening at the bar and chit-chatting with a half dozen other Packers fans. Another sounds great!

+ REPLY
14 points
15
1
Coldworld's picture

July 16, 2021 at 09:23 am

I agree. With the rise of the audio chats we get less and less of the thoughtful in print and more of the low effort speculation on themes done to death.

In the past, we’d get the kind of analysis that is now verbal or video mostly. I get that it is easier to create and requires less intellectual effort, but it’s also much harder to parse and comment on. There is a reason why these pieces consistently provoke few comments compared to text ones.

Please consider redressing the balance and focus in terms of media. It goes to the success of the site in my view. This piece was a welcome step in the right direction alongside Al’s weekly gem.

+ REPLY
13 points
13
0
dobber's picture

July 16, 2021 at 10:59 am

Agreed! I do very few of the podcasts and audio pieces and would much rather read content. I think you hit the nail on the head with this comment CW!

+ REPLY
5 points
5
0
CheesyTex's picture

July 16, 2021 at 10:43 am

Thank you dobber, Coldworld, Paul_Bretl. I look forward to, and enjoy reading your articles and posts.

Have a virtual Irish Whiskey (my favorite) on me, though I wish it could be at the bar.

And yes, Paul, please do keep this format for future articles. Ideal, in my book.

+ REPLY
8 points
8
0
Coldworld's picture

July 16, 2021 at 02:58 pm

I’m going to crack a Writer’s Tears later on the strength of that. Slainte!

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
CheesyTex's picture

July 16, 2021 at 04:32 pm

Ahh, a man of good taste -- enjoy the Writer's and Slainte agaste. (Red Breast is pretty good too.)

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
mnbadger's picture

July 16, 2021 at 12:47 pm

you took the words out of my mouth Dobber. Bar talks can be painful if done by a drunken knucklehead. If done by (drunken or not) somebody with a greater depth of knowledge makes it interesting and enjoyable, even if I don't agree 100%. Especially extending DA at all costs. I'll have another Paul, GPG!

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
jhtobias's picture

July 16, 2021 at 10:19 am

One thing that blows my mind is the love degura gets by packer fans.. i hope he suceeds but hia hype is way out of line. The man made one good block and caught 1 pass before vetting hurt.

Before we crown him as the 2nd coming lets take a step back and stip with the homer views on rhe man it is quite ridiculous

+ REPLY
-1 points
3
4
MITM's picture

July 16, 2021 at 11:41 am

I agree with what you said while also believing Deguara can be a special talent. Lafleur handpicked him for a specific role in this offense and I believe he has a chance to be successful for sure. Still think he was way overdrafted though

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Coldworld's picture

July 16, 2021 at 03:03 pm

I’m really interested in the role of the H back as fully implemented in this O. I do like Deguara’s potential a lot given what he did in. College in what I see as potentially a very similar role (as opposed to TE) and I like a lot of what I see in Daffney. That’s very different from anointing either. No player still transitioning (Daffney) or hardly seen (Deguara) is more than a prospect. In some senses, so is the H Back role for that reason.

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
JQ's picture

July 16, 2021 at 10:24 am

Thanks Paul. I enjoyed reading your random musings. Carry on! -JQ-

+ REPLY
6 points
6
0
PatrickGB's picture

July 16, 2021 at 11:02 am

I have family members who are fans of other NFL teams. And when I go on other team’s site it’s crickets. The occasional complaints made about our sites is laughable. The content and wisdom of the writers and commentators is superb. I appreciate the hard work and wisdom of all the people here at Cheesehead!!! GPG

+ REPLY
12 points
12
0
MITM's picture

July 16, 2021 at 11:43 am

How come whenever we talk LBs I really ever see anyone mention Scoota Harris who was a rookie on our PS last year. He is the only SEC LB on the roster and played very well for some very had Arkansas Defenses. The talent is there and with Joe Barry now you never know which LB is gonna take a major jump under him now.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 16, 2021 at 06:48 pm

Because no one knows what to do with him? At 5'11.5" and 230, his 3.25 RAS number is below par, particular the explosion numbers such as a 33.5" vertical, 9'.3" broad (111"). His change of direction is very suspect with a 7.38 three-cone (which was last among LBs at the combine) which reduced to 7.06 at his pro day and shuttle numbers that aren't good. His 4.69 forty is okay but that's all I can say for it. He looks like a Safety and played MLB. He is a thumper not known for his coverage and he's been known to miss a tackle even though he is a fierce tackler.

Despite all that, Belichick gave him $140K guaranteed in 2020. That's a lot of money for a UDFA. As far as I can tell, NE had shit for linebackers last year. This year they get Dont'a Hightower back and Kyle Van Noy after the Dolphins dumped him after one year of a 4 year, $51M deal. Last year they had Winovich, Uche, plus a few others. Harris got a long look but got nicked up late in camp. GB elevated him twice. Played STs.

A good college player is my guess. ST guy in the NFL? Are you, by any chance, an Arkansas fan?

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

July 17, 2021 at 02:52 pm

Well said as to the why, I can only assume that he may be one of those whose stats don’t match what the professional scouts see? As such he’s a complete mystery until camp. For all I know, he could end up being the shock of camp or gone before we here his name again.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
White92's picture

July 16, 2021 at 01:23 pm

I'm finding it difficult to get excited about Joe Barry. The track record seems to indicate that his coaching ceiling is that of a position coach. I hope to be wrong

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
Coldworld's picture

July 16, 2021 at 06:25 pm

I’m excited it’s no longer Pettine. My sense is most of us are somewhat skeptical about the rest at this point.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 16, 2021 at 06:51 pm

I wonder if one can find a single Packer fan who is excited by Joe Barry. There must be one, even a few. I am not one of them.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
jannes bjornson's picture

July 16, 2021 at 07:56 pm

Hanging with the frat boys is often not best.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
uncle10's picture

July 17, 2021 at 12:39 am

I am 100% excited to have a guy with something to prove. He appears to be high energy and ready to mix it up. Capers and Pettine came in as guys with high expectations and pedigrees (I hate that word, but it fits). I look forward to "3rd Times the Charm" Barry. The talent is there.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
porupack's picture

July 17, 2021 at 07:52 am

thanks for voicing this thought. I'm with you. Seemed Barry was kind of a concession, best available guy that was still around at the time, who probably said all the right things at the interview.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.