5 Questions from Green Bay Packers Training Camp Week 1
We aren't very far into the Green Bay Packers 2012 training camp, and so, not surprisingly, we are left with more questions than answers.
Here are the five questions I am most interested in watching this week.
1. Where will Charles Woodson play?
Despite what some seem to think, Woodson playing safety in camp is not unusual. Woodson in safety meetings is, but not a bellwether for what he will be doing this year.
Or at least not much of one. It's a good sign he will play there more often, but not a sign he is starting at safety.
More than likely, we are going to see a little more of him at safety, but not a complete change. What could change that?
Well, terrible play by both rookie Jerron McMillian or second-year pro M.D. Jennings might do it, but that's more than likely a question for during the season. It's clear they are—as the Packers always do—preparing for that possibility.
However, we don't really know quite where Woodson fits in overall. As the weeks go on this summer, we might get a better indication, but we all know that this defense will swap him around as need be anyway, so even then, there's no such thing as a sure bet.
2. How does Randall Cobb fit in?
We've heard nothing but good things during the first few days of camp. Cobb has been sure-handed, versatile and quick in drills so far.
With Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley as well as James Jones, where does Cobb figure into the overall offensive scheme?
Cobb is quite the playmaker when he gets the ball in his hands, but with so many mouths to feed, how likely is that to happen?
If he keeps this level of play up, he will likely end up ahead of Jones, but even then, his touches are limited, aren't they?
The Packers should find a way to use him as much as possible—and in an offense which has three guys (Finley, Nelson and Jennings) attracting a lot of defensive attention, there should be plenty of room for Cobb to make things happen.
He's going to have to keep up the good work, though, because guys like Jones and Donald Driver (not to mention Diondre Borel and Tori Gurley) will be nipping at his heels all camp.
3. How are Jerel Worthy and Nick Perry doing?
More than once, we've talked about how vital it is that the front seven get pressure this year. More than once, we've targeted Worthy and Perry as the fulcrums to make that happen.
Kevin McCauley did a great job telling you why you should be excited for this defense over at Acme Packing Company, and suffice to say, a lot of it has to do with what Worthy and Perry can do. Though as McCauleey cautions, these guys are rookies, so don't go nuts.
That said, there has been a lot to like about them so far, and both guys are working hard. Worthy sounds like someone who will drive himself exceptionally hard, in fact.
Keep an eye on these guys—a ton rides on their development.
4. How do the running backs look?
Now, I fully acknowledge the fact that the Packers are not a team who stress about the running back. Indeed, even with two guys who are coming off injuries (Alex Green and James Starks) and one somewhat unknown factor in Brandon Saine, they aren't looking to add more.
That said, what happens here is still important. Starks has shown ability, if not consistency or a penchant for continuous health.
Alex Green has been looking good, and while he's not a a back who will ever reach Adrian Peterson-Arian Foster levels of play, he can do a great many things very well.
Saine has reportedly been a coaching staff favorite dating back to last year, but I haven't heard much from him yet this camp.
A reliable back who can stay healthy is important—though arguably not vital—and being able to go a season without having to reboot the position would be nice.
It's not the most critical facet of camp, but one I am very interested to see play out.
5. Graham Harrell
I guess that's not a question, or maybe Harrell is a question himself.
There is plenty of debate as to whether heading into the season with Super Bowl aspirations and an unproven backup is wise, or even sane.
And for every TJ Yates (that would be Houston's third stringer last year) who succeeds, there are a billion Caleb Hanies who implode.
The Packers have done a good job the last few years of developing quarterbacks (Flynn in particular), but it's still a huge gamble in many ways.
Of course, the flip side is, you have Aaron Rodgers, one of the toughest, if not the toughest quarterbacks in the league. How often does he go down?
Harrell, so far, looks fine. We'll see how fine over the next few weeks and whether he will do enough to allay any concerns fans might have.
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