Rounding Up the Latest Green Bay Packers Offseason Buzz
The slowest part of the offseason is in full swing for the Green Bay Packers. OTAs have finished up and the next major dates for the team are mandatory minicamp from June 17-19 and training camp starting July 26.
While news during this time of the offseason comes in short bursts, there is still plenty of offseason buzz happening around Green Bay. From players standing out to the return of ex-quarterbacks, there is plenty of things that you still need to know about.
Let's take a look at the six most buzzworthy bits of news to come out from the Packers offseason these past few days.
The Return of Brett Favre
There is no gray area with Brett Favre; you either love him or hate him. However, the Packers organization is intent on making things right with Favre as they continuously ask him to come back to Green Bay.
Well, it appears that it might finally be happening heading into the 2014 season. Favre appears ready to return to Green Bay, according to Wes Hodkiewicz of USA Today. Favre recently had this to say about going back:
It's going to happen, I'll be back up there. Again, my career in Green Bay, I wouldn't trade it for anything. It was awesome. The people were awesome, and I just think everything's going to be fine and, in my opinion, it is now. It's just a matter of getting back up there.
The thing with Favre's return is that some people are going to absolutely hate it. They have no desire to forgive someone who retired then un-retired and went to play for a hated rival team.
However, even those people should be thankful that they won't have to hear about Favre anymore. And even if you do hate Favre now, you cannot deny the immense amount of good that he did for the franchise as a whole.
So, either way you look at it, it'll be a good day when Favre finally comes back to the Packers.
Don't Forget About Jarrett Boykin
Ever since the Packers drafted wide receiver Davante Adams in the second round, Jarrett Boykin has become a forgotten member of the Packers. Some, myself included, have already written off Boykin as losing his No. 3 job to Adams.
However, Boykin isn't quite ready to give up his starting job just yet. Despite the Packers spending an early round pick on Adams, Boykin still figures to be a pretty large part of the offense.
In fact, Boykin's growth last year was probably a huge reason why the Packers felt comfortable letting James Jones walk in free agency. Boykin's entering this offseason with a "dog" mentality, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
When talking about this mentality, Boykin says:
Oh, man, did I have it? I carry it with me everywhere, Boykin said. I've never believed that I can be stopped. You can't ask a receiver, 'Do you think someone's going to stop you?' What are they going to say, 'Yes?' No, you've got to have that. Even if you have to trick your mind or whatever. That's my mentality is just be a dog out there.
Even if Boykin does start the season behind Adams on the depth chart, it wouldn't be surprising to see him work his way onto the field. He's got an incredible desire and work ethic to be the best player he can possibly be.
And as we saw last year at times, his best is pretty dang good.
Are Some Familiar Names Going to Return?
This offseason brought quite a bit of change for the Packers. They lost big-name players like Jones and center Evan Dietrich-Smith to free agency.
However, there are also a handful of other longtime Packers who haven't found a roster yet. Tight end Jermichael Finley, defensive tackle Ryan Pickett and defensive end Johnny Jolly all remain free agents.
While it doesn't seem very likely any of the above players will come back to Green Bay for the 2014 season, it shouldn't be ruled out just yet. In fact, head coach Mike McCarthy has even said that the door is still open for all three players to return, according to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk.
What could ultimately make the return difficult is the fact that the Packers have pretty decent depth at all three positions. It'd be hard to imagine any of those three players starting, with the exception of Finley.
If Pickett, Finley and Jolly remain free agents for the remainder of the offseason, the Packers could eventually call on them should they struggle with injuries during training camp and the preseason.
Is Datone Jones Set for a Breakout Campaign
To call defensive end Datone Jones' rookie season a disappointment would be more than fair. Despite playing in all 16 games and finishing the year with 3.5 sacks, Jones failed to make a consistent impact like many expected him to.
Well, now Jones is a year older, a year wiser and ready to step his game up. The biggest thing he's going to change is how he attacks offensive linemen.
Jones said that he tried to finesse offensive linemen last year, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN. This year, he plans to use more power:
After last year, I had a chance to reevaluate my game, Jones said. I noticed that I could have come with a lot more power because I'm a strong guy, and I was telling Mike that's one thing I need to keep doing is use my power more.
What ultimately makes Jones such a unique player is his incredible athleticism. So, adding power to that in order to make a larger impact should make the second-year defensive end an extremely dangerous player.
Look for Jones to have a huge breakout campaign this year and establish himself as one of the better young defensive ends in the league.
More Interceptions Coming for the Secondary?
Last year was a bad year to be a member of the secondary in Green Bay. With all the terrible statistics the group managed in 2013, the worst was the fact they only had 11 interceptions all season.
This year a few members of the secondary are trying a new technique to hopefully improve that pitiful number. Cornerbacks Davon House and Tramon Williams are working with tennis balls this offseason to make their hand-eye coordination better, according to Hodkiewicz of PackersNews.com.
This is certainly an interesting move for Williams and House, but the Packers could really use any boost in turnovers they can get this year. One thing they should consider, however, is inviting safety Morgan Burnett, who recorded zero interceptions last year, to come practice with them.
Should Injuries to Outside Linebackers Be Worrisome?
The 2013 season was one that was impacted in a major way by injuries. It almost felt like every key player missed at least some time with an injury last year.
While the Packers are hoping to stay healthy this year, there were two players injured during OTAs that were a little worrisome. Starting outside linebackers Nick Perry and Clay Matthews were both out for all practices these past few weeks, according to Demovsky.
Matthews' injury is the same he suffered last year, which was a broken thumb. Perry's injury, however, is unknown, but it was serious enough to keep him off the field these past few weeks.
It's definitely still early to get too worried about these players, but both need to have a close eye kept on them throughout the remainder of the offseason. Should the Packers get into training camp and neither Perry nor Matthews is on the field, then it'll be time to start panicking.
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