Green Bay Packers Training Camp: 5 Early Storylines to Watch
There are only a handful of days until training camp starts for the Green Bay Packers.
This is when things will get really quite exciting in Green Bay. Players are going to cement their status on the team, while others will see their future with the Packers begin to crumble.
Over the next few weeks there will be a good amount of storylines to follow. Today we'll look at five early storylines to keep an eye on as the Packers take the field for training camp.
How Good Is the Depth at Wide Receiver?
With players like Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Jarrett Boykin and Davante Adams, it's easy to get excited about the depth at wide receiver. However, outside of Nelson and Cobb, the receiving corps is really filled with unknown players.
I’m excited about the guys we brought in, also excited about the possibility of some guys coming back. Jarrett [Boykin] came off a season where he really improved, Myles [White] did some really nice things and Chris Harper showed signs as well during practice. It’s a deep group. I think it could be as deep a group as we’ve had here. It might not be the big names like we had in the past when we had the whole stable of guys, but I think you could definitely see us keeping six guys there in that position because we are pretty deep group.
Rodgers has had some talented groups of receivers in the past, but he clearly thinks this one could be the best. It'll be interesting to see just how well guys like Boykin, Adams, Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis perform once the pads come on.
If this group is really as deep as everyone seems to think it is, we could see one of the best offenses in Green Bay in recent history.
Can Andrew Quarless Make Up Some Ground?
When it was clear that tight end Jermichael Finley wasn't coming back, all eyes turned to Andrew Quarless. Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to solidify his spot atop the depth chart, as he missed all of OTAs and minicamp with an undisclosed injury.
What his absence allowed was for rookie tight end Richard Rodgers to make a run at his starting job. In fact, Rodgers was widely considered as the MVP of spring practices.
Now with training camp ready to get underway, can Quarless do enough to make up the ground he lost during OTAs? There's no doubt that Quarless is a more complete player than Rodgers, but he also lacks the ceiling of a player like Rodgers or Colt Lyerla.
The battle of the tight ends will be one of the most intriguing to watch during training camp. Keeping an eye on Quarless will be necessary to see if he can win back his starting spot.
Is Jerel Worthy in Trouble of Losing His Spot on the Roster?
Defensive end Jerel Worthy is only entering this third year in the league. He was expected to already be a big contributor for the Packers defense.
Unfortunately, things haven't gone as smooth for the former Michigan State defender. He's been continuously hampered by injuries and has been generally ineffective when he's on the field.
Worthy has missed all of the offseason, and ESPN's Rob Demovsky isn't even sure he'll be ready for training camp. With the Packers needing improved production from their defensive line, a hurt Worthy doesn't help them at all.
If Worthy misses a good chunk of training camp, don't be surprised if he's one of the bigger names cut from the final roster.
Will Julius Peppers Really Be Able to Make an Impact?
The Packers usually don't sign big-name free agents, which is why the signing of Julius Peppers has been so noteworthy for the franchise. There's also legitimate reason for the Packers to be excited about the impact Peppers can potentially make since they've never had a physical specimen like Peppers on the roster.
However, it's important to keep expectations in check when dealing with Peppers. He's 34 years old and coming off one of his least productive seasons during his career. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers spoke with Pete Dougherty at the Green Bay Press-Gazette about what Peppers could potentially bring to the roster:
We'll have to find the happy medium there. He does have the ability to make difference-maker-type plays, and that's a big part of the game nowadays. We'll have to find what we think is the right number of plays. But he can certainly do all the things we're asking him to do. We'll just have to get a feel for that as we make our way closer to the opener.
One of the big concerns that Capers briefly speaks about is finding the right amount of snaps for Peppers. The last thing the Packers want to do is wear Peppers out to the point that he can't make an impact late in the season or in the playoffs.
Seeing what Peppers can do for the Packers defense in pads for the first time this weekend will be a good indicator of just how big of an impact he can make.
Is Safety the Position to Watch During Training Camp?
There's no doubt that the safeties needed the most influx of talent this offseason. While the drafting of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix certainly helped, it might not be enough to fix all the issues from last year.
That's why the safety position will be the position to watch during training camp. First, it'll be interesting to see just how big of an impact Clinton-Dix makes. If he's the player that everyone talked him up to be during the draft, he should be able to step in right away and be an impact player.
Another player to watch is Micah Hyde, who took all of the first-team snaps at safety during OTAs. He's expected to play more of a hybrid role but could definitely push for a starting job with a strong training camp.
Overall, there is a lot to like about the safeties, but there are also still some major concerns that need to get figured out. No position will be more important to watch than the safeties during training camp.