Greg Bedard reports that the Packers and first round pick B.J. Raji have agreed to terms on a contract. Finally! After nearly two weeks of holding out, the projected starting defensive end can get into camp and get reps at his new position.
This is long overdue, as Raji is now behind on his knowledge and experience in the new 3-4 scheme, and is actually listed as a backup in the depth chart just released by the Packers. However, with three preseason games and almost four weeks of practice ahead, hopes are still high for Raji to come back and earn a starting spot.
With Green Bay’s lack of proper depth on the defensive line this year, every extra snap for every d-lineman is important. Plus, having Raji and NT Ryan Pickett on the line at the same time gives Green Bay two natural run-stuffing tackles totaling over 660 pounds together. Since the line in the 3-4 is more concerned with stopping the run, the combo of those two linemen would be the best pair the Packers have to offer.
However, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported earlier that Mike Vick signed with the Eagles. There were rumors earlier linking Vick to Green Bay. While these rumors were possibly unfounded, they were exciting from a fan’s perspective.
At this point, fans are disappointed with the two quarterbacks taken in last year’s draft, Brian Brohm (2nd round) and Matt Flynn (7th round). Both have one year of limited experience under their belts now, but neither is a legitimate insurance policy for Aaron Rodgers.
Vick had four and a half years of experience as a starter, including one in which he was a 1,000 yard rusher. Granted, Brohm and Flynn have more recent experience than Vick, but could his skills diminish that much after two years? Doubtful, as he still had access to work out while he was locked up.
Also, Vick didn’t have to come in as a backup QB. He would’ve given Green Bay a legitimate wildcat option, which they lack right now. Having him on the field with the typical receiver corps, and Ryan Grant lined up next to him, opposing defenses would have to respect every option available, and Vick could easily make them pay with his legs.
Running was the way Vick became a household name – what better way to use him than giving him the option to run (not scramble) every time he touched the ball?
At the end of the day, however, Vick is no longer an option and the Packers are still shaky at backup QB. No more thinking about this topic, as it’s just a “what if” scenario. I’ll look ahead at what the Packers do have in the next post…I had to vent.
Note: Originally written on August 13, 2009