Green Bay Packers: 5 Things to Look for Against the Cleveland Browns
The first preseason game will provide many fans with their first look at this year's team. Here are five things to pay attention to as you watch the game.
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One of the weakest components of last season's team, special teams hurt the Packers in many games. In this game, watch for the returners on both kickoffs and punts.
If the Packers can find a reliable kick returner, that would add another dimension to an already stacked team.
Rookie Alex Green should receive many reps as the kick returner with rookie Randall Cobb fielding punts. Undrafted free agent Shaky Smithson should also see reps as a returner.
A solid punt returner would take the burden off of Tramon Williams and allow him to focus solely on being a top corner.
T.J. Lang vs. Derek Sherrod
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The first-round draft pick Derek Sherrod finds himself in the midst of a competition at Left Guard. T.J. Lang (pictured) and Sherrod are the front-runners to replace the departed Daryn Colledge.
As training camp opened, Sherrod was the starter at LG. Both players have been receiving reps at the position. Like most rookies, Sherrod has had moments of brilliance mixed with moments of crucial mistakes.
A good performance from either player could do wonders in their pursuit of becoming the starter. It will be interesting to note how many snaps each player gets.
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In the last couple years, Mike McCarthy has been very limited with Aaron Rodgers in the preseason. Expecting this to continue, Matt Flynn should see plenty of reps today and throughout the rest of the preseason.
Following his spectacular performance against the Patriots last December, Flynn garnered interest around the league. He was linked to the Tennessee Titans in a potential trade for a chance to compete for their quarterback spot.
The Packers decided to keep Flynn as a valuable backup. This preseason should provide Flynn with a league-wide tryout. Flynn could get the chance to compete as a starter into next season with a new team.
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Today's game will the first time many of the fans will see the new guys. The Packers rookies have done a fairly good job picking up the playbook and adjusting to the NFL game so far.
This will be their first time suiting up in an NFL jersey. Nerves could be a factor, but all the rookies are fighting for playing time or a roster spot.
Rookies to watch for today that will be contributors this season are Derek Sherrod, Randall Cobb, Alex Green, and D.J. Williams.
Sherrod is competing for a starting spot on the offensive line. Cobb and Green will factor in the return game. Williams could see the field a lot if Jermichael Finley is unable to compete with a glute contusion.
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With veterans Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams expected to see very limited time, there is a huge opportunity for players trying to make the team as a cornerback.
The Packers have suffered some injuries at the position and will most likely spend the day without Sam Shields, Davon House, and Brandian Ross.
This means Jarrett Bush, Josh Gordy, and Pat Lee should see the field for the majority of the game. Bush is most likely on the team already because of his contributions on special teams.
The other two are fighting for roster spots with House and Ross. They will have an advantage by being healthy and getting significant playing time.