Am I one of the only ones? I like Preseason! I look forward to it. When else can you see how the development of players is progressing? Did that second year player take a step up? How does that last years injured player look?
How often do the back ups and future back ups get extended playing time? Seeing the second team out there on both sides of the ball, even the 3rd teamers can be entertaining. Those second and 3rd teamers are in many cases the future of the team.
Depth is a key part of having a real contender and we get to see them in more than just a few snaps.
I want to know who is the best 2nd team OT, Center, Guard? Who will the rotation of Defensive linemen to be built out of? Who is the 3rd, 4th, 5th Wide Receiver? Does the OLB group have enough talent to keep a good rotation the field even without Matthews?
At Safety does Richardson push for playing time? How has Hyde made the transition? At TE who starts? What players are really pushing to get playing time?
And what I like most is seeing anyone of the young players giving it everything to just make the practice squad and some times a older player trying to keep his job.
Some of the battles I am most interested in are Sherrod Vs. Baktiari, most have written off Sherrod and handed the starting job to Baktiari. I am not one of them. Any time you have a first round pick, a Prototypical NFL LT at 6-6 321# and now healthy, he should in no way be written off. In the least he gives them a Swing tackle that will be the best they have had since Ted Thompson has been GM and really long before that. Tretter and Linsley is one of the most important battles of this camp.
Who makes it as the back up OG’s? How does Barclay look at OG, I think he can be a Pro Bowl OG.
One of the big questions to me is how will Peppers be listed on the depth chart. As a Olb or a DE. He has been working primarily at OLB and that is understandable, he has not played that position.
The elephant DE is something the Packers have not used before, but Peppers has done that most of his career. So with that you have Matthews, Neal, Perry, Mulumba, Palmer, Bradford and Elliot and Hubbard all OLB’s. They will keep 4 or 5 Olb’s. You have 5 players fighting for what most likely will be one or two spots, one is a 4th round pick this year and two others have NFL playing time.
The defensive line change is a huge part of the defense being better. I don’t care if you have all pro’s behind them, if the Defensive line does not do the job the defense does not take a step up. Can you tell I am all about the Lines on both sides of the ball being the key to everything. Gone are the Jolly, Pickett type Defensive linemen. I have bitched for years now that Raji should never play DE. His best play and most productive time on the field has been at NT.
All indications are that the defensive line is going to be more one gap attacking type of defense. Raji fits that better then any other position. And quite frankly he is fighting for his NFL life.
Jones stayed in Green Bay all off season. Boyd is one of those second year step up guys too, do they both take that step? Thorton is a perfect one gap DE/NT I think he can play both. Guion will be interesting to see play. Does the team now have a real rotational NT to go with Raji to keep him fresh? And a key question is who do they find to go with Daniels in Nickel and Dime? Daniels is another player I think should not play DE, and would best be played in rotation to keep him nasty.
CB is very competitive, Safety is now competitive with the addition of HHCD and Hyde. There has been a lot of good talk about Richardson, he gives the team a different strong Safety type. One of the things the Capers defense has been missing is interchangeable Safeties, they will have that now, not only interchangeable Safeties, but Safeties that can slide to the slot and play CB too.
One question that has been talked to death is the ILB position, we can pretty much tell who will be the starters. But for me I want to see Barrington, has he taken that second year step? Has Lattimore continued his development and push both Jones and Hawk hard or at least earn rotational, situational playing time? Does my favorite UDFA ILB Jake Doughty make a push to stay with the team.
Lots of questions out there, Lots will be answered in those preseason games. That’s why I like preseason.