I was on the air with CHAD HOLMES @ ESPN Radio 100.5 in Wausau last night and he brought up a plethora of PACKERS questions for discussion. Since there is no posting of the show to send you to I thought I’d summarize some of our topics that might be of interest to PACKERS fans.
We discussed the lack of off-season OTAs and such this year, and whether or not it hurts the PACKERS, or gives them a slight advantage as an experienced, defending Super BOwl squad. Other than teams with new coaching staffs I think the PACKERS as a team will be hurt by the 4+ months of no contact. I say that primarily because under the TED THOMPSON regime this team relies of developing younger players to develop into starters.
Any time they lost that could have spent working with young guys like NICK McDONALD, FRANK ZOMBO, MARSHALL NEWHOUSE, JAMES STARKS, et al (not to mention their Rookies) can’t be regained. And progress lost, though hard to gauge, is a consequence of the Lockout. If the team should suffer through an injury plagued campaign such as last year, then time not spent developing these back-ups could be felt on the field of play.
I reiterated that i felt the two places the PACKERS face a personnel challenge this season could be the DL and ILB positions. AFter HAWK & BISHOP I see ROBERT FRANCOIS & D.J. SMITH (R) as the next men up. I see lots to like abut both these young guys, but i am not sure how effective they would be if called upon to play a lot early in the season because of injury to the starters.
Between knucklehead JOLLY and VFA loss JENKINS I am also a bit concerned about the DL rotation. That has become especially true with early injury issues with MIKE NEAL who was slotted to start in place of JENKINS. “next Man Up” is the football rallying cry, but right now HOWARD GREEN, JARIUS WYNN & LAWRENCE GUY don’t look like fill-in candidates that inspire Super Bowl repeat visions in my head.