. 1 OCCASIONS
While Packers General Manager discussed and decided on Brian Gutekunst and Coach Matt LaFleur The starters become, according to LaFleur, "a quarter or so "which gives the guys who fight for the roster spots enough opportunity to show what they can do against the Ravens.
Gutekunst faces some challenging decision positions in the coming weeks, including at Wide Receiver, in which except for violations Davante Adams Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling A roster of duties and former UW Whitewater star Jake Kumerow (above) should be on the rise. Thereafter, one can only assume that Receiver / Returner Trevor Davis went bankrupt due to a spiked injury J & # 39; Mon Moore continued his inconsistent game Equanimeous St. Brown ] have a quiet camp, put Allen Lazard a legitimate challenge for a roster and earn Darrius Shepherd attention.
Beyond the receiver, there are a lot of young cornerbacks in the mix for roster spots, insecurity behind the offensive starters and a jumble of teens following the starter attack on the center-back Oren Burks injured Houston against the chest at last week's kick-off. Afterwards, they have two more chances: The team's excursion to Canada on August 22 against the Oakland Raiders at Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the pre-season final against Kansas City on Aug. 29 are their last opportunity before Aug. 31's reduction of the final roster from 90 to 53.
"I think it's wide open, very open. I know from the beginning that no decisions have been made at all, "said Gutekunst this week. "I think we're happy about the competition in many places, but I've been around long enough to know that the boys are in that fourth preseason match as well.
"I think that's not a good deal for us to close the doors so early. There is a lot of football to play. Part of it is being able to show up every day, being consistent, staying healthy and being on the field. I think there's a lot to prove before we get to the point where we're ready to make those calls. "
. 2 TROUBLESHOOTING
Packers Inside Linebacker's Coach Kirk Olivadotti ridiculed the idea, though he's an old-school coach who remembers tackling being a colossal part of any NFL Training camp was.
"The expectation is the same, but the process is obviously different than it was a while ago," Olivadotti replied last week, when hardly a team – not even the most confident, injury-deficient Packers – had missed missed matches in the preseason in practice more. "The progress of (working on) has probably changed, but the expectations of our end have not changed."
If that's the case, the packers will subsequently expect a significant improvement in this area against the Ravens. According to LaFleur, they have missed a whopping 24 tackles against defenders and special teams against the Texans.
"In today's NFL, there are very few teams that bring boys to the ground and have a number of dueling practices and full contact," said LaFleur this week. "You have to put it into drilling, and we emphasize it and drill it, and you have to drill it every day.
"The expectation is that you always bring the boys to the ground. The standard will never change and is never an excuse. But I think you have some younger people who may not be so used to it yet. It might take a minute to find out. But the standard is the standard. "
Added Gutekunst: Obviously we did not do a very good defense in our first game, so let's take a look at how we get to Game 2, Game 3 and Game 4, with individuals again the first game and the first time we hit the ground, if these problems remain the same in Game 2, 3 and 4, this may be a bigger problem. "
3. & # 39; SHEP & # 39; STANDS OUT
Probably the most impressive piece in the Packers' 28-26 victory against the Texans this past week came from Darrius Shepherd ] (above), who sailed a 14-yard touchdown pass from Quarterback # 2 DeShone Kizer with an acrobatic, body-focused catch after Kizer's throw – not only packed but also hard Hits by Houston Cornerback Johnson Bade mosi absorbed and held in the head and left shoulder.
The preseason is about making games that will earn you more opportunities to make more games. And that's exactly what the little 5 foot 11, 186 pound Shepherd dog, a naughty newcomer from North Dakota, did.
"He did a good job," Gutekunst said. "He had a pretty productive year with a pretty good program – but a smaller one – (in NDSU). Obviously he's not the biggest player out there. His measurements are usually not what you're looking for and did not go very fast on his pro day. But he is a football player. He has the instinctive ability to find spots, to open up and catch the ball.
"He has been a nice surprise to us so far, still a long way to go, but he deserves more opportunities."
Shepherd knows all about making a living. While the Packers signed a number of uncovered rookies right after the draft, Shepherd had to come to her rookie mini-camp after the draft as a tryout player and claim a place on the 90-man squad with a strong performance during those two sessions to back up. If he had not caught the Scout Team's attention, who knows where he would be.
"He was certainly one to keep an eye on," said Gutekunst, whose Boy Scouts engage in the college film of all auditioners who invite them before they come to the Rookie Camp – just to get an idea of it to get which auditioners have the best chances to get the right to stay. "He had some productivity in North Dakota. He is versatile enough to be a receiver and to play a slot receiver. Matt wants to play with a bit, but he was also a pretty solid punt returner. He is one of those who can do more. You have a bit more benefits when it comes to it.
Jason Wilde covers the Packers for ESPN Wisconsin. Listen to him at 100.5 FM ESPN Madison with Former Offensive Lineman Mark Tauscher from Packers and Badgers during the week from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at "Wilde & Tausch".