Pack has changes in mind

Print Article

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Following the Packers drubbing at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons in last seasons NFC Championship, quarterback Aaron Rodgers said the team needed to “reload” and “make sure” it went “all-in every year to win.”

The Packers revamped roster convened for the first time Tuesday for the start of the offseason program.

“Its Day 1,” Rodgers said. “Were going to wait and see how everybody looks moving forward, but I like the pieces weve put in.”

This has been an offseason with an unusual amount of turnover on the depth chart, at least for the Packers. While Green Bay has not replaced burly running back Eddie Lacy or Pro Bowl guard T.J. Lang, it did swap out one tight end (Jared Cook) with two tight ends (Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks). That will provide a dramatic new look to an offense that used to rely on three-receiver sets under coach Mike McCarthy.

“I think we saw a shift last year as we shifted away from really an 11 personnel — three receiver, one tight end, one running back (almost) exclusively — to really mixing things up,” Rodgers said. “Mike did a great job of that, of really evolving the offense and trying to get more people involved as we saw it was going to be important that we didnt just stick in one personnel group.”

With the draft next week, the Packers likely will add another piece to a backfield puzzle that is led by converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery. Whoever lines up at running back will see more two-tight-end personnel groups than Green Bay has used the past few seasons, with McCarthy taking advantage of the options provided by Bennett, Kendricks and holdover Richard Rodgers.

“I think were going to have a lot more flexibility in that package,” Rodgers said. That “is more of a run-pass balance personnel. The opportunity to put two guys on the line of scrimmage and have an opportunity to run right, run left and then run all of our vertical passing game is going to be something that could definitely change and be more difficult to stop.”

Change is on the way on defense, too, and that starts with its most recognizable player. McCarthy has signaled that Clay Matthews, who is coming off the worst statistical season of his career with five sacks and 24 tackles, will move around the defense more than he did last season.

“I think the flexibility of myself being able to play multiple positions is really going to help this defense out,” Matthews said. “Its really early right now, but I wouldnt be surprised if I end up playing all over the defense.”

With outside linebackers Julius Peppers and Datone Jones leaving in free agency, it will be up to Matthews, returning standout Nick Perry, and unproven youngsters Kyler Fackrell and Jayrone Elliott to help bolster a defense that finished 21st in points allowed during the season and was gouged for 44 points by the Falcons in the championship game.

“I just had this conversation with Nick when we got into town,” Matthews said. “Weve had years where Nicks had an exceptional year, like last year, and I was bitten by the injury bug. And Ive had years when Ive gotten after the quarterback and he hasnt been able to finish the season. If youre able to put us together, I think the possibilities are great.”

Print Article

Read More Sports News

UW upsets No. 6 Purdue in Madison

February 16, 2018 at 4:00 pm | MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Ethan Happ made his mentor proud. On a night when Wisconsin honored Frank Kaminsky, one of the best players in program history, Happ led the current crop of Badgers to their big...

Comments

Read More

Tough day for US in Olympics

February 16, 2018 at 4:00 pm | PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) - It was a rough day in Pyeongchang for Mikaela Shiffrin and Nathan Chen. The 22-year-old Shiffrin finished fourth in the women's Olympic slalom on Friday, failing to w...

Comments

Read More

Bucks fall

February 16, 2018 at 4:00 pm | MILWAUKEE (AP) - Nikola Jokic had a triple-double wrapped up in the first half, and the Denver Nuggets put together one of the best 3-point shooting nights in league history in a 134-123 victory over...

Comments

Read More

Cantlay takes early lead at Genesis Open

February 16, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Beloit Daily News LOS ANGELES (AP) - The guy who grew up 40 miles away, first played Riviera as a teenager and was out of golf with a bad back returned Thursday and shared the lead at the Genesis Open. That would be ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(608) 365-8811
149 State Street
Beloit, WI 53511

©2018 Beloit Daily News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X