Green Bay Packers Forum

Welcome to your Green Bay Packers Online Community!

Since 2006, PackersHome has been providing a unique experience for fans.
Your participation is greatly anticipated!
Login or Register.
Go to last post Go to first unread
Offline MintBaconDrivel  
#1 Posted : Sunday, July 14, 2013 9:43:37 AM(UTC)
Rank: Member

United States
Joined: 12/11/2012(UTC)
Applause Received: 117
Jason Wilde said:
GREEN BAY — May the best man win.

Less than two weeks from the start of training camp, that's still the Green Bay Packers' mentality at safety, where third-year man M.D. Jennings and second-year man Jerron McMillian are set to duel for the starting spot opposite Morgan Burnett.

"I'm just enjoying watching them compete and seeing who steps up and becomes that guy," safeties coach Darren Perry said as the offseason organized team activity practices came to an end. "I think both of them realize this is a great opportunity for them to shine. It's already started, but they know the final analysis is going to come with the pads on and when we get into the games and so forth.

"Not that OTAs and training camp won't be just as important, but obviously it's going to come down to how you conduct yourself and how you perform on the field when we get into those games. So it'll be fun to watch."

It'll also be vital to the defense that one of them makes a significant leap forward and proves worthy of the starting job. A year ago, the Packers cut ties with reliable veteran safety Charlie Peprah on the eve of training camp, even though Peprah had been a solid starter on the 2010 Super Bowl XLV-winning team after Burnett suffered a season-ending knee injury, and in 2011 when three-time Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins suffered what turned out to be a career-ending neck injury.

General manager Ted Thompson and the coaching staff felt that Jennings, who'd made the team as an undrafted free agent in 2011, and McMillian, whom the team had picked in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, could handle being a spot-starter if something happened to Burnett or veteran Charles Woodson, who was converting to safety. As it turned out, Woodson suffered a fractured collarbone on Oct. 21 in St. Louis and wound up missing the remainder of the regular season, forcing Jennings and McMillian into the lineup both in the base defense and in the dime package.

Although Jennings started all nine games Woodson missed, the two young safeties ended up playing almost the same number of snaps. Jennings played 616 snaps in 18 games (including playoffs) and finished with 51 tackles, one interception (which he returned 72 yards for a touchdown) and eight passes broken up. McMillian didn't start a game but played 614 snaps in 18 games and finished with 31 tackles, one interception and 13 pass breakups.

"I think right now there's excellent competition between those two guys," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said.

The Packers must think one or both of them can handle the job because this year's draft was especially deep at the safety position, and the Packers not only didn't pick one in the first round, they didn't pick one at all. Although it's conceivable that there were safeties they liked who didn't have high enough draft grades to be selected when they were on the clock, the reality is that if Thompson was genuinely worried about Jennings or McMillian, he'd have maneuvered to add one. And he didn't.

"Those guys, they got better as the year went on. They have another year under their belt, so they understand the defense," Burnett said. "Those guys are athletic and they're very smart players."

In the Packers' scheme, they want their safeties to be interchangeable. But after Woodson, who was playing the strong safety spot, went down, the sturdier 6-foot-1, 209-pound Burnett spent more time at strong safety while the slight Jennings (who is listed at 6-0, 195 pounds). The 5-11, 203-pound McMillian brought a physicality that the defense at times lacked last season, so if he can prove worthy of a starting spot, it would allow Burnett to spend more time in centerfield.

When the season began and Woodson was healthy, it was Jennings who came in at safety in sub packages as Woodson shifted to cover the slot. But after struggling in the opener against San Francisco, Jennings was benched in favor of McMillian, who held the role for the next four weeks also the issue of the two inside spots in the dime defense, where fellow rookie Casey Hayward and McMillian spent time last season. Before Woodson's injury, McMillian came in at safety as Woodson would move to cover the slot.

With Woodson having been released Feb. 15, McMillian worked at both safety and inside in the nickel and dime during OTAs and minicamp while Jennings worked only at safety. The Packers also have Hayward and rookie Micah Hyde who can play inside, and Capers was working various other combinations during the offseason as well.

But the primary job opening is at safety, where barring an unexpected street free-agent signing by the veteran-averse Thompson, it'll be McMillian vs. Jennings starting July 26.

"Right now, they want us to compete and push each other, and make each other better," McMillian said. "If they did bring another safety in or they didn't, you still have to compete with the guys who are here."<div><strong><u>About The 20 Most Important Packers of 2013 series presented by West Bend </u></strong></div><div> The 20 Most Important Packers of 2013 list is not a list of the 20 best players on the team's roster. Rather, the primary factors are the individual player's talent, the inherent importance of the position he plays and the team's depth at the position. Think of it as a list of the 20 players the team can least afford to lose if it wants to return to the Super Bowl. The list was formulated through offseason conversations with players and coaches, as well as statistical reviews and player evaluations by and others.</div><div> Agree? Disagree? Comment below, or chime in via social media at the ESPNMilwaukee Facebook page or on Twitter to @jasonjwilde, @ESPNMilwaukee or @ESPNMadison.</div>
Rss Feed 
Users browsing this topic
Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.



Fan Shout
Zero2Cool (15h) : Sports Center was wrong. Reports are Gronkowski not serious
Zero2Cool (16h) : MRI confirms torn ACL and MCL for Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski
Zero2Cool (19h) : .. and dropping lol
DaddysGirl03 (22h) : Ha-ha, zero. Third place..... :)
Zero2Cool (29-Nov) : woohoo
TheKanataThrilla (29-Nov) : Back in 2nd
buckeyepackfan (26-Nov) : Happy Birthday Grizz!!!!
buckeyepackfan (26-Nov) : GAMEDAY! GO! PACK! GO!
buckeyepackfan (26-Nov) : HAPPY THANKSGIVING PACKER FANS!
Mucky Tundra (26-Nov) : oh sure, now it works for me
Mucky Tundra (26-Nov) : is this working now?
Tezzy (26-Nov) : Gobble! Gobble!
porky88 (26-Nov) : Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!
yooperfan (26-Nov) : Game Day! Happy Thanksgiving!
Zero2Cool (25-Nov) : Micah Hyde is Questionable
Zero2Cool (25-Nov) : TE Martellus Bennett won't play on Thursday night
gbguy20 (25-Nov) : any news on Hyde?
Zero2Cool (24-Nov) : Yes
Zero2Cool (23-Nov) : Today's Birthdays: polargrizz (61)
Smokey (22-Nov) : Game On in CHAT
packerfanoutwest (22-Nov) : false start on Newton was not called
hardrocker950 (22-Nov) : Skins are keeping pace with Carolina
buckeyepackfan (22-Nov) : GAMEDAY! GO! PACK! GO!
buckeyepackfan (22-Nov) : GOOD MORNING PACKER FANS!
yooperfan (22-Nov) : Game Day! Biggest game of the year to date.
yooperfan (21-Nov) : Loved seeing Ohio State get beaten
Zero2Cool (19-Nov) : Who ya got in tonight's game?
Zero2Cool (18-Nov) : Damn! Jared Abbrederis (ribs) is going to be several weeks.
Mucky Tundra (18-Nov) : haha get rekt
gbguy20 (18-Nov) : thataboy kevin
Zero2Cool (18-Nov) : Looking forward to more intelligent commentary from Aikman. Lucky we get a good crew again.
Zero2Cool (18-Nov) : Feel free to frequent them. I couldn't care less about your accusations.
texaspackerbacker (18-Nov) : there are a lot of places that don't have megalomanic moderators sticking their noses in/deleting posts/shit like that.
Wade (17-Nov) : since I don't have time to post much, and less time to write, it's a moot point for me.
Zero2Cool (17-Nov) : When people can talk politics and religion without putting one another down, maybe then. Otherwise, take it elsewhere and leave it there.
Please sign in to use Fan Shout

Road To Super Bowl 50
Sunday, Sep 13 @ 12:00 PM
at Bears
Sunday, Sep 20 @ 7:30 PM
Monday, Sep 28 @ 7:30 PM
Sunday, Oct 4 @ 3:25 PM
at 49ers
Sunday, Oct 11 @ 12:00 PM
Sunday, Oct 18 @ 3:25 PM
Sunday, Oct 25 @ 12:00 AM
- BYE -
Sunday, Nov 1 @ 7:30 PM
at Broncos
Sunday, Nov 8 @ 12:00 PM
at Panthers
Sunday, Nov 15 @ 12:00 PM
Sunday, Nov 22 @ 3:25 PM
at Vikings
Thursday, Nov 26 @ 7:30 PM
Thursday, Dec 3 @ 7:25 PM
at Lions
Sunday, Dec 13 @ 3:25 PM
Sunday, Dec 20 @ 3:05 PM
at Raiders
Sunday, Dec 27 @ 3:25 PM
at Cardinals
Sunday, Jan 3 @ 12:00 PM

Think About It
Think About It

Recent Topics
33m / Green Bay Packers Talk / Porforis

41m / Green Bay Packers Talk / Porforis

2h / Green Bay Packers Talk / hardrocker950

2h / Green Bay Packers Talk / Zero2Cool

3h / Green Bay Packers Talk / RainX

3h / Green Bay Packers Talk / dhazer

4h / Green Bay Packers Talk / musccy

6h / Green Bay Packers Talk / nerdmann

6h / Green Bay Packers Talk / Zero2Cool

6h / Green Bay Packers Talk / nerdmann

9h / Green Bay Packers Talk / yooperfan

16h / Green Bay Packers Talk / beast

18h / Green Bay Packers Talk / Zero2Cool

19h / Green Bay Packers Talk / beast

20h / Green Bay Packers Talk / beast