Discussion Board
Welcome Guest! You can login or register. Login or Register.

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
MintBaconDrivel  
#1 Posted : Sunday, July 14, 2013 9:43:37 AM(UTC)
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 ProFootballFocus.com 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
Guest
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.

Notification

Icon
Error

Fan Shout
Smokey (22-Aug) : LOL !
Tezzy (21-Aug) : it's a trap
Zero2Cool (21-Aug) : check your PM's please
Zero2Cool (21-Aug) : steveishere
Zero2Cool (21-Aug) : Great, Goodell was extended????
Smokey (21-Aug) : NOT A FORUM MEMBER ? JOIN US AND SHARE YOUR VIEWS !
Zero2Cool (20-Aug) : two slots open...time is ticking for those two.
Tezzy (20-Aug) : Did you fill?
Cheesey (20-Aug) : Dang Wayne, I'm trying not to cry. But it's a losing battle. My heart aches for you.
Zero2Cool (20-Aug) : You want in, you're in. :-)
Zero2Cool (20-Aug) : Need just one person to join PH fantasy league so we have ten. Not chasing everyone around anymore.
wpr (20-Aug) : Liver, pizza, brushed, short walk, ear scratches sat on my lap.
Smokey (19-Aug) : love, love, love .
gbguy20 (19-Aug) : lots of tasty people food, car rides, go to a lake, just something out of the usual and lots of attention
gbguy20 (19-Aug) : just make sure you give him an awesome weekend before Monday comes.
Cheesey (19-Aug) : We had to do that 2 years ago to our 15 year old beloved Seth. It's never easy. I'm here for you if you want to talk.
Cheesey (19-Aug) : Wayne, I know how hard that is. Loving them enough to let them go. I''m so sorry!
buckeyepackfan (19-Aug) : Sorry to hear wpr. I had to do the same several years ago. He also was 15. Just know you are easing his pain.
Smokey (19-Aug) : HELLO DAVE !
wpr (19-Aug) : He's a mix. Shepard, Aussy Blue, Border Collie
Porforis (18-Aug) : Good grief... You're the third person I know this week that's had to do that. I'm sorry :(
Zero2Cool (18-Aug) : damn that sucks Wayne... sorry buddy
beast (18-Aug) : Sorry wpr :(
Smokey (18-Aug) : I love dogs, what is the dogs breed ?
wpr (18-Aug) : I spoke with my vet. I am going to put my 16 yo dog down on Mon.
rabidgopher04 (18-Aug) : Coincidentally when I saw the Red Sox in Boston it was against the Brewers.
wpr (17-Aug) : Good idea Z.
wpr (17-Aug) : I tapped my savings to spend time with my son.
Zero2Cool (17-Aug) : I'll have to find a time when Brewers play Red Sox at Fenway. Both teams, one location!
wpr (17-Aug) : Why do you need to be a jerk? I live in a modest home. My kids are out of the house. My wife and I both work. My son paid for most of it. I
Smokey (17-Aug) : Yes, Insurance Agents do well . You must feel so superior .
rabidgopher04 (17-Aug) : Fenway is electric. Great place to watch baseball. I've been a couple times.
wpr (17-Aug) : A few have it already. Most have to save it to do things.
wpr (17-Aug) : Yes Smokey, life takes money to do anything.
Smokey (16-Aug) : IF THEY HAVE THE MONEY !
Please sign in to use Fan Shout
2017 Packers Schedule
Sunday, Sep 10 @ 3:25 PM
SEAHAWKS
Sunday, Sep 17 @ 7:30 PM
at Falcons
Sunday, Sep 24 @ 3:25 PM
BENGALS
Thursday, Sep 28 @ 7:25 PM
BEARS
Sunday, Oct 8 @ 3:25 PM
at Cowboys
Sunday, Oct 15 @ 12:00 PM
at Vikings
Sunday, Oct 22 @ 12:00 PM
SAINTS
Sunday, Oct 29 @ 12:00 AM
- BYE -
Monday, Nov 6 @ 7:30 PM
LIONS
Sunday, Nov 12 @ 12:00 PM
at Bears
Sunday, Nov 19 @ 12:00 PM
RAVENS
Sunday, Nov 26 @ 7:30 PM
at Steelers
Sunday, Dec 3 @ 12:00 PM
BUCCANEERS
Sunday, Dec 10 @ 12:00 PM
at Browns
Sunday, Dec 17 @ 12:00 PM
at Panthers
Saturday, Dec 23 @ 7:30 PM
VIKINGS
Sunday, Dec 31 @ 12:00 PM
at Lions
Think About It
Think About It
Recent Topics
25m / Green Bay Packers Talk / uffda udfa

34m / Green Bay Packers Talk / uffda udfa

42m / Green Bay Packers Talk / Smokey

52m / Green Bay Packers Talk / Cheesey

4h / Green Bay Packers Talk / Zero2Cool

5h / Green Bay Packers Talk / nerdmann

7h / Green Bay Packers Talk / beast

18h / Green Bay Packers Talk / nerdmann

18h / Green Bay Packers Talk / nerdmann

20h / Green Bay Packers Talk / Smokey

22-Aug / Green Bay Packers Talk / wpr

22-Aug / Green Bay Packers Talk / wpr

22-Aug / Green Bay Packers Talk / DarkaneRules

22-Aug / Green Bay Packers Talk / DarkaneRules

22-Aug / Green Bay Packers Talk / Cheesey

Headlines