Confessions of a Polluted Mindset - Almost There...

The Weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

Seven More Days - Next Wednesday, the Green Bay Packers will take the practice field to kick off their 2022 NFL quest for a Super Bowl. The offense promises to look different without Davante Adams. The defense promises to look different with the high draft capital added. The special teams promise to look different - wait, how many times have we heard that - with a new no-nonsense coordinator, Rich Bisaccia. It should be a VERY interesting season.

DBak Watch - The early big story of camp is bound to be how David Bakhtiari looks out there. Will he start in the rehab group or more importantly, will he still be in the rehab group a few weeks into camp? I want to be optimistic, but my gut tells me to expect continued issues.

5 Players to Watch - Players I'm really excited to see this camp (excluding the rookies):
Eric Stokes - I think he has top-10 NFL cornerback potential. 
Tariq Carpenter - He could be the special teams warrior the Packers desperately need.
BJ Baylor - Comparing Tyler Goodson and Baylor, Goodson may be the more complete player right now, but Baylor has more juice running the ball. 
Juwann Winfree - I felt like Rodgers showed more trust in Winfree last year (albeit in limited snaps) than he did in Malik Taylor. If not for the three WR draft picks, I think Winfree would have made the roster comfortably. Now, he's going to have to REALLY show out.
Sammy Watkins - I expect this season to be the "rebirth" of Sammy Watkins. With the BIG caveat, of course, being IF he can stay on the field.

Watson unsigned - I was surprised to read today on SI.com that Christian Watson is still unsigned. While the numbers are set (four years, $9,241.021, with a signing bonus of $1,680,188), the only thing that can be negotiated is how much of the deal is guaranteed. A few players drafted just after Watson have received full guarantees. Surely that's what Watson wants and the Packers are hesitant to do so.

Kenny Clark Moving to TE? - I'm joking, of course, but have you seen how slimmed down Kenny Clark is looking? Clark has played fewer snaps at NT every year and based on his new body, the addition of Jarran Reed, and the development of TJ Slaton,  I suspect the Packers may have other plans for him in their front seven. Take a look at this pic from Kenny's Instagram:

 

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"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for CheeseheadTV.com and PackersTalk.com. He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  Follow Al on twitter at @JerseyalGBP

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9 points

Comments (109)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
NickPerry's picture

July 20, 2022 at 06:26 am

Seven more days...Hell yeah!

DBak... I'm still optimistic Bakhtiari will be ready to go. Obviously, I'd like to see him out participating ASAP but with the Packers being as cautious as they are I won't read too much into what happens the first few weeks. IF it's still an issue then my fear would be would David Bakhtiari EVER play again football again.

Sammy... Thank God Al, I was thinking I was the only one. It seems every Podcast I hear the hosts are so ready to just cut Watkins or are certain he can't/won't produce. I get the concerns but it's also possible he does stay healthy. I'm optimistic!

I'm also watching Amari Rodgers. The kid had done and said all the right things this offseason. He seems ready to go and I wouldn't be surprised if he becomes a big part of the offense.

Kenny Clark... Wow, can you imagine how quick Clark will be now? He looks fantastic. This is going to be such a fun defense to watch!

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Leatherhead's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:59 am

Amari Rodgers is going to have a massive improvement over the 4 passes he caught last year. Maybe 50.

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splitpea1's picture

July 20, 2022 at 11:04 am

Good catch--he's definitely a player to watch. I don't know how many balls he'll end up catching, but he definitely needs more opportunities within the offense to show what he can do.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

July 20, 2022 at 12:53 pm

I'm not as concerned about how many catches he gets. What I desperately want to see is Rodgers be used in that Tyler Ervin role that that this team didnt even try to deploy last year. Get the ball in his hands using jet motions and sweeps and tap passes etc. Manufacture touches like they did in 2020. Thats when this offense is most efficient and unpredictable.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 04:14 pm

I'm not sure he's quick enough for that role, he was about 20 lbs heavier than Ervin last year. Doubs might be better at it, he was RB in high school. I think I'd actually give Watson first crack at it. He looked good on reverses at NDS but the NFL has slightly better athletes.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

July 20, 2022 at 07:31 pm

Amari's definitely quick enough. He had too much muscle mass last year which he has corrected.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 21, 2022 at 11:03 am

l think a lot of people who've disparaged Amari Rodgers are going to have to eat their words. I'm keeping a list.

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Coldworld's picture

July 20, 2022 at 08:57 pm

I think that might be part of Watson’s area too. It will be interesting who they choose to get the ball into the hands of on those sorts of plays.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 07:02 pm

Doubs>Rodgers. More versatile.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

July 20, 2022 at 07:32 pm

2 completely different players physically suited for completely different roles. I hope they both succeed.

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HarryHodag's picture

July 20, 2022 at 06:30 am

I'm looking forward to seeing the defense this year. With the exception of a couple of years McCarthy/Thompson let the defense play second fiddle to the offense. A number one defense will put the Packers in the Super Bowl. The offense will score but they won't need to score 30 to win the game.
Better special teams! Hell, ya! How about a kick return for a touchdown? How about not destroying punters like other coaches have done?
Bring on the season!

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Savage57's picture

July 20, 2022 at 06:34 am

The special teams will be better, simply because there's really no way to get any worse. When you cost your team a chance to advance in the tournament, the bar's been set pretty low.

Watkins is going to be Andre Rison, ver. 2.0, but without the 'tude and psychotic girlfriend. He'll catch the first TD pass for the Packers in the Super Bowl as they cruise to victory.

The question that's going through my mind is whether or not the Packers All-Pro LT will ever be Bakh to his old form? Not everyone makes it Bakh from ACL surgery. (sees self out)

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fthisJack's picture

July 20, 2022 at 07:49 am

That made me LOL!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:32 am

Good one Savage! :)

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JerseyAl's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:40 am

"The special teams will be better, simply because there's really no way to get any worse."

I know personally, I've said that at least two or three years in a row.

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murf7777's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:42 am

That also made me laugh. Seriously, they finally spent some money on a very good ST coach, so this year is the year they break out of the bottom Al.

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mnbadger's picture

July 20, 2022 at 12:32 pm

Savage, you deserve a Pat (Macafee) on the Bakh for that one! GPG!

Go Bahk Go!

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Lphill's picture

July 20, 2022 at 06:46 am

I read something from Watkins that he said he's disappointed in his career so far and he believes he can be elite ,he feels now coming to the Packers is a new beginning and he's excited for the opportunity to prove himself, sounds like he is very focused ,I hope he is right!

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murf7777's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:08 am

LP….yes and in addition he is putting in the off season work. He is squatting over 400Lbs I think it was 9 times. He said he has never worked out so hard. Looks like it is more than just talk. How Hugh would it be if he becomes the Packers number 1 receiver and puts up over 80 receptions? His extensive workout program which was stated to be around 3 hours per day might help him stay healthy as well.

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dobber's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:51 am

I hope he's working more on flexibility in combination with strength training. If he's getting overly muscled-up, he'll end up spending more time in the hot tub than on the field. Most athletes say that the key to competing as their bodies age is better nutrition and more flexibility training.

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murf7777's picture

July 20, 2022 at 10:14 am

“That guy is going to be good for the Packers. He started working with us like seven weeks ago, and he said he wanted to be ‘college Sammy.’ Sammy is going to have a big year. He told me, ‘I want to be Clemson Sammy Watkins.’ And I was like, ‘OK, let’s do it.’ He’s just up there squatting 405 for eight right now like it’s nothing. He started around 218, and he’s at 225 right now, too. He’s going to go be a No. 1 in Green Bay.” Per Bert Whigham, Masters Sports Training in Orlando.

Good to see he is taken what is probably his last chance to show his value seriously. I can’t imagine a training program that wouldn’t include a lot of flexibility stretching, etc.., especially since he his doing around 3 hours per day. Let’s hope he comes out balling.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 02:50 pm

Agreed. Hopefully he's doing plyos along with the weights. Maybe throw in some yoga too.

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PeteK's picture

July 20, 2022 at 07:40 am

--Clark at DE, could be a great move.
--It's also a very important year for Love.
---I'm surprised the team is tinkering with Watson's contract and head.
---One of the more exciting preseasons in recent memory.

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Minniman's picture

July 20, 2022 at 04:04 pm

"Clark at DE, could be a great move"

It's certainly going to be exciting to see how KC gets played this year. I personally can't wait.

I think that Aaron Donald has reset the playbook for what an elite middle line defender now does.......... He essentially sealed the SB for the Rams with that gap-shooting play from the 3 position at the end of the game.

It must be exciting for a DC knowing that the guy can play any DL position from 1-5 technique - and ALL at an elite level.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 04:20 pm

I don't think there's any question he's in the top 2-3 DTs of all time now with Joe Greene and Bob Lilly.

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RCPackerFan's picture

July 20, 2022 at 08:13 am

Seven More Days -
It hit me yesterday that Packers camp is next week already. Where has the summer gone. I'm not complaining about football starting up very soon, it just kind of caught me off guard a bit.
All I know is I can't wait.

DBak Watch -
If he is going I am assuming he will be very limited. I would guess he starts out in the rehab group.

5 Players to Watch - Players I'm really excited to see this camp (excluding the rookies):
1 - I am counting the Rookies all as 1.
2 - Tyler Davis, with the unknown of Big Bob and when he will be back, we need another TE to emerge. Davis has been a favorite to be that guy.
3 - TJ Slaton - I think he is going to be a force in the middle of the DL. I would not be surprised if he was our starting NT. I am really excited to see him take a step this year.
4 - Amari Rodgers - He had a disappointing rookie year. But reports are he has lost some weight and has gained quickness. A year in the system and feeling more comfortable in his body could mean a big step up for him.
5 - Sammy Watkins - He is a player that could be the number 1 target, or there is a possibility that he doesn't even make the team. I don't think that part is as likely, but they don't have a lot invested into him, so that is a possibility. I think he becomes a big part of the offense. He won't be Adams, but I think he has a really productive year. He just has to stay healthy.

Watson unsigned -
I saw it the other day that he was still unsigned. I was surprised as well. I assume he will get signed when he reports though or before he reports.

Kenny Clark Moving to TE? -
Clark definitely looks slimmed down. I am looking forward to seeing our DL with the additions of Reed, Wyatt, Ford. I think Slaton is going to take a big jump. Heflin is also a guy to keep an eye on. I think Clary and Wyatt could be really good together.

I can't wait. 1 week away. Lets go!

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Swisch's picture

July 20, 2022 at 08:31 am

Asking for prayers: On June 27th, I had emergency surgery for several hours to correct what is called aortic dissection, which has to do with the weakening and eventual breaking of the aortic wall. It was the cause of death for actors Alan Thicke and John Ritter; and I was close enough to death to be transported by helicopter from one hospital to another (that was actually the highlight of the day).
So, I'm thankful to be alive, and am doing fairly well -- though with much fatigue and, when I move around, extreme shortness of breath. Fortunately, the pain has subsided considerably.
I'd be glad for my companions here at CHTV, staff and fans, if so inclined, to say a prayer for me to persevere and not give way to discouragement.
I'm hoping to tap into the Lombardi message of doing the best we can with what we've been given, but weakness gets in the way.
Thanks in advance for any assistance.
As in football, I truly believe that life is a team sport.

16 points
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mrtundra's picture

July 20, 2022 at 08:34 am

Done, Swisch!

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

July 20, 2022 at 08:47 am

Go Swisch Go! May God strengthen your body and guide the hands of your caregivers. Many seasons left for you!

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Tundraboy's picture

July 20, 2022 at 08:58 am

Best wishes for a full recovery!

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Coldworld's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:20 am

Keep your spirits up. We need your perspective here. Best wishes for a speedy recuperation!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:36 am

Swish,
Saying a prayer for you that you are back healthy, & once again being one of the most informative & knowledgeable posters here at CCTV. Always enjoy reading your comments.

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murf7777's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:40 am

Good luck with your health Swisch.

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JerseyAl's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:47 am

Swisch, you took a hit, but remember Lombardi's words: “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

May you have the strength to battle back and get all the way up to 100% again.

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dobber's picture

July 20, 2022 at 10:18 am

All the best, Swisch.

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13TimeChamps's picture

July 22, 2022 at 09:43 am

Wishing all the best and a full recovery. My father died from an unexpected heart attack. It's good you seem to have a heads up on the situation.

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Swisch's picture

July 20, 2022 at 12:19 pm

Wow! Thanks so much for the boosts of encouragement.
Even though I'll be with the rehab group during training camp, so to speak, I am ready right away to take on good clean hits of opposing points of view -- no need to hold back.
We all get something to challenge us in life from time to time, don't we? My prayers to all the good people here at CHTV that God spares us from suffering, or gives us the strength to bear it well.
I'm finding it difficult to always trust in the enduring goodness of God, but even in feeble whimpers I'm trying to sustain and grow in such a trust.
Anyway, I'm eagerly looking forward to some upcoming preseason football as good therapy, with CHTV staff and fans continuing as my main guide.
I really enjoy the preseason games as an opportunity to get a look at the starters tuning up, evaluate the new guys, look for surprise performers, and alleviate the deprivation of months of no football on the field.

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croatpackfan's picture

July 21, 2022 at 09:00 am

Swisch, I hope you'll full recover. But remember, not even God did everything in one day. It is now beginning of new training camp for you, day by day, step by step till you'll be strong enough to visit my country as you wrote more than one year ago that you'll like to do it. If you decide that, send me a note and we will be in contact. I can only promise you that I will do the best to show how small country as Croatia can hold so many beautiful places...

Remember, step by step, day by day. I'll wait you...

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

July 21, 2022 at 02:59 pm

Great attitude! Stay positive and do what those nurses tell you to do!

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mnbadger's picture

July 20, 2022 at 12:37 pm

Wishing you the best Swisch, whatever your new best is.

Adding on a general good wish to planet earth and all it's inhabitants. GPG!

Go Swisch Go!

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YouAskedForThis's picture

July 20, 2022 at 12:55 pm

Wow, that's serious stuff Swisch.

Good news that your surgery and helicopter ride are behind you. Onward to healing and making the best of your new lease on life. I will be pulling for you.

i don't post much, but your story made me log in !! Prayers headed your way !!

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coolhand's picture

July 20, 2022 at 02:47 pm

You are in my prayers for a full and speedy recovery Swisch!

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 02:56 pm

Best wishes and keep your spirits up. Staying positive goes a long way on the road to recovery.

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Minniman's picture

July 20, 2022 at 04:10 pm

Good vibes from all of my family to you Swisch.

The best thing about being a Packers supporter is that we have good people everywhere!

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Since'61's picture

July 20, 2022 at 04:28 pm

Swisch - best wishes for a complete and rapid recovery. As a former medic I can advise you that recovery is 90% maintaining a positive attitude. Thoughts of family, friends and happy times will help get you through. Some people keep a journal as a form of therapy.

Think about what you will be doing once you have recovered. Look forward to your rehab as an opportunity no matter how difficult it may seem. Small steps in the beginning lead to big strides. Follow through on whatever you are asked to do. All of it is for a reason to help you recover.

Stay strong and get well soon. Thanks, Since ‘61

3 points
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PeteK's picture

July 20, 2022 at 05:19 pm

You won a great battle to witness many more Packer seasons. Stay positive.

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Swisch's picture

July 20, 2022 at 06:20 pm

Sincerely overwhelmed by the goodness coming in these replies.
Thank you greatly!!!

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HawkPacker's picture

July 20, 2022 at 06:58 pm

Prayers coming your way Swisch. Best of luck to you.

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Packers0808's picture

July 20, 2022 at 11:13 pm

Just found some good news for my own health yesterday, had a cancer scare but fortunately tests all turned up well. Scary stuff this health as we age, Hang in there and do what ever is asked of you to help m\heal. You will have many more Packers season ahead of you. Take care and heal well!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

July 21, 2022 at 03:02 pm

Glad to hear Pack!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 21, 2022 at 06:28 am

Done and done. I say a Hail Mary for multiple members of my family who have passed away on each of their special days, so I added you to the list of people I enumerate.

I will be writing practice round-ups again this year. They may be something for you to read while you recover. Get well, soon!

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Swisch's picture

July 21, 2022 at 06:43 am

Looking forward to the practice round-ups.

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Starrbrite's picture

July 21, 2022 at 08:31 am

Highest regards Swisch —and we’ll continue our debate about ARod.
We completely agree on a Bart Starr. Prayers for a speedy recovery.

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Gee's picture

July 22, 2022 at 01:27 pm

Sending positive thoughts to you and your family. Get better sir, keep positive.

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mrtundra's picture

July 20, 2022 at 08:33 am

I also think Bakh starts on the rehab group. No need to hurry him back. Let him get healthy and we'll go from there. Besides, we have Yosh Nijman as his back up and the extra snaps Yosh gets at LT, can't hurt. I also think Watkins will have a solid season, for GB. Coming to GB was just the boost he needed to get him going. Kenny Clark is looking good and pairing him with Wyatt, or whomever, will be a smart move. Our DL is about to be noticed and taken very seriously, by the rest of the League. I think the group to watch, though, will be the WRs. Lots of players with talent and all vying for playing time. Several of those rookies will start out on STs, which would seem to be a natural progression, for them. GO PACK, GO!!!

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dobber's picture

July 20, 2022 at 10:21 am

The OL was short-profiled this morning on JSOnline and the interesting perspective was regarding where Nijman lined up during OTAs and minicamp:

"When Rodgers was absent from voluntary organized team activities, Nijman lined up at left tackle to protect Jordan Love’s blindside. Nijman moved to right tackle when Rodgers returned for minicamp, a clear indication the Packers expect Bakhtiari to be the MVP quarterback’s blindside blocker. Still, Bakhtiari’s recovery has proven to be tricky. If Nijman starts taking consistent left tackle reps with Rodgers on the field, it could be a sign the Packers are hedging their options against the uncertainty of Bakhtiari’s situation. Keep an eye on which tackle spot Nijman lines up at in camp."

https://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/2022/07/20/david-bakht...

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Leatherhead's picture

July 20, 2022 at 11:08 am

Thanks for that. I understand how much some people would like to see Nijman start at RT for us, because I thought he did a real good job for us last year at LT.

I think you have to look at it by position, rather than by players. The LT position is the most important position on your offensive line and everybody knows that. Bakhtiari has been a real good LT for us in the past, but I think it's unnecessarily reckless and foolish to just plan on him being our guy at LT for 17 games, plus all the practices. My Simple Fix is that Nijman and Bakhtiari share the position in practices and games and maybe at least ONE of them will be available for the playoffs. You could also give Nijman reps at RT in case of an in-game injury. I think that's our best plan for the LT position.

At RT, every choice we have is a guy who hasn't played RT in the pros, although some were good college RTs. Nijman has started at LT in the pros.. Newman has started at RG in the pros, and was a RT in college. We also have Van Lanen. Our Day 2 draft pick, Rhyan, has been mentioned, but I think it's more likely he'll be RG and Newman will be RT. Van Lanen will be our right side backup.

Now, if during a game we had to make an injury related adjustment, then putting Nijman at RT to finish the game would be an option.

Bakhtiari/Nijman, Runyan, Myers, Rhyan, Newman. Backed up by Van Lanen, Tom, and Hanson?? maybe. That leaves room for one more that will hopefully be filled by Jenkins at some point, but I just think it's a mistake to include him in any plans until he's avaiable.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 03:01 pm

They will NEVER rotate LTs in a regular season game situation. That's just silly. They'll want the best 5 on the field, if Bakhtiari is ready week one Nijman will be the RT. You're way overthinking it. I hope they give Nijman as many RTs snaps as possible during TC but I know they'll give Bakh some rest days so I'm sure he'll get LTs snaps too.

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Coldworld's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:10 pm

Even if Bakh is back fully, they are going to be using another for a lot of practice and “starter” line up snaps. Nijman will get those even if he ends up starting at right. Then it will be interesting who goes next at LT after the rookies are up to speed. That will tell us something about who they think might have LT potential. For now they will have been using a returning player because it’s no pads/contact so just use one who knows the drill.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 21, 2022 at 11:20 am

We want our best 5 on the field at the end of the season.

Last year, Nijman played more snaps at LT than any other player. Our biggest concern is the durability of the starter, Bakhtiari, at the most important position on the offensive line.

So in your view, rather than platooning and resting Bakhtiari, it's better to just ride him until he breaks down.??

I've seen players platooned at every position, including QB. There's no reason you can't do this. Lighten the load of Bakhtiari during the season. Rather than the 1100+ snaps during the regular season, Try to keep him around 800 (that's a 25% reduction). That means you'd need Nijman to play about 300 snaps at LT during the season, and he'd need to take snaps with the first team during the week so Bakhtiari could get a little more rest

Overthinking? Come on, man. Your way, we ride Bakhtiari until he drops and then we put Nijman, or Jenkins if he's returned in for him. If Nijman is your starter at RT, as you've said, then you're shuffling the line and now you have backups starting at both tackles.

My way, we've strengthened the LT position and increased the likelihood of Bakhtiari being available all year.

I'm also not so sure why anybody thinks that Nijman is somehow a much better choice for RT than Royce Newman, who was a RT in college, then won the starting RG position last year. In terms of experience, he has more starts and more pro snaps than Nijman.

Nijman is a GOOD LT. That has value. He's under contract for two more years. I'm not afraid of having too many competent, healthy, LTs in uniform. We have other options at RT, and we should be doing what we can to keep Bakhtiari healthy for the playoffs.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 21, 2022 at 02:30 pm

Have you ever seen O line players platooned in the NFL?

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Coldworld's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:17 am

Clark was an excellent NT. Can he be as good as a DE? Possibly, but such changes aren’t guaranteed to be effective. He could be great, but it could be a net downgrade in a year where we are playing for now. Hopefully they have a lot of confidence in Slaton or Reed at NT.

Reed came out as a NT, and perhaps he’s heavier now, but it’s not an obvious like for like and Slaton has potential but was not thought as strong In the run game as his size suggests at this point. Conceivably the hope may be to go Reed and Ford primarily with Slaton staying at DE It could make it more important that Ford justify a spot. This might make a trade of Lowry more likely?

Watson being unsigned at present is not an issue. It will become one fast though if it’s not resolved very soon. He is one player that the team cannot afford to miss time if he’s to be a contributor this year. He’s a guy with the largest learning curve of probably any draftee.

If Bakh is not back, it’s likely the beginning of the end. If he’s not back by now, the chances are far greater that his years of regular availability are over even when he is. It was a risky contract extension justified by his consistent availability and excellence set against age and statistics. We have, thus far, lost the gamble. If he’s not healthy now the chances that he’s as good or available consistently to recoup value recede dramatically.

I hope that you are right about Carpenter. He certainly seems to fit the ST profile, but we’ve seen other big S/small ILB types that haven't lit up STs. I think there are some others competing to be that guy, both new and old (like Wilborn, for example). I just hope one or two can really show, regardless of identity at this point.

I hope Amari Rodgers shows us why he was drafted. I hope Cobb and Watkins can stay healthy. But even more I hope that we are willing to cut players who get genuinely outplayed thorough camp and preseason and keep and play the depth players who earn it not draft picks/holdovers from prior years.

Taylor’s treatment last year belied a really impressive preseason performance and ST acumen (not returning) in favor of a current Bear who statistically was a black hole. If Taylor or Winfree or Wilborn/Scott/Gaines justify a role on the field keep them and be willing to activate. Remove dead wood and don’t bring it back and leave the 90 under no doubt that that’s how it will be. Only exceptional potential should have a player rostered whom they really don’t want to use this year. That’s what Lombardi and Bellicheck would do. Indeed it’s part of the ethos of most winners.

Interested in your take on Baylor. Since I doubt Hill is back to full mobility this season, I see Taylor as RB 3 if health doesn’t shake things up. Keeping a 3rd bruiser would require some persuading from on field performance. I see Goodman as having the inside track should they keep a 4th or all stay healthy, simply because of his hands and seeming fit in the Jones type role.

Just looking forward to seeing players and even coaches gradually start to give us some real things to form opinions based upon and talk about. Let’s see whose metrics look real and then start talking about who is making us take notice.

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murf7777's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:38 am

Hey CW….According to snap count article I just read, Clark has been playing more and more DE for the past few years. It shows he plays DE more than at NT at this point. I think with Reed and Clark you have two players that can play either position and move around the line. Wyatt might just be the most disruptive lineman in the draft. I don’t expect them to trade or cut Lowry unless they go after a OLB pass rusher, which I hope they do. We need depth and rotation play there. None of the ones other than Gary and Smith are above average.

Regarding Bak, I totally agree, if he isn’t playing in game 1 we are in trouble and his career is in deep jeopardy. I don’t think the signing was risky as many Tackles go well into their 30’s and he was south of 30 and rated as one of the top 3 LT in the biz at the time of his extension. Also, arguably LT is the 2nd most important position on your team. Unfortunately, you cannot predict injuries.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

July 20, 2022 at 10:19 am

Clark has played a lot of DE, but that was big Kenny and he could and did still play NT well.

Looking at Clark only: he may well be a better DE as the newly svelte Kenny, but that’s not guaranteed—his size, weight and athleticism combination could have been unique challenge to opponents. Now, he could just as easily be less interchangeable. A lot depends on the agility/speed gain from slimming down I suppose. I’m just nervous when teams fix something that isn’t broken. The results can go both ways.

Looking around him, we’ve not been particularly good at NT without him there. As I said, perhaps Slaton/Reed/Ford solve that problem, but Slaton has done his best work at DE and was still learning against the run—not his forte despite his size. Reed is a small DT (at least if he’s the same size he was in Seattle) and has been most effective at DE in the pros. Ford is a 7th rounder yet to take a snap. I like Wyatt a lot as a DE, but he’s too small to play NT in the NFL and it would negate his best attributes.

I see a lot of DEs and newly raised questions at NT after this trade. That’s one reason why I raised the question of Lowry, as it looks like more DE from Clark.

On Bakh. Many tackles do and many do not. 30 is sort of a statistical divide for big men. Injury risk rises and availability percentage decreases. Thus, statistically the risk increases dramatically if you pay post 30 for production pre 30 on OL. That’s why I felt it a risk then. Bakh himself had given no signs of increasing wear and tear similar to Bulaga’s knees, but that’s not always how it starts.

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murf7777's picture

July 20, 2022 at 10:22 am

Yes, the big misnomer about Slayton, because of his size I suspect, is that he is very good run stuffer. Per reports I’ve read and what he has mostly shown he is better at pressure than stopping the run. Let’s hope he grows more as a run stuffer NT. I didn’t take into consideration the new svelte Clark so not sure how that comes into play at NT for him.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 21, 2022 at 11:31 am

murf, in my entire life, I've never seen a 330 lb pass rusher. I have seen run pluggers that size. Gilbert, Fat Williams, Ngata.

Reggie, at 300 lbs, was a pretty good pass rusher. So was Warren Sapp. But most of the guys who can get pressure on the passer are under 300.

I also believe that nothing improves a run defense like putting a big, fat, sack of meat right in the middle of that line. If I could stuff 330 lbs of hamburger in a canvas bag and line it up in an A gap, you wouldn't be able to run there, you'd have to go around.

Slaton is the obvious choice for NT on first down, but teams pass about half the time on first down, so he'll get some pass rushing opportunities, but mostly he's on the field to clog up the middle.

As it is, if teams elect to pass on us on first down, then we're going to bring pressure from the outside with Gary/Smith/Clark and the other DE (maybe Wyatt). That's good pressure from 5 guys, including Slaton who'll be pushing two guys back in the pocket. But when we go to the two man DL, I think a combination of the other guys is going to work better.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 21, 2022 at 02:36 pm

Reggie White was 320 lbs by the time he got to the Packers. That's why he was such a freak athlete, playing DE at that size.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 21, 2022 at 05:06 pm

I'll have to take your word for that. Pro-football-reference lists him at 291. That's about the size I recall him being. Maybe he was 30 pounds over that mark.

The DL that get after the QB are under 300. Alan Page, Strahan, Gastineau, KGB, Kampmann, Mullet, etc. The really big guys are run plugs, and some of them are very good at that.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 22, 2022 at 12:00 am

He was 293 at the combine in 1984. Take a look at pictures of him in the USFL or his 1st year with the Eagles and when he got to the Packers.

I'm not saying he wasn't an anomaly, he definitely was. There aren't many 300+ DTs with 10 sack potential but there are a few.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 03:30 pm

Looking at that pic of Clark it's hard not to think they have a lot of faith in Slaton at NT. As far as run D Slaton was a big positive last year according to Bill Huber:

"Slaton played 255 snaps as a rookie. Almost half of those came during the final four games. He finished with 23 tackles, one sack and two quarterback hits. The run defense was 0.71 yards better when he was on the field – the biggest difference among any defender getting regular playing time."

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 04:32 pm

BTW if you take .7 of a yard off their average allowed last year it would raise them from tied for 29th to tied for 6th.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 03:42 pm

I'm not really worried about who will play DE, they only play about 30% of the time anyway. I doubt they play with 3 guys anymore this year with Walker at LB now, I'd say 2-4-5 is the formation of choice now with some 3-3-5 and 3-4 thrown in and less dime. When they do play with 3 down guys I'd imagine it's a mix of Clark, Lowry, Reed and Wyatt.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 21, 2022 at 05:23 pm

And Slaton, because if we're playing 3 down guys it's probably either first down or short yardage, and that's where you'd want that hog.

If it were me, I'd want Clark and Wyatt as our two DL in clear passing situations as much as possible. Those two, along with Gary and Smith, would constitute a pretty good 4 man rush IMO. All four of those guys can win one-on-one battles so that ball is going to have to come out quickly or the QB is going to eat it.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 03:22 pm

That snap count was a little misleading. When they were playing 2 IDL fronts he was often at 2i or 2 and they only counted 0 and 1 as being the NT. But when he was playing next to Lowry you know he was getting the double team.

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mnbadger's picture

July 20, 2022 at 12:42 pm

Totally agree with the "trade Lowery" idea, adding experienced talent and depth at either TE or Safety. Maybe trade one heavy contract for another? Nothing against DL, just trading from what seems to be a position of strength.
GPG!

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HawkPacker's picture

July 21, 2022 at 06:22 pm

Not sure if he can be traded but I like the idea. I have been saying since late April that they will be cutting Lowery after June 1st/or trading and adding the right player such as tight end, safety or another area of need.

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stockholder's picture

July 20, 2022 at 08:39 am

I'm Not going to sugar coat this. Trade D-Bak. Before his knee gets operated on again. Trade Amari Rodgers. Before he fumbles. Trade Love. Before we can't. Move Lazard to TE. He's 3 pounds lighter than the NFL lightest TE.
Why hasn't Watson signed? Point at the agent.
5 players to Watch? What draft pick won't we watch. Best rookie bunch in years.
Clark - I just don't like the weight loss. Alan Page lost weight and was never the same.
Sammy Watkins - Forget the injuries. Think of the money.

-6 points
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dobber's picture

July 20, 2022 at 10:53 am

"Trade D-Bak. Before his knee gets operated on again."

You're implying he couldn't pass a physical...in which case, nobody would take him.

"Move Lazard to TE. He's 3 pounds lighter than the NFL lightest TE."

Eye roll.

Hey, the lightest TE is only 3 pounds lighter than Mike Evans. Maybe they should move that TE to WR...

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stockholder's picture

July 20, 2022 at 12:25 pm

AnswerD- Bak - but my gut tells me to expect continued issues. What physical Dobber? He wouldn’t be on the field. Issues = Trade if possible.
Move Lazard - You draft 3 rookies with 4. 4 speed and you need a faster TE. His height and speed is a mis- match vs. a LB. His blocking skills are better than Evans...

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 03:48 pm

Do you really see a difference between Lazard and Tonyan lining up in the slot? Or do you think Lazard could actually line up inline?

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stockholder's picture

July 20, 2022 at 06:48 pm

The top 5 Tes in the NFL are around 250. I'm saying Lazard can line up anywhere. So yes, He could line up inline.

-2 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 07:07 pm

Well, ok then.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

July 20, 2022 at 07:37 pm

This isnt Madden where you can just move guys to different positions and everything magically works out. Lazard might have the size, but he doesnt have the strength or technique to play inline. He would be a complete liability in the blocking dept and would get absolutely owned. He's a receiver and he's going to stay a receiver.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 21, 2022 at 11:43 am

Top 5 in what respect? I'm assuming you mean "as a receiver", and you're looking at the 5 or 6 plays where he catches a pass and not the 60 plays where he's getting his man blocked in the run game?

He COULD line up as an inline TE, instead of Lewis, Deguara, Tonyan, or Davis or as part of a double TE formation. He'd be weaker blocker than any of them at that position.

I really don't think you get it: The LaFleur offense succeeds, in part, because Lazard and Lewis get their guys blocked. We're putting 7 blockers out there who can all get their man blocked and a running back named Dillon Jones who had 1600 yards on the ground and another 700 in pass receptions. That is the engine of this offense. When you combine that with a QB who rarely turns the ball over you have an offense that can stay on the field and score points. Putting Lazard at TE accomplishes nothing, IMO, except turning an above average blocking WR into a below average blocking TE.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 20, 2022 at 11:27 am

I'm not going to sugar coat this:

D-Bak is untradeable at this point.

Amari Rodgers did not lose a single fumble last year. One went out of bounds and he recovered the other.

The Lazard idea is, has been, and will continue to be, a bad idea for reasons that have been discussed here multiple times.

Trading Love and starting over finding Rodgers replacement is a bad idea, especially when this could be Rodgers last year.

Alan Page? Didn't he go to the HOF?

Watkins contract is almost all incentives. He'll play well or he won't get paid.

5 points
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stockholder's picture

July 20, 2022 at 12:48 pm

D- Bak- True- someone will always take a shot at an All -pro regardless. Look at how many rookies get drafted in the first round with injury issues.
Amari Rodgers- I said before he fumbles again. Because he will.
Lazard- The need out weighs the logic.
We Can't over-pay Love in waiting Game. The Assumption he can replace Rodgers is now questionable.
TT kept re-drafting back-up Qbs. And that is the answer here. No matter what they get for him. The next QB could be Tom Brady. Joe Montana, Bart Starr. or another great late round pick.
Alan Page did go to the HOF. But his weight loss was problematic.
Watkins will be the #1 wr before the end of the year. $$$$$

-2 points
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stockholder's picture

July 20, 2022 at 01:00 pm

Vikings head coach Bud Grant was not happy with the idea of a defensive tackle who weighed only 225 pounds, and when Page told Grant he intended to stay at 225, the coach put him on waivers.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 03:58 pm

Yep. Gosh, it sure was a shame too, all he could do for the Bears was 11.5, 10, 9.5 and 9 sacks in his last four seasons. I'd say Grant fudged up there but I wouldn't say fudged.

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stockholder's picture

July 20, 2022 at 06:44 pm

Much lighter trench. He came up with a different stance too.

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splitpea1's picture

July 20, 2022 at 12:27 pm

Nothing wrong with the Clark weight loss. Now that the Packers have added substantial help on the interior defense, Barry may able to use him as a chess piece.

Also, those trades aren't happening anytime soon, if at all.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 03:45 pm

Whew, if I liked beer as much as you like periods I'd have a real problem.

-1 points
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murf7777's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:18 am

I’m excited to see Wyatt, I think he could be a steal in this draft. He’s a top 10 talent that dropped due to alleged domestic abuse(s). I just hope the Packers did their due diligence on his character. IMO, he is the best pass rushing DT/DE in this draft. His first step, agility and hand usage is at a high level. He’s also no slouch in the run stopping department. He will get a lot of playing time in year one and will quickly take over and play better than Lowry.

5 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:41 am

Murf,
Wyatt was my favorite choice as well. Offensively I wanted Jameson William's, but I kept coming back to wanting Wyatt. Very excited to see what he can do.

2 points
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murf7777's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:49 am

Yes, I think Williams will have a great career, unfortunately it would’ve taken a trade up. Quite frankly, I’m happy they went Defense because this team hasn’t gotten to the SB since they had a great one. I think that is what it is going to take for them to get back to a SB. I just saw on YouTube where they rated every position group and the Packers had the #1 rated defense. Of course, this is on paper, but it does show the potential this D has to certainly be in the TOP 5. There only concerns on paper is depth at Saftey and OLB. Of course, every team has some depth issues.

1 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

July 22, 2022 at 06:58 am

I'm jazzed about so many new players, and players returning from injury, as well as seeing players making the 2nd & 3rd year leap. Why I'm heading to Lambeau August 5th for Family Night. Want to see these players in person as it gives a whole different perspective.

I do agree about Tariq as on tape the guy has good speed, first step, and bend. Very curious to watch him and what the Packers have in him. I agree more of a ST's guy.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

July 20, 2022 at 10:34 am

I am actually intrigued to see if any of Carpenter and the other tweener ILB/S in the 230 pound region (Wilborn, McDuffie as examples) show they can cover as an ILB and tackle. Any one could be a major ST help, but can any genuinely justify getting on the field as depth on D?

If one or more does show up in both phases, then they might just cause some surprises on cut down day and help game day strength as those types of players should be active for STs, allowing more flexibility elsewhere in terms of who is active.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 04:10 pm

There's a lot of LBs in the 220s in the NFL now. I'd like to see them draft a hybrid in the 220 range that can really cover but they aren't easy to find and most of them take a few years to develop. Settling for and Uber athletic 242 LB will have to do for now. 😁

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:20 pm

Oh, I’m being greedy .. thinking 3rd, 4th and 5th maybe …

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

July 20, 2022 at 10:03 am

Not worried about Watkins or Watson. They'll catch 80 passes between them.
Not worried about Clark.....he has played a lot of DE for us already....he'll be fine.

I think it's unwise to depend on Bakhtiari not missing time. It's a long season, and there are practices, too. I'd split the position between him and Nijman, in practices and games, and hope like hell that I had a capable, healthy LT lining up for us in the playoffs. My single biggest hope for this team is that in the playoffs, we'll have our regular line in place, and they'll be healthy.

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croatpackfan's picture

July 21, 2022 at 09:26 am

But if you split the time at left tackle between Bakh and Nyman, which one will be the one of "regular" O-line for the play-offs?

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Leatherhead's picture

July 21, 2022 at 10:26 am

Assuming he's healthy, Bakhtiari, of course. I'm just saying we should increase the likelihood that he'll be healthy then, by having Nijman do reps in practice and games at the LT spot and taking some of the load off him in practice.

66 offensive snaps x 17 games is 1122 snaps. Plus many more reps in training camp and practice. I'm just saying......what if we reduce Bakhtiari's workload by about 25%? That means we'd need Nijman for a couple of hundred snaps at LT.

If you're worried about Nijman being underused, he can still block on placements and punts. We could use him as an extra blocker in the run game and short yardage. He'll earn his money. But the goal is to try to get to the playoffs with a healthy Bakhtiari.

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splitpea1's picture

July 20, 2022 at 11:26 am

Kenny Clark to TE: Maybe not as funny as you think--deep in the red zone near the goal line. Wouldn't you love to see MLF go rogue in the playoffs and call a play for him? The Packers do these types of things so infrequently that I can't imagine any opponent would be prepared for it....

-2 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

July 20, 2022 at 04:11 pm

Hell, just at FB would be fun.

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LambeauPlain's picture

July 20, 2022 at 04:43 pm

Kenny, the excellent HS wrestler would be a fun surprise with an appearance at FB...shades of The Fridge. Wrestlers learn how to use leverage and Kenny's size and strength would be like a Abrams tank into the line.

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

July 20, 2022 at 09:28 pm

I was hoping Caleb Jones might have a hidden talent we could exploit there. I’d love to see him it a goal line D on the move.

1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

July 20, 2022 at 04:44 pm

double post

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Packers0808's picture

July 20, 2022 at 11:16 pm

I hope and have a feeling the WR group is going come on strong and help us forget Adams in a quick way. Adams was great, but no longer a Packer, now hopefully the new group or some emerge so we forget his output! One week and another exciting season is upon us!

1 points
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Oppy's picture

July 21, 2022 at 06:50 pm

Here's hoping the Kenny Clark pic is just strange lighting or an odd angle.

Anyone thinking Clark playing at a significantly lower weight would be a good thing might want to reconsider. Clark's strength is his amazing strength at an already compact size (for a nose tackle.)

He plays with greater anchor and strength than most DT's weighing 10-15lbs more than he does. I don't expect he has much excess weight he could shed from his previous playing weight without seriously affecting his functional strength.

The idea to move clark outside seems like a poor one to me. He's dominant at his current size and position. Why fuck with that?

2 points
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jont's picture

July 21, 2022 at 09:20 pm

My thought exactly. Let's hope he didn't lose any strength. Of course, he's smart enough to know how to handle his own body, and his coaches are in on the decision as they jointly set a plan for his off season. I'm not worried.

PS: Watson signed a day ago.

1 points
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