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Quinten Rollins Impressing Early at Packers Training Camp

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Quinten Rollins Impressing Early at Packers Training Camp

One year ago the talk surrounding Quinten Rollins was that of an up-and-coming player. After a solid rookie season, the future looked bright and the former second-round pick had the look of a starter.

In 2015, the 5-11 corner from Miami Ohio intercepted two passes and broke up six others. The speedster who had played just one season of college football, started four games for Green Bay that season. He finished with 24 tackles and one sack.

Convinced with new-found depth at corner, the Packers allowed Casey Hayward to walk in free agency in the 2016 offseason. And with Rollins, Sam Shields, Damarious Randall and Ladarius Gunter, who could blame them.

Shields was a Pro Bowl corner and all three rookies played well in 2015. It looked like Shields, Rollins and Randall would be the Packers top-3 corners for years to come, with Gunter providing depth as the fourth, along with Micah Hyde, who is now also departed.

Unfortunately, in the NFL, nothing is a given. Rollins took a step back, in part due to injury. He simply wasn't the same player and for whatever reason, his coverage skills were nowhere to be found, leading the Packers to invest in Kevin King and Davon House to try to shore things up.

Rollins and Randall were supposed to be the future at the position and now both of their roles with the Packers are very much in doubt. That’s why this training camp and this season is so important for both.

Something pretty drastic would have to happen for them to be cut. Both have shown some potential and each has the ability to contribute on special teams. Yet, the chances of either securing a long-term spot on the team as a starter or nickel corner are not as great as they once were.

With Shields forced into retirement, it seems like the Packers are set on House as one of the starters. At least it feels like that is their preferred outcome. On the other side, King is probably the guy they are hoping wins the job.

From there, a battle could ensue between Rollins and Randall in the slot.

Randall got the first chance to play with the first-team defense, but after a couple solid days, Rollins saw time with the starters Saturday. He also spent time against the first-team offense covering Randall Cobb and according to local reporters, he dominated him.

Rollins also capped his impressive day with an interception of Aaron Rodgers. The third-year corner did especially well in the slot, but was also the starter on the outside. When Green Bay went nickel, King was the outside corner and Rollins moved inside.

I came into training camp hoping either Randall or Rollins would bounce back. If both of them could return to the form they showed as rookies, the Packers might suddenly have a pretty deep group of corners. But even if one of them does, that could really solidify things.

At the start of training camp, it seemed more likely that Randall, not Rollins would make a splash and earn his way back into the team’s good graces. So far that hasn’t happened.

Don’t get me wrong, Randall hasn’t been bad, but if the nickel job is going to come down to Randall and Rollins, to this point, Rollins has made the better impression.

Obviously, it’s only three days and there is a ton of football to play. But there’s no doubt, Rollins has raised his game and no matter how you look at it, that’s a good thing for Green Bay.

 

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Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (37) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nick Perry's picture

Obviously after 3 days of TC, 2 in shorts and 1 in pads there's a long ways to go before and decisions are made about certain positions. But I'm really happy to hear Rollins is performing much better in TC already. If both Randall and Rollins bounce back this season the secondary will become a huge strength on this team, not weakness. The saying "You can never have too many good corners" could actually apply to GB! How awesome would that be??

I have to say though, it's funny how people were/are so quick to point out Randall's groin injury and not Rollins, at least with the same frequency. The only difference between the the two players injuries were Randall had surgery during the season, Rollins had if after. Rollins may not have had the higher marks in spandex at the combine, but he had more interceptions in one season (7) than Randall had in his 2 year career at ASU (6). You don't play as little football as Rollins had and come in and make 7 interceptions without being talented. This kid played ONE season of College Football.

Sorry guys, hopefully that's my only rant during TC. I guess I say all this for those who were already cutting Rollins before TC even started. I wonder if those are the same who wanted Adams gone after 2015??

Bearmeat's picture

Right on NP. If Randall and/or Rollins puts in above average or better play, this secondary is going to be truly excellent.

Let's hope we start reading some of the same things about the young OLBs!

Nick Perry's picture

I hope so BM. With all the draft resources the Packers have used on defense the last 3 years ( 11 of their top 13 picks used on defense) they almost have to be better just by default don't they?? When you allocate that much to one side of the ball you better be no worse than top 15. If not someone not doing their job.

Chris Peterson's picture

I agree Rollins injury played a big role. At least I'm hoping we will see a big difference with him now healthy. Looks good so far. Hopefully he keeps it up.

chugwater's picture

Bravo! I've said it multiple times, player maturity takes time and patience especially for a team that lives and dies by the 'draft and develop' philosophy. You have to allow for them to work through the learning process and hope to ride out the bumps along the way. There's a reason why it's called the 'sophomore slump'.

That's extremely hard for a fan base (and society at large) that thrives on instant gratification.

dobber's picture

"Bravo! I've said it multiple times, player maturity takes time..."

Especially for a guy who only played one year of football beyond HS when he was drafted.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Giving guys 3 years to develop is incompatible with the realities of the cap, particularly with higher picks, say rounds 1 and 2, probably the third round as well. Teams have to get surplus value from players on rookie contracts. Giving a player a year or two is fine with me, and if the player is good enough it is still worth it to take the player high and wait 3 or 4 years to see a return on the investment (see Nick Collins, arguably Perry).

I've always been higher on Rollins than Randall, but I viewed Rollins outside more than in the slot. Time will tell, of course: 3 days of TC isn't enough to judge yet, of course.

HankScorpio's picture

Because Randall and Rollins were both banged up all year in '16, I have not been among the crowd wringing my hands about CB depth all offseason. They still had to replace Shields with someone but I figured at least one, maybe both, would perform better in '17.

Having said that, Rollins had one good practice. It's still way too early to say anything about him or anything else with the revamped secondary. Except that having a good practice beats having a bad one.

Handsback's picture

The "R" twins will be a force after everything is said and done. Both have talent, size, and aren't afraid of hitting. Sometimes slow starts comes from injuries and often from experience. We'll get a better picture this season.

Chris Peterson's picture

Yea I have been hoping that they would be able to bounce back this season the way Davante Adams did last year.

sonomaca's picture

Fact is, going to need them all. Corners seem to get hurt at higher frequency. As they say, can never have enough corners.

The TKstinator's picture

An octagon has 8 corners.

sonomaca's picture

Oh, BTW, Waters has a shoulder injury. First corner down. There will be others.

dobber's picture

Was probably destined for the PS, anyway. Now they can hide him on IR.

sonomaca's picture

The Pack have a whole mess of camp corners. Hawkins, Brown, Pipkins, Waters, Pringle, Holmes. This is how they found Gunter.

Chris Peterson's picture

I was hoping to see good things from Waters. Disappointed he got hurt.

sonomaca's picture

Yeah, me too, although he probably was going to be practice squad anyway. I hope one of these other guys works out. Hawkins seems best bet.

If the did a "redraft" from two years ago, Gunter is probably a 4th rounder. That's a "free" pick.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Waters has nice ability. Really a shame to see him set back like this.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I was never concerned about Randall and Rollins playing better when healthy. That's a given.

My one major concern is whether either can perform on the outside, where we desperately need more talent and depth. We're loaded inside, but you can't enter a season with only two outside CB's, one being a rookie and the other a castoff.

If Ted couldn't get one quality outside corner with his top 2 picks in a draft, that would be disastrous. Here's hoping one of them steps up.

sonomaca's picture

King is "raw". That's why he wasn't a first rounder. Going to take some time. House can handle #1 role. Very physical. Still not counting out Randall or Rollins on boundary.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I agree with all that except House being up for #1 duty. I think he's a #2 corner, all the way.

King is raw, but he's our #1. So he'll have to grow up quck.

sonomaca's picture

House is a monster at the line. He can definitely tangle with Dez and Julio. King is not nearly strong enough yet to do that. He's a pup. Wouldn't dare put King on #1's yet. Get eaten alive.

House is only corner capable of handling the #1's at this point. If he gets hurt, that's going to be trouble.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I'm sorry, but if House were a "monster" at anything, he never would have been released from a mid-level contract by a below average team--regardless of system and fit.

This is an average corner, at best. Let's not convince ourselves that other teams are so incredibly stupid as to release lockdown corners on mid-level contracts.

King isn't ready, but the talent difference between him and House is immeasurable.

Get ready, kid. We need you.

sonomaca's picture

House is going to be #1 corner, and rightly so. Did anyone say differently? Capers? McCarthy? You're just making stuff up.

House is one of the best in NFL at challenging receivers up front. King would get swatted like a mosquito. He's a big, fast, talented kid. A kid.

CheesyTex's picture

Darrelle Revis is still available. Not what he used to be, but would solidify the corner position for the Packers.

The TKstinator's picture

Unless he's lost too much.

sonomaca's picture

I believe King's role will be to handle the "speed" receivers, the thinner, faster guys. It's going to take King a couple of years to become physically strong enough to handle the biggest and strongest elite receivers. That's a fact.

4zone's picture

3 days does not a season make!

Also, what's up with three days of workouts then a day off?

dobber's picture

They only get so many practice days according to the CBA. Film study, recovery, weights, team building...

packfan44's picture

Wise up it's the CBA!

Bub Christensen's picture

Speedster? Everything is about right, but at least know these players, 4.57 40 time, only Gunter is slower.

sonomaca's picture

King was 4.43 at combine. Really fast for such a tall guy.

The TKstinator's picture

I think BC was referring to Rollins.

Patrick Sherwood's picture

I think Rollins or Randall could dominate the slot...House/King/Gunter on the outside

Patrick Sherwood's picture

I also can see Packers using Jones and Burnett as ILB's on obvious passing downs...more speed and coverage ability

Patrick Sherwood's picture

Randall Ha Ha

King Rollins Burnett Jones House
Matthews Clark Daniels Perry

MarkLee22's picture

Wow! I'm reading alot about how if Rollins or Randall are back to being solid players, then that would make for a very good secondary this year. Correct me if I'm wrong but Kevin King hasn't played a down in the NFL and Davon House is the guy we let go a few years back. I'm not sure we go from horrible last year to great this year before we even played a down of a preseason game. Not bashing anybody yet but I ain't gonna say the defense is where we need it to be just yet. Fingers are crossed though!

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