I never thought I’d ever be excited for Monday mornings, but here we are. I’ve had a ton of thoughts this offseason for new article series and this is the first edition of a new one: Monday Morning Q&A. What better way to start off your week than by talking Packers football? Make sure that you submit your questions to me on my Twitter account at @PTTF_ChalkTalk every Sunday and I’ll answer them right here in this series.
Lets dive in to it:
Does the front 7 have enough speed to compete with the new style offenses – a la Philly, KC, etc ?
— Eric Rose (@EricRose4) July 7, 2019
Great question here from Eric. The way that NFL offenses are evolving makes defensive coordinators want to fit their personnel to match up with the wide-open passing attacks that we’re seeing. What Eric is asking here specifically though is regarding the front 7. We’re seeing more and more RPOs and inside zone runs. The defense has got to be alert to cover the pass as well as the run on every play. So far what we see from the Packers personnel is a stout defensive line which has Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels, newly acquired outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith, and inside linebackers Blake Martinez and Oren Burks. As it looks right now, I think the Packers have the right personnel to spill a lot of these plays towards the sideline and allow the inside linebackers to clean up against the run. The weakest point seems to be the inside linebackers. Due to injuries last season, Pettine had to roll with only Martinez in the game in the base package look. I feel like against these offenses that he needs to stack the box and stuff the run. As Pack To The Future founder and writer Brian Fonfara always tells me, “Focus on taking away the run first and then the pass. Everything starts with the front 7.” This should be the focal point of the defense.
Who has a better year 2 jump, Alexander or Jackson?
— Cheese Heads (@packNcheese12) July 7, 2019
It is no secret that Jaire Alexander had a tremendous rookie season last year. I think he could take that to the next level this year and become a Pro Bowl caliber player. Alexander is a fantastic boundary corner. I especially liked how quickly he could read routes in zone coverage. I think Pettine will have the freedom to run either zone or man coverage with Jaire with little to no worry. Alexander played great bump and run coverage last season. Quarterbacks started to take note and go away from him.
Jackson on the other hand still needs to find his groove. I think we could see him get some snaps at the nickel position or possibly dime. The Packers tried him at slot corner a few times last season and you could tell on film that he is still raw. I was a little surprised, as I loved the Jackson pick last season. He has the tools and skill set to be successful, but right now I think the focus is putting him in a position where he will succeed.
Whos currently ahead Jmon Moore or Kumerov?
Who will be Backup QB Boyle or Kizer?
Are the question marks at OG something to worry about?
Maybe trade away a high pick for a second MLB?
Is the safety group deep enough?
— Packers17 (@Packerfan174) July 7, 2019
A really good set of questions here from @Packerfan174. I’ll try to hit the high points on each question.
Right now, I think Moore is ahead of Kumerow, though it is close. Kumerow became a fan favorite coming out of camp last season, and for good reason. He was a good vertical threat and a shifty player on intermediate routes. However, I feel like Moore will have a longer career in the NFL. I think Moore is a prototypical X receiver. He has great size, strength and tracks the ball well. He had some big drops in the preseason last year, but I think he needs to be given a chance to show what he can do.
In my opinion, Kizer will be the backup quarterback. He has great size for a quarterback and I feel like he progressively got better throughout the preseason last year. He seemed more confident in the pocket and wasn’t afraid to step up and deliver a pass. With reps in the preseason, he could really start to develop as a solid #2 QB.
The guard position, both LG and RG, has looked better to me going into camp than it has in the past few seasons. I’ve said all offseason long that the RG position was one of the biggest concerns on the offense, but after the addition of Billy Turner, I feel much more at ease. Turner is a great drive blocker and reaches the second level well.
If I could avoid trading away picks, I would. I subscribe to the Ted Thompson philosophy of building quality depth throughout the draft. The ILB position does worry me, but I’d rather see the Packers draft and develop talent at the position.
The safety position is thin, no doubt. The two key players there right now are Adrian Amos and rookie Darnell Savage, who hasn’t even taken a snap in the league yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some corners move at the end of camp. This could possibly be a fit for Josh Jackson, as he played a little safety at Iowa. Don’t count out the disgruntled Josh Jones, but I’m not sure where he will fit in with the team after camp.
That’s it for this weeks edition of Monday Morning Q&A. Don’t forget to submit your questions to me on Twitter @PTTF_ChalkTalk on Sunday’s to have your questions answered right here at Pack To The Future.
Follow me on Twitter: @PTTF_ChalkTalk or @PTTF_Ben