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State of the Packers - Training Camp Preview
David Dorey
July 22, 2009
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This series of analysis on the 32 NFL teams takes a look at where teams have been over the last three years for each position - where they have ranked in the most notable categories and the hard statistics produced. This is to give a view of each team heading into training camp and what they most likely need to improve on this season and where their strengths lie that likely won't need any changes. Ending each team review is a brief summation of what to watch in training camp in August to uncover those developing situations that you can take advantage. Combining where teams have come from and what they have done in free agency and the NFL draft gives you the very same thing that NFL coaches are looking at as they attempt to improve their team for 2009.
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ARI ATL BAL BUF CAR CHI
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Training Camp Opens: July 31
Head Coach: Mike McCarthy (4th year)
Stadium: Lambeau Field  Surface: Grass
2009 Schedule   2009 Roster   2008 Statistics   2008 Record: 6-10

QB Carries Rush YD Rush TD Pass Comp Comp % Pass YD YPP Pass TD Int Rank YD Rank TD
2006 25 39 1 625 347 56% 3917 11.3 18 18 10 19
2007 41 47 0 578 383 66% 4461 11.6 30 15 2 6
2008 60 211 4 541 343 63% 4044 11.8 28 13 7 5

Quarterback - Aaron Rodgers sat around the NFL draft in 2005 until he was taken with the 24th pick (unlike the top ten that was expected). Then he sat around three more years waiting for Brett Favre to end his annual retirement charade. He was also carrying the weight of being a Ted Tedford product, the CAL coach who churned out great college quarterbacks who would then flop in the NFL. Ends up it was all worth waiting for. Rodgers had a tremendous season and now enters just his second year as a starter in the league. It was like all the productivity of Favre without the headaches.

RB Carries Rush YD YPC Rush TD Target Rcv Catch % Catch YD Rcv TD Rank YD Rank TY Rank TD
2006 399 1643 4.1 8 147 114 78% 828 3 19 12 22
2007 342 1534 4.5 13 125 95 76% 603 0 20 18 15
2008 374 1590 4.3 7 82 65 79% 412 4 17 24 25

Running Backs - After being the big surprise of 2007, Ryan Grant has his first season as a starter but stumbled early in the year with scores in only two of the first nine games and never more than 90 yards in a game until week seven. He also had almost no role as a receiver. The Packers rushing attack had historically been around average but dropped last year while the passing took off under Rodgers. Grant remains the starter this year along with help from Brandon Jackson. They also drafted fullback Quinn Johnson with a desire to make him into a goal line back. This summer should indicate if Grant holds on or if the backfield turns more into a committee.

WR Target Rcv Catch % Catch YD YPR Rcv TD Ranks YD Rank TD
2006 376 180 48% 2540 14.1 13 11 17
2007 349 220 63% 3140 14.3 21 5 7
2008 365 222 61% 3093 13.9 18 2 3

Wide Receivers - This is quietly an interesting camp watch. Greg Jennings has already proven he is the resident stud but Donald Driver is 34 years of age and barely holding on to his relevance as a fantasy wideout. He will remain the starter this year but the Packers need someone to fill in when he leaves. That gives this unit big importance to dynasty leagues and perhaps even this season can witness one of the other wideouts stepping up. Third year player James Jones is the leading candidate along with Jordy Nelson also being a factor both as a receiver and a special teams player. This will remain a passing team with opportunities for the younger players.

TE Target Rcv Catch % Catch YD YPR Rcv TD Ranks YD Rank TD
2006 113 56 50% 580 10.4 2 17 26
2007 97 68 70% 718 10.6 9 12 6
2008 79 56 71% 539 9.6 6 23 11

Tight Ends
- The one place that Rodgers was not helpful was with the tight end numbers. Donald Lee literally had about half as productive a year as he did in 2007 with Favre. The player sparking at least hopes of a better 2009 is the second year player Jermichael Finley who only had six catches as a rookie but the former wide receiver should be much better adjusted to his new role this year.

Training Camp Fantasy Angle - Not much to prove for Aaron Rodgers this year but the rest of the team needs to develop. Driver is going to remain for at least one more year but James Jones and Jordy Nelson are must watch players this August because one will at least have value as the slot and could end up the #2 in 2010 or 2011. Grant and Jackson will continue to be the primary runners but watch to see if Quinn Johnson does have any play as a short yardage back. That mostly would serve to decrease Grants' already middling draft stock. Lastly, Jermichael Finley could take a step up this year and have fantasy value particularly for dynasty leagues.

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