Sporting News - Where do the Packers stand?


May 31, 2005
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PERSONNEL ANALYSIS: QB Brett Favre has committed himself to sticking around for all of the team's organized team activities (OTA's) because he is learning a new system. Many of the plays are the same, but the formations vary and the words to describe each play are vastly different than the system he was under the past six seasons. As a result, Favre is struggling with calling the play in the huddle and getting everyone in the proper positions. Once the ball is snapped there isn't a problem because coach Mike McCarthy is running a basic West Coast offense. Favre isn't engaging in the same rigorous off-season conditioning program he undertook a year ago, but he is trying to maintain the gains he made through those workouts. At this point, his arm is nowhere near peak condition and his volume of throws is being limited. . . .

With RBs Ahman Green (thigh) and Najeh Davenport (ankle) sidelined, Samkon Gado is making his pitch to be the top running back. The newcomers on the coaching staff don't know much about him, so he has to re-establish himself in a new system. Right now, Gado is thinking too much in a zone system based mostly on reaction. The idea is to feel the opening and then explode through it. Gado is trying too hard to analyze where the hole is and when he should commit to it. Because of his explosiveness he should be a natural for the system, but he must think less and react more to be successful.

SCOUTING REPORT: QB Aaron Rodgers is starting to fill out physically, and it's noticeable in the strength of his throws. He has shown excellent deep ball accuracy in recent workouts and is putting decent zip on his balls over the middle and to the sideline. Rodgers has a fairly quick release and throws a nice spiral. His ability to throw on the run or outside of the pocket still is a question mark. He has enough athletic ability to avoid the rush, but he must show he can make plays under duress. Until the pads come on in July, it will be hard to tell whether he has made significant gains in that area.

INSIDE DISH: For a team with a no-nonsense coach like Mike McCarthy, it's an embarrassment for the Packers to have veterans like CB Al Harris, CB Charles Woodson and DT Ryan Pickett miss all of the voluntary offseason workouts. The club signed Woodson and Pickett to big free-agent deals, and neither has attended a single OTA.

GUARDS/CENTERS ANALYSIS: D-minus. Two years ago this team had one of the strongest interiors in the NFL, and now it's in a total rebuilding stage.

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