The Green Bay Packers just opened training camp this week. Time to look at more positions on Mike McCarthy’s club. Next up are the special teams.
With the summer comes the anticipation of another NFL season. For the Green Bay Packers, it began in earnest on July 26 when both rookies and veterans reported to training camp. It’s been quite a run for Mike McCarthy’s club. In 2016, they won the NFC North for the fifth time in six seasons and have now reached the postseason eight consecutive years.
Here we are in the midst of a series which will look at the Packers’ various positions and how they stack up heading into camp. We have already previewed the quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and offensive line. Meanwhile, we have already looked at the defensive line, as well as both the outside and inside linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties. Now we will review the special teams.
This past season, the Green Bay Packers averaged exactly 27 points per game. Their offensive unit totaled an impressive 51 touchdowns – 40 of those through the air via the arm of Aaron Rodgers. Mike McCarthy’s club did not get a score from its defense and special teams. Now the team must makes make some slight adjustments. Versatile defensive back/punt returner Micah Hyde is now a member of the Buffalo Bills. Meanwhile, look for wide receiver Travis Davis to up his workload here.
Elsewhere, keep in mind that Ty Montgomery, who was the primary kickoff return artist in 2016, is now the team’s starting running back. Hence, that could mean much more work on special teams for Jeff Janis. Davis could also be a bigger factor here as well. On the other hand, no team in the NFL allowed more yards per kickoff return than the Pack in 2016.
In terms of the kicking game, Mason Crosby remains solid. He connected on 26-of-30 field goals in ’16 and connected on a pair of crucial three-pointers in the playoff win at Dallas. Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers again have a new punter in undrafted rookie free agent Justin Vogel (Miami, Fla.). McCarthy’s club was 22nd in the NFL in average punt return yards allowed. All told, this club needs to do a much better covering all kicks. That would be a big help to a defensive unit still looking for some continuity.
Russell S. Baxter covers the Green Bay Packers for Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter at @baxfootballguru. Looking for more Packers news and features? Like our Packers Facebook page HERE and also follow @spot_packers on Twitter.