The Green Bay Packers failed to make it past the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs for the second season in a row. While Aaron Rodgers had another stellar season, the running game and defense seemed to lag behind all year and ended up costing the Packers in a playoff loss to the 49ers.
Changes have been made in Green Bay, though, and the offense could look considerably different in 2013. With Aaron Rodgers still firmly in his prime, the Packers figure to be contending for a Super Bowl title again this season.
As Packers fans have been accustomed to, general manager Ted Thompson let far more players walk in free agency than he brought in during the signing period. Gone are Ryan Grant, Cedric Benson, Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Erik Walden, Desmond Bishop and Charles Woodson. Driver retired, but the rest of the veterans simply weren't worth the price tag.
Thompson did manage to inject some talent through the NFL Draft, however. In the first round, the Packers added Datone Jones to bolster a defensive line in need of some depth. Green Bay also drafted a pair of running backs, Alabama's Eddie Lacy and UCLA's Johnathan Franklin, to a backfield in desperate need of fresh legs. Both ranked among the best running backs in the class and complement one another nicely.
Training camp schedule and location
The Packers will once again hold training camp at Ray Nitschke Field in Green Bay. In total, the team will have 19 practices open to the public.
Here is a full schedule of event from the fine folks over at ACME Packing Company.
|Thursday, July 25||Players Report||-|
|McCarthy's Season-Opening Presser||10:00 am|
|Friday, July 26||First Practice (Shells) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||8:20 am|
|Packers 1K Kids Run||6:00 pm|
|Movie Night at Lambeau Field||7:30 pm|
|Saturday, July 27||Practice (Shells) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||8:20 am|
|Packers 5K Run at Lambeau Field||6:30 pm|
|Sunday, July 28||Practice - OPEN TO PUBLIC||8:20 am|
|Monday, July 29||No Practice||-|
|Tuesday, July 30||Practice (Full Pads) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||8:20 am|
|Wednesday, July 31||Practice (Full Pads) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||8:20 am|
|Thursday, August 1||Practice (Full Pads) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||8:20 am|
|Friday, August 2||Practice - OPEN TO PUBLIC||7:00 pm|
|Saturday, August 3||Family Night at Lambeau Field||6:30 pm|
|Sunday, August 4||No Practice||-|
|Monday, August 5||Closed Practice||n/a|
|Tuesday, August 6||Practice (Full Pads) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||8:20 am|
|Wednesday, August 7||Practice (Full Pads) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||8:20 am|
|Thursday, August 8||Practice (Full Pads) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||8:20|
|Friday, August 9||Preseason Game vs. Arizona Cardinals||7:00 pm|
|Saturday, August 10||No Practice||-|
|Sunday, August 11||No Practice||-|
|Monday, August 12||Closed Practice||n/a|
|Tuesday, August 13||Practice (Full Pads) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||11:15 am|
|Wednesday, August 14||Practice (Full Pads) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||11:15 am|
|Thursday, August 15||Practice (Helmets) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||11:00 am|
|Friday, August 16||No Practice||-|
|Saturday, August 17||Preseason Game at St. Louis Rams||7:00 pm|
|Sunday, August 18||No Practice||-|
|Monday, August 19||Practice (Shells) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||11:30 am|
|Tuesday, August 20||Practice (Full Pads) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||11:15 am|
|Wednesday, August 21||Practice (Full Pads) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||11:00 am|
|Thursday, August 22||No Practice||-|
|Friday, August 23||Preseason Game vs. Seattle Seahawks||7:00 pm|
|Saturday, August 24||No Practice||-|
|Sunday, August 25||Practice (Shells) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||11:30 am|
|Monday, August 26||Practice (Full Pads) - OPEN TO PUBLIC||11:15 am|
|Tuesday, August 27||Practice (Full Pads) - FINAL PRACTICE OPEN TO PUBLIC||11:00 am|
|Wednesday, August 28||No Practice||-|
|Thursday, August 29||Preseason Game at Kansas City Chiefs||7:00 pm
Running back - Both Lacy and Franklin are capable of carrying the load, but they also complement one another nicely. The two can function as a tandem, but one will likely get a bigger share of the load. That will depend on who is able to stay healthy and produce through the preseason and training camp.
Right tackle - Marshall Newhouse, Don Barclay and Derek Sherrod will have a three-way competition to decide who starts at right tackle opposite Bryan Bulaga at left tackle. Sherrod is a former first-round pick that has been injury plagued, while Newhouse and Barclay have gotten more snaps the last two seasons due to injuries along the offensive line.
Safety - Morgan Burnett recently received a contract extension, but he needs a running mate in the Packers' secondary next season. Jerron McMillian and M.D. Jennings have both flashed potential early in their careers. McMillian is a particularly intriguing prospect after he brought some life to the Packers' defense in limited action as a rookie in 2012.