- Each week during the season (and pre-season) we’ll talk with the FanSided editor who covers the Colts’ upcoming opponent and try to get a better understanding of the enemy before us. This time around, we pull our Trojan Horse up outside of the Green Bay Packers’ gate and talk to Ray Rivard of Lombardi Ave.
The Packers lost a few players during free agency but were otherwise pretty quiet. Any new faces, including rookies, we should follow on Friday?
This year, the Packers have had a solid draft, adding significant depth to both the offense and defense. Watch for the first, second and third round picks – OL Derek Sherrod, WR Randall Cobb, and RB Alex Green to get significant time in this game.
The Packers have also brought in some interesting undrafted free agent wide receivers who will be doing their best to show scouts what they can do as they have little chance of making the team.
How are things on the injury front? Do you expect the Pack to be at full strength by opening day?
Right now, OLB Frank Zombo is out 4-6 weeks with a broken scapula and DL Mike Neal has a twisted knee and will probably be held out, though he is listed day-to-day.
Otherwise, the team is in pretty good shape.
What areas did the Packers improve the most this off-season?
The team really loaded up on offense with the drafting of a couple of quality tight ends, offensive linemen, and Green and Cobb.
The team is really high on Cobb, who adds a new dimension to special teams. In fact, it could be special teams that could show the biggest improvement this season.
Are there any particularly intriguing position battles that we should watch on Friday?
On the offensive line, Sherrod has been competing with TJ Lang for the LG position, though Lang has the upper hand at this point.
Watch the play of Erik Walden at OLB opposite Clay Matthews, as well as inside linebacker next to AJ Hawk.
As you might expect, most of the positions have been decided.
Many teams prepare for and play the third pre-season game as if it’s a real contest. Do you think the Packers will follow this trend and show us their projected starting lineup?
Yes. I expect the starters to play a good portion of, if not the entire first half. However, there are many players that need to hit the field for the evaluation process, so it could be a jailbreak in the second half.
How optimistic are you that Green Bay will repeat this year?
Like everyone else, we are very optimistic for a repeat, given that high profile players such as Jermichael Finley, Ryan Grant, and Morgan Burnett return.
However, this is the NFL and strange things happen every weekend.
That said, if there is a better team in the league, I’m not sure who it could be.