Friday, June 20, 2014

Packers Minicamp Wrap-Up: Franklin Remains The Big Story

The Packers ended their 2014 minicamp on Thursday by giving their veterans the day off. They now have just over a month off before they return for training camp on July 25.

I've been reading Aron Yohannes at Acme Packing Company, who's been doing a great job of following the practices live and accumulating tweets from the various beat reporters.

The overall theme I've read was that their receivers (wideouts and tight ends) all are practicing well. None of it matters until they start playing games, but they now have a deep group to choose from. Last season, the offense was lacking an effective pass receiving tight end after Jermichael Finley's injury, and they need either Richard Rodgers or Colt Lyerla to step up. Lyerla's a major character risk, but he's doing well so far. Maybe the move away from Oregon (where he's seemed to have lived for most of his life) to Green Bay, WI where he can work with a small group of professionals is exactly what he needs.

FYI- Lyerla's a fascinating player. He's like a TE version of Eddie Lacy; an absolute load to bring down in the open field. Sometimes he lined up in the backfield and took the hand-off (he was a star running back in high school). Richard Rodgers is more like Finley, a big receiving threat who can exploit mismatches against smaller DBs, while Lyerla could bring another dimension to the offense.

However, the news of Johnathan Franklin's retirement due to a neck injury was the major story. As far as the roster's concerned, it presents an opportunity for DuJuan Harris to fill a role on offense and special teams next season, but the big takeaway for me is how quickly a NFL career can be over. The best of luck to him in his future plans.

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