Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Five Key Things To Watch In Camp: Number 3 - Starting Center

When one of the keys to watch in training camp is the center position, you know the Packers enter the season in pretty good shape. It's a position that's usually ignored during the draft, and the highest cap number for any center in 2013 was only $6.5 million, so it's not typically a priority during free agency either. That helps explain why the Packers didn't re-sign Evan Dietrich-Smith and instead are trusting that a former 4th round pick can learn the position after having played tackle in college.
There's a lot to like about J.C. Tretter, who moves well laterally and is quick off the ball. He could become a very effective run blocker who can take out the linebacker downfield. He'll also be helped by two veteran tackles who are among the best in the NFL. Though he missed almost the entire 2013 season to a broken ankle, he did return in early December and was able to practice for several weeks with the team. He won't be learning to adapt to the NFL schedule because he's already done it.

While there's not a lot to be worried about with Tretter, we still haven't actually seen him in a game as a Packer, which is why he'll be someone to watch this preseason.

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