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My 5 Key Breakout Players This Season

 
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packfan4


Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: South Jersey
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:28 pm    Post subject: My 5 Key Breakout Players This Season Reply with quote

5. Running Back Eddie Lacy

All signs have pointed to MM depending on the Running Game more so this year than any in recent memory, and Lacy is IMO going to be the key to that. McCarthy has also stated his desire for a bellcow or 3-down RB, so Lacy is going to used heavily this season if he can stay healthy. Having a consistent Running Game could elevate this Offense to historic proportions, and preserve Rodgers from taking unnecessary hits. I remember how lethal our Play-action passing game was with Ahman Green in the lineup, think LAcy could us that same presence. Anyone else sick of 40 yard bombs on 3rd-n-1 or John Kuhn being stuffed 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage in short yardage? Hopefully Lacy is the ends all of that. Dujuan Harris & Jonathan Franklin are going to have a definite role on this Offense as well but Lacy is going to be our workhorse and the key to our running game this season.

4. Safety Jerron McMillian

McMillian has been splitting reps with MD Jennings this offseason but when it's all said and done I think McMillian is going to be the guy seeing the most action opposite Burnett. I think he is going to spend most of his time floating around the line of scrimmage, where he really excels but he has more than enough athleticism to thrive in coverage as well. I think Burnett is just scratching the surface of his Pro Bowl potential and McMillian's development is going to be key in that regard. He flashed serious raw ability in spurts last season and is going play a large role on this Defense this season. Dom Capers Defense is very complex, he uses a lot of mixed coverages and exotic blitzes, which makes the job very difficult for Safeties in this Defense. I trust McMillian to make the 2nd year leap and step up big for us opposite Burnett.

3. Defensive End Mike Neal

The biggest story of OTAs so far has been Neal lining up at OLB, so what does it mean? Is Neal making a full-fledge position switch? Of course not. We used Neal in a similar role last year with him standing up in our 1-5-5 Psycho package, so it's not exactly an earth shattering move to be honest. All it means to me is what I've been preaching all offseason, McCarthy is going to expand Neal's role as a moving chest piece. Last season Neal ranked 3rd among all 3-4 DE's in pressures per snap, and he finished the year with 4.5 Sacks despite missing the first 4 games of the season due to suspension. Aside from Matthews, he's going to need to be the next biggest threat for a pass rush. It's a contract year for Neal, so there's added motivation in that regard. The problem has never been ability with Neal, it's been his durability, and if he can stay healthy I believe he is in line for a big year and a fat contract extension.

2. Outside Linebacker Nick Perry

The Defensive guy we are depending on the most to elevate his game this season is Nick Perry IMO. It's a shame his season was cut short last year due to injury because he lost valuable reps that would have aided his progression. I'm sure the coaching staff knew that it wasn't going to be an overnight transition for Perry coming out of USC, so he needed as many reps as he could have gotten last season. He is healthy now however, so it's time for him to take advantage of the opportunity he has in front of him. Matthews can't shoulder the entire pass rush load, contrary to perception, so it's going to be key for Perry to step up and take his game to the next level. Physically, Perry is a freak, he just needs to hone the mental aspect of the game before he can really excel. Kevin Greene has spoken very highly of Perry's work ethic, so he just needs to continue to put in the work necessary. Getting push up front from guys like Raji, Neal, & Datone Jones could do wonders for Perry & Matthews but Perry still needs to be able to win match ups on his own.

1. Left Tackle Bryan Bulaga

I am amazed that Rodgers didn't get killed last season with Marshall Newhouse protecting his blindside. He was solid at times but inconsistent overall. Bulaga wasn't having a great season before he went down with the hip injury but he has shown elite ability in years prior. I was thrilled when he fell into our laps in the 1st year a couple years ago and thought we had our LT of the future at the time. He is never going to be Chad Clifton is pass protection but I believe he has the ability to be one of the better all around LT's in the NFL. He is going to loom large in the running game as well this season, pairing with Sitton for a physical left side of the line. The hardest aspect of switching sides on the O-Line is getting your footwork down IMO, so I'm glad we made the move early enough to give Bulaga an entire offseason to grow into his role. It's time for Bulaga to step up and be the cornerstone Left Tackle we thought he was going to be when took him 23rd overall.


*What do you guys think? Who are your top 5 guys that need to elevate their games to the next level?
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CobbsNRodgers


Joined: 27 Feb 2013
Posts: 135
Location: Iowa
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

5. Eds- I understand he hasn't been a full time guy yet, but now he is. This year will decide his fate as a key player, or a replaceable one.

4. Morgan Burnett- His numbers aren't bad, I put him on here for leadership. Now that Wood is gone, I want to see Morgan take the leadership role of the DBs.

3. RE- who ever plays the role of RDE needs to be getting pressure on the QB. I don't care who it is, it just needs to be done.

2. T- I am confident with Bulaga no matter which side he plays on. Whom ever plays opposite him needs to keep AR on his feet, and off his back.

1- JMike- Hype Hype Hype. When does he realize his potential, if ever?
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justo


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:45 am    Post subject: Re: My 5 Key Breakout Players This Season Reply with quote

packfan4 wrote:
4. Safety Jerron McMillian
2. Outside Linebacker Nick Perry


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driftwood


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:05 am    Post subject: Re: My 5 Key Breakout Players This Season Reply with quote

justo wrote:
packfan4 wrote:
4. Safety Jerron McMillian
2. Outside Linebacker Nick Perry




bwahahhaah...

but seriously hope you're right (id hate to see another 1st round pick wasted due to injury)
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Pack4life7


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finley is the player most important to the success of our Offense IMO. Wel be top 10 no matter what but if we get 2009 Jmike we are best in the league hands down.
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Beast


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see 5 "Breakout Players" and asking about 5 "guys that need to elevate their games to the next level?" ... to me those are two different things.

For break out players,

1) S McMillian
The guy kept flashing potential left and right but he couldn't be consistent with it. I just have a gut feeling that if he stays healthy he's going to break out huge for the Packers this year or next.

2) OLB Perry
If he stays healthy, I think he could break out. After his first offseason at his new position. He's got a lot of talent and potential. So why not?

3) DL Neal (part time OLB)
4.5 sacks in a 11 games. So this break out might of started last year already. But I think given more snaps and more chances to move with help him and he'll give breathers to the OLB and/or get more pressure in there on the 3rd and longs.

4) TE Quarless
Quarless has always moved surprisingly well for a guy his size. With his quick little bust and powerful speed in some ways he moves like a 250 Cobb (minus the quick twitch, plus blocking skills)... and with the TE screens and other stuff MM seems to would like to use him as such as well. According to MM he's looking better than ever. Now he has to be able to track the ball in the air something he has struggle with on long throws but if he fix that he could become something special. I think he and Finley are different types of TEs so they could use both (if they could resign both, but probably won't). I feel like Quarless is more like a Jimmy Graham/Aaron Hernandez type TE than other big names. I think both are quick/fast/good... but both need some space to work in and struggle when spaces get too tight. Where others like Jason Witton, Tony Gonzalez, Finley, Rob Gronkowski can work in tight spaces better. Though Quarless might be able to block better than those other TEs like him.

5) RB Starks
It's not clear Starks will even make the roster, if he gets injured he's probably gone. But when healthy the kid can be a beast. Everyone seems to be counting him out... I'm wildly guessing... but I'm thinking / hoping he might have his break out. Odd timing with the other backs coming in but you never know it could happen.

Honorable Mentions: WR Boykins, WR Ross, DL Daniels, OL Barclay, OL D-Smith, CBs as a whole, QB Coleman,

-------------------------

5 "guys that need to elevate their games to the next level

1) front 7 of the defense as a whole
The 49ers offense doing great was largely because only Mathews and Pickett were on defense were able to hold their role. The rest of the DL and LB were being beat by physicalness and effort.

2) running game on offense
When the Packers went against those better defenses they stopped the run while they were pass rushing... so no reason to pay an once of attention to the run. And the OL need to run block and not pass block on every play. The running game needs to get better.

3) DL Raji
Raji like Finley has a ton of potential, but they're not maximizing it. Finley did finally step up late last year and started maximizing it more. Raji still needs to do that. And yes he's on the field a lot, but he's not winning the one on ones nearly as often as he used too (and he was on the field a lot then too). Though he has improved a lot of is weakness... his strength have gotten a bit worse for it. He need to just take that next step and bring his strength back to where they were and making use the weakness is no longer weak.

4) RT Newhouse (really the RT position)
The physical talent is there, I think it more mentally is the question. At times he's be beaten and that happens once in a while to all guys... but too often he beats the DE and then doesn't finish the job... doesn't stay on him, giving him another chances and at times the DE is able to do something with that. That's a problem and his run blocking needs to get better but as I've said since he's gotten his part of that his technique... the way he moves his arms he's never going to a ton of chest muscle into it like that. And it just looks so natural and ingrained to him I wasn't use that was coachable... then again I wasn't sure his weird kick side was ether and for the most part they've fixed that.

5) 3-4 DEs (as a group)
For run stopping Pickett looked very good to great, but he has little to no value in pass rush. And Neal started some in the pass rush but wasn't good in the run stopping. They need someone to be complete guy out there for them. And maybe Jones can be that guy... but usually DL needs a year to get adjusted to the NFL.

Honorable Mention: SS, RG, OLB, RB, ILB, OLB etc...
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MNPackfan32


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 5 Key Players- Outside of the obvious Matthews and Rodgers.

5. Bryan Bulaga - He has to stay healthy and he has to play well. LT has been a nightmare the last 2 years and a shaky O-line has lead to the demise of our offense in the playoffs the last couple years. Bulaga needs to nail down the LT spot.

4. RT - Sherrod, Newhouse, Bakhtiari, Barclay, Datko..... I don't give a damn who wins the job. But whoever wins the job better put on their big boy pants and come to play on Sundays. We have gotten little to no production out of these guys and it is time for one to step up.

3. Morgan Burnett - Dude needs to take that next step. Was mostly invisible last year outside of the 1 Vikings game. I thought he was better the first part of 2011 before his broken hand. The guy needs to step up and become a bigger play maker.

2. Eddie Lacy - Getting that ground game going will only help Rodgers and the entire O-line. If Lacy can come in and be a big physical 3 down back, that will add a whole new level to our offense and hopefully keep Rodgers from getting sacked so much.

1. MD Jennings - It seems clear to me that the staff like McMillian as the 3rd safety who plays in the box and start Jennings who is more of a deep half safety. We didn't end up in a position to draft a FS type, so it looks like we are rolling with MD. Doc needs to step his game up, probably our worst starter on our entire roster. Step up or get gone!
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Beast


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MNPackfan32 wrote:
My 5 Key Players- Outside of the obvious Matthews and Rodgers.

3. Morgan Burnett - Dude needs to take that next step. Was mostly invisible last year outside of the 1 Vikings game. I thought he was better the first part of 2011 before his broken hand. The guy needs to step up and become a bigger play maker.


See key players that's even another list. Just not sure which list we were doing. But if we were doing key players Bulaga that need to step up Bulaga would be in my top 2 for sure.

As for Burnett, Capers changed the coverage, playing a lot more cover 2 which I think is one of the reasons Burnett was more invisible. Against cover 2 the QBs look for shorter stuff more than the deep stuff because both Safeties are covering the deep zone. So Burnett area probably got tested less because the idea of cover 2 is to keep it from going deep which means more shorter passes which then the closest guy goes to get. And normally the safety isn't the closest guy on a shorter pass.

That and I question if he has the pure speed for FS or not... but that was the same in 2011. I think he's better suited for SS... probably is so is McMillian who is probably will be the next best S, so someone has to play FS.
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Packerraymond


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beast wrote:
MNPackfan32 wrote:
My 5 Key Players- Outside of the obvious Matthews and Rodgers.

3. Morgan Burnett - Dude needs to take that next step. Was mostly invisible last year outside of the 1 Vikings game. I thought he was better the first part of 2011 before his broken hand. The guy needs to step up and become a bigger play maker.


See key players that's even another list. Just not sure which list we were doing. But if we were doing key players Bulaga that need to step up Bulaga would be in my top 2 for sure.

As for Burnett, Capers changed the coverage, playing a lot more cover 2 which I think is one of the reasons Burnett was more invisible. Against cover 2 the QBs look for shorter stuff more than the deep stuff because both Safeties are covering the deep zone. So Burnett area probably got tested less because the idea of cover 2 is to keep it from going deep which means more shorter passes which then the closest guy goes to get. And normally the safety isn't the closest guy on a shorter pass.

That and I question if he has the pure speed for FS or not... but that was the same in 2011. I think he's better suited for SS... probably is so is McMillian who is probably will be the next best S, so someone has to play FS.


Morgan Burnett was invisible because he misses assignments, his bulk numbers and the Minnesota game get him over-hyped on here, this is a final test season for him. I got to learn the Dom Capers defense from the man himself this off-season and its quite complicated, Only Walden blew more calls than Burnett last year, and we all agree Walden was terrible.
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2Bigby0


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel like the progression of these guys becoming big time players are pivotal to the Packers success.

5 - Jermichael Finley
He's off... Then on. Awfully inconsistent with highs and lows thus far. Him becoming a consistent threat up the seam is big for the offense. It's time for him to earn the big money he's being paid. I expect to see Finley's best season. He really improved over the second half of the season.

4 - Morgan Burnett
He's had steady play over the last couple seasons. He was a ball hawk at Georgia Tech and with the departures of Woodson and Bishop, someone must step up as an additional playmaker. Safety is a difficult position in today's NFL and in particular, our scheme. Burnett having a big season would boost the defense.

3 - Bryan Bulaga
Being shifted to LT he's not protecting 'The Franchise's' blindside. Bulaga has been a steady starter as well. But it's time for him to elevate his game. The offensive line play has been anemic. It lacks an overall leader a consistency. Bulaga breaking through would be huge for the future of the offensive line as well as the present.

2 - Datone Jones
Unrealistic expectations? Maybe. The Packers need help on the defensive front. Impact full help. Since Cullen Jenkins left, there has been a huge void. If Jones can come in and play quality snaps and provide a consistent pass rush, it would go a long way. The Packers haven't had this type of depth on the D Line since Capers first took the reigns of DC. Jones having the type of impact Hayward had last year would boost this defense quite a bit.

1 - Lacy/Franklin/Harris
Whether it be one of them or a combination, the lack of running game has to stop. A quality run game would do a lot to opening up our offense. We must find a way to dictate the defense and get them out of the 2 high safety look. It will improve our play action pass as well. We need to be able to pound the rock on third and short and goal line situations. An improved run game is the number 1 need on this team. One of these guys could break out or we could have a combination of them with roles. Doesn't matter to me, as long as the run game improves.
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Pugger


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beast wrote:
I see 5 "Breakout Players" and asking about 5 "guys that need to elevate their games to the next level?" ... to me those are two different things.

For break out players,

1) S McMillian
The guy kept flashing potential left and right but he couldn't be consistent with it. I just have a gut feeling that if he stays healthy he's going to break out huge for the Packers this year or next.

2) OLB Perry
If he stays healthy, I think he could break out. After his first offseason at his new position. He's got a lot of talent and potential. So why not?

3) DL Neal (part time OLB)
4.5 sacks in a 11 games. So this break out might of started last year already. But I think given more snaps and more chances to move with help him and he'll give breathers to the OLB and/or get more pressure in there on the 3rd and longs.

4) TE Quarless
Quarless has always moved surprisingly well for a guy his size. With his quick little bust and powerful speed in some ways he moves like a 250 Cobb (minus the quick twitch, plus blocking skills)... and with the TE screens and other stuff MM seems to would like to use him as such as well. According to MM he's looking better than ever. Now he has to be able to track the ball in the air something he has struggle with on long throws but if he fix that he could become something special. I think he and Finley are different types of TEs so they could use both (if they could resign both, but probably won't). I feel like Quarless is more like a Jimmy Graham/Aaron Hernandez type TE than other big names. I think both are quick/fast/good... but both need some space to work in and struggle when spaces get too tight. Where others like Jason Witton, Tony Gonzalez, Finley, Rob Gronkowski can work in tight spaces better. Though Quarless might be able to block better than those other TEs like him.

5) RB Starks
It's not clear Starks will even make the roster, if he gets injured he's probably gone. But when healthy the kid can be a beast. Everyone seems to be counting him out... I'm wildly guessing... but I'm thinking / hoping he might have his break out. Odd timing with the other backs coming in but you never know it could happen.

Honorable Mentions: WR Boykins, WR Ross, DL Daniels, OL Barclay, OL D-Smith, CBs as a whole, QB Coleman,

-------------------------

5 "guys that need to elevate their games to the next level

1) front 7 of the defense as a whole
The 49ers offense doing great was largely because only Mathews and Pickett were on defense were able to hold their role. The rest of the DL and LB were being beat by physicalness and effort.

2) running game on offense
When the Packers went against those better defenses they stopped the run while they were pass rushing... so no reason to pay an once of attention to the run. And the OL need to run block and not pass block on every play. The running game needs to get better.

3) DL Raji
Raji like Finley has a ton of potential, but they're not maximizing it. Finley did finally step up late last year and started maximizing it more. Raji still needs to do that. And yes he's on the field a lot, but he's not winning the one on ones nearly as often as he used too (and he was on the field a lot then too). Though he has improved a lot of is weakness... his strength have gotten a bit worse for it. He need to just take that next step and bring his strength back to where they were and making use the weakness is no longer weak.

4) RT Newhouse (really the RT position)
The physical talent is there, I think it more mentally is the question. At times he's be beaten and that happens once in a while to all guys... but too often he beats the DE and then doesn't finish the job... doesn't stay on him, giving him another chances and at times the DE is able to do something with that. That's a problem and his run blocking needs to get better but as I've said since he's gotten his part of that his technique... the way he moves his arms he's never going to a ton of chest muscle into it like that. And it just looks so natural and ingrained to him I wasn't use that was coachable... then again I wasn't sure his weird kick side was ether and for the most part they've fixed that.

5) 3-4 DEs (as a group)
For run stopping Pickett looked very good to great, but he has little to no value in pass rush. And Neal started some in the pass rush but wasn't good in the run stopping. They need someone to be complete guy out there for them. And maybe Jones can be that guy... but usually DL needs a year to get adjusted to the NFL.

Honorable Mention: SS, RG, OLB, RB, ILB, OLB etc...


Unless Lacy, Franklin and Harris bomb this summer I fear Starks days in Green and Gold are numbered.
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