Hello JonBob readers! First we'd like to apologize for going AWOL on you for the last few days. For those of you keeping track, we have four more CCQs to discuss before training camp starts tomorrow. I'm going to use this week's installment of Friday's Final Thoughts to finish 'em off and hopefully give you readers plenty to debate over.
CCQ #4: Do we even have a legitimate punter in camp?
Tim Masthay and Chris Bryan. Masthay is an undrafted free agent who was waived by the Colts last August. Bryan is an Aussie entering his first year in the NFL, although he's played four years in the Australian Football League. Neither of these guys has kicked in a single NFL game. Ever. That pretty much answers our question right there. We do not have a legitimate punter going into training camp. If I had to bet, I'd say we're in for another abysmal year in the punting department. It's really hard to speculate who will win the starting job due to both players' lack of experience. I'm going to have to give the edge to Bryan though, after "notching a career high 22 hit outs" in a Round 15 match against Adelaide in 2008.
CCQ #3: Can Burnett beat out Bigby?
This is going to be the most intriguing battle in training camp this year. While Bigby was taking his time signing his RFA tender, Burnett had the opportunity to run with the #1 defense during OTAs. The third round pick out of Georgia Tech then proceeded to wow the coaching staff with his playmaking ability, leaving Bigby's job security in question. If Burnett continues to impress once the pads are on, Atari better be ready to bring it in camp. If he doesn't, or if he gets hurt (God forbid), it is very likely that Burnett will win the starting job. Bigby has been knicked up, and also a bit of a liability in coverage. And it's been awhile since he's played like this:
I still think it's Bigby's job to lose, but Burnett is going to make it difficult on the coaches come preseason. Regardless of how the position battle plays out, you can bank on the fact that Morgan Burnett will earn some pretty significant playing time this year. Considering how thin Green Bay is at corner, Capers may whip up some defensive packages with Collins, Bigby, and Burnett on the field all at the same time.
CCQ #2: Who're the starting five on the O-line?
Let's start with the left tackle spot. Despite landing Bulaga in this year's draft, Clifton will most likely start the season at LT. However, I don't see him being the starter by the end of the season. Year after year his body breaks down at some point. Hopefully he can last long enough to give Bulaga time to fully prepare himself to take over. We'll go with Daryn Colledge at LG, Scott Wells at C and Josh Sitton at RG. Tauscher will beat out TJ Lang for the RT job. The depth of this unit has dramatically improved since last year. We'll see a lot less 300 pound belly flops on top of A-Rod and plenty more touchdown passes.
CCQ #1: Does Jones have what it takes at OLB?
Jones was solid last year. Will he take the next step this year and provide a significant pass rush opposite Clay Matthews? I think he does. Green Bay sticks to its philosophy of improvement within and Brad Jones will have plenty of opportunities to succeed.
Let's open it up. Tell us what you all think!