Rambling Thoughts on the First Week of Camp

When you're about 300 miles away from training camp, it's hard to consider yourself an authority on what's going down. But The Head Cheese will muse on what's been reported so far.

As of this writing we're still over a week away from the preseason opener and the guys have only been in pads for a day or two, so let's not get too caught up in where position battles stand. When you're coming off a 15-2 season, you're not going to have a lot of position battles, but the most interesting one so far is at cornerback.

Charles Woodson turned a few heads at the first practice when he lined up at safety in the base defense, but really that's not all that new. He lined up there a good amount of time last season and when the team plays nickel (which it does a lot), he's back at corner manning the slot. His days of playing CB on the outside are over--not too many soon-to-be 36 year olds out there--but he will still be asked to move all over the field and still has the skills to be a difference maker.

Jarrett Bush got the first chance to start opposite Tramon Williams, but it sounds like second year guy Davon House has taken a major step up and could compete for that spot. The Sam Shields situation is one I'll be watching closely. He has regressed since his surprising rookie campaign and is being seriously challenged for his roster spot. Sounds like he had a better day on Monday, but keep an eye on the depth chart here. Rookie Casey Hayward has been inconsistent, which is not a surprise. Let's see what he looks like in a couple of weeks.

Aaron Rodgers pronounced this team better than last year's. He stressed the record may not show it, but he likes what he sees in the new defensive linemen the team brought in. He says they've brought a little "nasty" to the defense. The five new guys, Anthony Hargrove, Philip Merling, Daniel Muir and rookies Jerel Worthy and Mike Daniels give this unit some much-needed depth. gone are the days of relying on undrafted guys to take meaningful snaps.

Offensively, the only real question mark is the running game. By letting Ryan Grant walk and not replacing him with another veteran, the Pack will be hoping that James Starks can stay healthy and that second year guy Alex Green can bounce back from his knee injury. Brandon Saine showed enough to be a capable backup, but it would be nice if a proven back gets cut somewhere and Green Bay can pick him up on the cheap. The running game will always be an afterthought in this offense; but remember what Starks did in the '11 playoffs? It would be nice to be able to rely on that when the weather turns.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the first week of camp was the release of safety Charlie Peprah. After bursting on the scene following Morgan Burnett's injury two years ago, he fell to earth last season and was a weak link on the defense. MD Jennings gets a chance to get on the field as does rookie Jerron McMillian.

So once the preseason games start, what will you be watching most closely? Send me your comments below and I'll comment on them. I'll be focused on first round pick Nick Perry, who at 265 seems awfully heavy to play OLB. Undrafted Dezman Moses has also turned some heads (a la Vic So'oto a year ago). I want to see what kind of juice he has opposite Clay Matthews.

I'm heading to Packers Family Night on Friday with the wife and three kids. I'll post my diary of the night once the kids are all tucked in. Looking forward to nine year old Jackson's first Lambeau experience. He wants to wear his Percy Harvin jersey. Sigh.

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