I follow a lot of Packers religiously on the twittersphere and one of the guys I've been interested in keeping up on is our old friend Will Blackmon. You may remember him. Often injured, seemed to have a decent preseason, tied for the franchise record with Desmond Howard in kick return TDs, was completely blindsided by his release in the 53 man cutdowns.
This much is obvious: We're hurting. Badly. We need help on defense, offense, you name it. This is a bad time to be using Jordy Nelson at kick return and Tramon Williams at punt return when Jermichael Finley and Morgan Burnett are out for extended time. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a guy who could back-up at safety and return kicks?
As some of you may or may not know, Blackmon's injury settlement for the Packers means that he's currently a free agent and although he may not sign with the Packers until Week 9, he's been hinting at a return for a bit. To what team is a bit cryptic at the moment. More after the jump..
Here's the first tweet that caught my eye..
(Aaron Nagler, FYI, lives in New York but runs CheeseheadTV and is an NFL blogger usually covering Packers stories)
He also put out some tweets regarding possibly signing with the Pats (they aren't even on the list!) as well as his idolizing Desmond Howard while growing up. Now two weeks from now isn't exactly week 9, but it is close enough to make me think he could go back to GB and start working out, see where he's at with his rehab, and bring him back.
Even though Atari Bigby and Al Harris are going to be back by then, I have my reservations about both guys. Al Harris hasn't had any sort of meaningful football activity in well over a year. This isn't like quarterback, kicker, or even offensive lineman where you can get back in there if you're healthy and know the system. Outside of running back, few positions fall harder faster in physical ability than the guys on the outside, the cornerbacks and wide receivers. Harris was, by all accounts statistical and otherwise, burnt when he was playing last year. Tramon Williams is clearly a better corner than he is at the moment, and especially in the zone scheme we play. Bigby has also been out for a while; he's going to take some time to shake the rust off and be able to perform.
I've heard a lot of people talking about James Starks in the return game as well as at running back and that talk needs to be put to rest right away, too. For one thing, Starks not only missed the whole offseason this year but also missed his entire last year of college as well due to injury. If he's at all available to be activated from the PUP list, there's no way he can make any sort of immediate impact.
Which brings me back to Will Blackmon. Blackmon was training at safety this offseason and from what I saw and heard, didn't look too bad doing it. We all know what he can do in the return game as well. I'd be pretty open to Aaron Stecker coming on board, but he's been away from the game for a while. Our depth in the secondary is a tremendous issue right now, and the return game was a problem even from the beginning. Any ideas out there?