GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 11: Charles Woodson #21 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates an interception against the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field on December 11, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Raiders 46-16. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
I woke up this morning to four separate articles/blog posts on mainstream media websites about M.D. Jennings this morning. The second year Green Bay Packers safety has been playing with the first team in OTAs in the absence of both Charles Woodson and Charlie Peprah, and he's impressed those who have been in attendance at OTAs. He's almost certainly going to see the field more this year than he did last year. By all accounts, he's a good young player and a really great guy. If he wins a job, I'll be thrilled.
A lot of people think he's the current leader in the race to win a starting safety job. All of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, ESPN Wisconsin and ESPN NFC North Blog wrote about Jennings and how he's working on winning a job. This is a cool story and I'm glad he's playing so well, but there's a problem with these articles that we need to address.
We'll talk about it below the jump.
Here's the Press-Gazette.
The Green Bay Packers have known for most or all of the offseason that they won't have Nick Collins starting at safety anymore.
Their fallback to replace him is Charlie Peprah, who started there last year after Collins suffered a neck injury in Week 2 that ended his season and career with the Packers.
They also drafted a player who should have a shot at winning the job in fourth-round pick Jerron McMillian of Maine.
But there's a third safety who at least is a dark-horse candidate: M.D. Jennings.
Here's the Journal-Sentinel.
This summer, defensive coaches hope competition helps spark a turnaround. Safety is a prime example. Peprah hasn't been shy in expressing his desire to be the starter - and a Pro Bowl player. As he picks up the defense, fourth-round pick Jerron McMillian is going to get a strong look. And Anthony Levine is also in the mix.
Both Pete Dougherty and Tyler Dunne missed (or neglected to mention) something that Jason Wilde reminded everyone of at ESPN Wisconsin. The emphasis is mine.
While the Packers could go a variety of directions at the position - including shifting Charles Woodson from cornerback to safety - Jennings has been working ahead of Anthony Levine and rookie fourth-round pick Jerron McMillian while Peprah and Woodson haven't taken part in OTAs.
Hey guys, remember Charles Woodson? The guy who's not participating in OTAs because he's Charles Woodson? The guy who we all pegged as the starting safety a month ago, and who has done numerous interviews stating he's willing to move to safety?
If the coaching staff wants to move Woodson to safety and Woodson wants to play safety, there isn't any competition for the job. We haven't seen Woodson suit up yet. Until someone comes out and says "Charles Woodson will not be a starting safety", I'm going to assume that M.D. Jennings is fighting to be a situational safety and the primary every-down backup, not the starter.