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Minicamp Roundup

There are a ton of articles about minicamp posted at jsonline.com.

First is about the starting defensive tackle battle between DTs Corey Williams and 1st round pick Justin Harrell. It's good to read that Williams is motivated to beat out Harrell for the starting spot opposite DT Ryan Pickett, but it really doesn't matter. It's a matter of pride for whichever is named the starter, but all three tackles will probably receive about the same amount of playing time. Even if Williams is not named the starter, he might still play more than Pickett or Harrell because he has the size to play on run downs and is the best pass rusher of the three.

It might be an interesting changing of the guard that TE Donald Lee is starting ahead of TE Bubba Franks so far, but Lee only managed 10 catches in 2006 and isn't someone to get excited about. Lee was really promising in 2005 but he was invisible for most of 2006. It would be hard to believe he has somehow come out of nowhere since last season to beat out Franks.

It is amazing that WR Robert Ferguson is still on the roster. Mike Sherman signed Ferguson to a relatively cheap contract a couple years ago and it hasn't been necessary to release him since the Packers have had a good amount of salary cap room. On any team with any salary cap issues, Ferguson would have been long gone. The article says he has put on weight and it's likely he has lost some speed with the extra size. He has rarely shown any ability to play well in between the hash marks, so if he loses his deep speed along the sideline, then he's got nothing left. He needs to stay healthy, but he also needs to show some promise, which he hasn't shown in the last couple of seasons.

CB Will Blackmon had a great offseason. That's good news, but it doesn't really say anything. Right now its CBs Al Harris and Charles Woodson as the starters, CB Patrick Dendy in as the nickel cornerback, and that's pretty good. At the end of the season S Tyrone Culver came in as the sixth defensive back, but Blackmon and free agent CB Frank Walker probably have a good chance to play instead. Blackmon was a 4th round pick in 2006 so there is some expectation that he will earn some playing time in his 2nd NFL season or he might become in danger of losing his spot on the roster. He shouldn't be a big part of the defense in 2007, but he is probably the next best option if any of the top 3 cornerbacks are hurt.

And RB Vernand Morency is setting the pace! The article says Morency received slightly more time than RBs P.J. Pope and Noah Herron who are the only other running backs that aren't hurt or stuck on a promotional gig. Morency should be the number one back at this point, but this minicamp would have been a lot more interesting if 2nd round pick RB Brandon Jackson hadn't been doing endorsements in L.A. and was actually battling Morency for snaps. Unless Jackson really dazzles in the preseason, it would be a shock if Morency lost the starting job. It might be similar to the situation in Indianapolis last season, when RB Dominic Rhodes started most of the season and rookie RB Joseph Addai slowly picked away at Rhodes' playing time until Addai eventually played more than Rhodes. Morency might begin the season as the starting RB, but it seems likely that Jackson will eventually take the job away from him.