Tuesday, July 26th is a date that Green Bay Packers fans have kept circled on their calendars for the past month and a half; today, the Packers begin the real work of preparing for the 2016 NFL season as they take the field for the first time in Training Camp.
While we will focus on practice itself in short order (since it is an early session), today's curds will focus heavily on the Packers' linebackers. Specifically, a couple of veterans will go through their NFL-mandated interviews today in connection with the Al-Jazeera report from last year that mentioned their names in connection with PEDs. However, the most prominent name in the report was just cleared by the league of any misconduct, which suggests that any concern around these Packers - who were far smaller parts of the report - will be similarly dismissed.
Meanwhile, the Packers' linebacker corps is a tough unit to figure out, especially on the inside. Three players appear to be battling for starting spots, but how much depth will the team carry there? And how much is needed, knowing that one of those three players is starting camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list? You be the judge, but that situation certainly bears watching over the next several weeks.
Are you ready for some football? Because it's officially here.
Young core a key to Packers' success in 2016 | Packers.com
Green Bay tends to rely on its recent draft classes as much or more than any other NFL team, so this should be no surprise; the rookies will be called upon to play big roles early, and several second-year players are set up for important jobs as well.
Roster prediction: Breaking down Packers' 53 | JSOnline.com
A few big differences between our predictions and the Journal-Sentinel's include the JS having three inside linebackers to our five and seven wide receivers to our six.
Clay Matthews' return to outside LB leaves Green Bay Packers with Q's - ESPN
But will three inside backers be enough, with Matthews back outside full-time?
5 Guys That Have to be Good: Jayrone Elliott | Cheesehead TV
Speaking of pass-rushers, Elliott should be in line for more snaps this season and is one of the few players at the position who is still under team control next season (as a restricted free agent). He should have plenty of chances to show his value.
Can Eddie Lacy rebound to become a top fantasy RB? | PFF
With both a reshaped body and a healthy receiving corps (PUP list designations aside), Lacy should be back to a top-ten fantasy option this season.
NFL determines Peyton Manning did not use PEDs - SBNation.com
We expect that the same judgment will be reached regarding Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers in the next day or two.