The Green Bay Packers’ second preseason game is approaching quickly, and with it comes an opponent in Washington who the Packers have become reasonably acquainted with over the past few seasons.
The Packers have played in Washington each of the past two seasons, with a Wild-Card playoff victory following the 2015 season and a regular-season loss in 2016. This past offseason was a tumultuous one for the team in the nation’s capital, however, and there are plenty of storylines to examine from the spring and summer.
Here’s a look at Washington’s offseason, with information provided by the folks at Hogs Haven.
Notable free agent additions: WRs Terrelle Pryor, Brian Quick, S DJ Swearinger, ILB Zach Brown; DE Terrell McClain, Stacy McGee
Notable free agent departures: WRs DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon; DE Chris Baker, DE Ricky Jean Francois
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies: DE Jonathan Allen, OLB Ryan Anderson
Biggest offseason addition: Terrelle Pryor will be asked to shoulder a true #1 wide receiver load this season. After DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon departed via free agency, his chemistry with Kirk Cousins needs to develop quickly. Josh Doctson is another wide receiver addition as he returns from a rookie season lost to injury.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp: The biggest story of the offseason was obviously the ongoing contract drama with QB Kirk Cousins. This was settled, at least for this year, at the July 17th deadline to play out the franchise tag. The firing of Scot McCloughan, and Bruce Allen stepping back out of the shadows, and the subsequent “restructuring” of the front office was the other big storyline that affects the team.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: Major turnover in the coaching staff affects both sides of the ball. Defensive coordinator Joe Barry was fired after two uninspired seasons, and will be replaced by OLB coach Greg Manusky. The team also added defensive line coach Jim Tomsula to finally improve the DL. Offensive coordinator Sean McVay left for a head coaching job with the Los Angeles Rams and will be replaced by QB coach Matt Cavanaugh. Jay Gruden will return to calling plays on offense this year. The defense seems improved and the offense has more question marks.
Notable injuries heading into training camp: Rookie CB Fabian Moreau will likely enter the season on PUP; OLB Junior Galette makes his third attempt to play a snap for Washington after back-to-back Achilles injuries.