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Cheese Curds, 1/2: How will Packers improve their roster for a new head coach?

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Brian Gutekunst and his staff need to add ability at a handful of positions to put the team’s new coach in a position to succeed.

NFL: FEB 28 Scouting Combine Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst is involved in the team’s search for a new head coach in the coming weeks, the rest of his personnel department will be grinding through tape. Bowl games are wrapped up (not counting the College Football Playoff national championship) and a few individuals connected to the Packers in mock drafts have some excellent game film to review during the lead-up to the 2019 Scouting Combine.

Perhaps no player improved his stock more during his bowl game than Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen. Against a stout Penn State offensive line, Allen racked up three sacks in the Citrus Bowl, bringing his season total up to a whopping 17, and he added a blocked field goal for good measure. Florida’s Jachai Polite didn’t have a sack against Michigan in the Peach Bowl, but he did record a pair of tackles for loss. Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons picked up a sack and 2.5 TFLs in Tuesday’s Outback Bowl loss to Iowa.

There should be plenty of front-seven talent available for the Packers when they are on the clock with the 12th pick in April, but there’s plenty of work to do before that as well. As some of the team’s beat writers suggest, offensive line could be a priority for the team in free agency, as they need to figure out the situation at right guard and make a decision on Bryan Bulaga.

Regardless of who the team hires as its next head coach in the next few weeks, the franchise’s success in 2019 will be tied at least as much to Gutekunst’s ability to identify and acquire talent in March and April.

Packers need free-agency infusion on offensive line | Packersnews.com
This is a solid breakdown of many of the team’s personnel issues heading into the offseason, and it’s another source of speculation that Josh Jackson will move to safety in 2019.

Ranking the NFL head-coach openings | ESPN.com
According to a handful of NFL insiders, the Packers' and Browns' jobs are tied for the best opportunities this offseason. However, while one personnel director isn't a fan of the setup in Green Bay, an NFL coach has them at number one "without reservation."

What You Might’ve Missed: Dean of defense | Packers.com
From week one to week 17, Dean Lowry continued to show why he will probably be a Packer for a long time, even if he's never a full-time starter. He gave excellent reps as a rotational player early in the year and he had a very good game on Sunday against the Lions despite the rest of the team falling apart.

Packers LT David Bakhtiari named to 2018 PFF All-Pro team | Packers Wire
As usual, Bakhtiari gets the love from the scouting and analytics community that he fails to receive from Pro Bowl voters.

What we know about the drama between Antonio Brown and the Steelers - SBNation.com
No, the Steelers won't trade Brown -- largely because they can't due to the contract he signed in 2017 and renegotiated a year later.

USC OC Kliff Kingsbury interviewing with Cards, Jets - NFL.com
This is interesting - we had assumed that Kingsbury was taking himself off the market when he took the USC job, but now he's getting interviews, perhaps with teams wanting to evaluate him as an OC candidate even more so than as a head coach.

Police are devastated by Krispy Kreme truck fire | 13 WTHR Indianapolis
A few cops who arrived on the scene tweeted sad selfies with the burned-out donut truck.