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Cheese Curds, 8/19: Don’t panic about Rashan Gary; remembering Cedric Benson

The Packers’ top pick hasn’t been racking up (any) stats, but that’s no reason to label him a bust already. Meanwhile, the team remembers a brief contributor who has been taken too soon.

Houston Texans v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers are inching closer and closer to the start of the regular season, and with the passage of time the team is defining more specific roles for its key players. One such player is the team’s first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Rashan Gary, who has had a less-than-inspiring start to the preseason on the stat sheet.

However, stats certainly aren’t everything, and that is especially true in the preseason. The important thing for now is that the team and Gary are not panicking. After all, two exhibition games does not a career make.

So before any bust talk begins (though it’s admittedly too late for that in some circles), take a deep breath and try to appreciate the challenges that Gary was inevitably going to have early on, as well as the team’s efforts to finding the right role for him.

While Gary is a primary topic in today’s Curds, we also must acknowledge a loss to the football family over the weekend. Cedric Benson only spent one year in a Packers uniform, but he made an impact on many members of the organization. Now Benson is gone at the age of 36, leaving a ripple of sadness and fond memories behind him.

Here’s today’s news.

Gary feels he's getting closer to becoming a 'game changer' |
Rashan Gary hasn't recorded a single tackle in 60-plus snaps through two preseason games, which has many Packers fans freaking out. Gary isn't, however, and is instead focusing on continued improvement in his transition to outside linebacker.

Packers pleased with Rashan Gary’s early development | Packers Wire
Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said "without a doubt, we're pleased with where he is." Basically, Pettine is giving Gary the full gamut of responsibilities in camp to see what sticks, then plans to narrow down his role when the regular season arrives and he takes a more rotational role.

Mike Pettine brings his 'Cheesecake Factory' menu to the sideline - ESPN
Meanwhile, Pettine's move from the press box to the sideline is apparently permanent this year, and he'll have quite the playbook and call sheet in hand to help him with his hands-on handling of the defense.

Jamaal Williams excited to get back to work |
Meanwhile, the Packers' #2 running back returned to running on the sideline on Sunday, and he's hoping to be back in team drills on Monday. It's important to get him back to get some preseason reps, especially if the team still sees him as Aaron Jones' primary backup.

Cedric Benson death: Former Texas, NFL RB dies in accident at 36 |
Finally, this tragic event took place over the weekend as the former Packers running back died as a result of a motorcycle accident in Texas. Aaron Rodgers sounded particularly impacted by Benson's time in Green Bay, and he posted the following to Instagram on Sunday: