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Wednesday Cheese Curds: Jerry Gray could make Darnell Savage a superstar

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The Packers’ new secondary coach previously worked with Harrison Smith, Anthony Harris and Earl Thomas

Green Bay Packers v New York Giants Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

An anticipated major change in the Green Bay Packers’ defensive staff didn’t materialize in the aftermath of the Packers’ inept effort in the NFC Championship, but one change was already made that could have a significant impact.

When former secondary coach Jason Simmons left for the same job with the Carolina Panthers, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur opted for experience and hired former Minnesota Vikings defensive backs coach Jerry Gray.

Not only does this higher poach someone from a divisional opponent but the Packers also get someone with a proven track record with developing safeties.

That’s good news for Darnell Savage who flashed a lot of potential as a rookie and will be a prime candidate for the player making the biggest first to second year leap in 2020.

Harrison Smith, Earl Thomas, Lawyer Milloy and Anthony Harris are just some of the names Gray worked with and helped mold into the great safeties they are/were. Smith and Harris were Gray’s most recent projects but he also oversaw the rookie season of Thomas who was arguably one of the most dominant safeties of the past ten years.

With Savage having a strong foundation from his rookie season, seeing what he could do with Gray as one of his coaches will be one of the most intriguing things about the Packers’ defense going into next season. Many saw superstar potential in the former Maryland standout and with someone who has Gray’s experience and pedigree on staff, that potential is now one step closer to reality.

Now for the rest of today’s curds.

New Packers DBs coach could provide big boost for Darnell Savage—Packers Wire

Gray’s track record and Savage’s abilities could lead to big things in 2020. An increase from the two interceptions Savage had as a rookie is looking likely already.

Brian Gutekunst sees promise in Rashan Gary, 2019 draft class—Packers.com

As pleased as the Packers likely were with Savage, their other first round pick had a quieter rookie campaign. Rashan Gary as a rookie was by no means a bust as put a lot of pressures on tape, but he’s someone the team will be looking at to make a big jump in year two even with the presence of the Smith Brothers.

Packers way behind the curve in adapting to NFL’s latest offensive trend—PackersNews.com

Former head coach Mike McCarthy hired Mike Pettine to modernize Green Bay’s defense and LaFleur retained him to let him continue his makeover. Unfortunately, the team is already behind the eight ball and if they don’t catch up quickly in 2020 they could be in the market for a new defensive coordinator.

Packers’ Receivers Failed to Provide YAC Attack—Packers Central

That the Packers need help at receiver is no secret. Failure to gain yards after a catch is a big reason why. The improvement from within did not happen and now GM Brian Gutekunst is going to have to spend big and draft high to drastically improve the position.

Wisconsin Cops Pull Over Wienermobile For Traffic Infraction—Huffington Post

Oh how that driver wishes he wasn’t an Oscar Mayer wiener that day.