With Jimmy Graham now in Chicago, all eyes are now on Jace Sternberger to take command of the Green Bay Packers’ tight end group.
Sternberger will enter training camp as the starter with the reliable Marcedes Lewis behind him on the depth chart but Graham’s departure has opened the door for another tempting prospect.
If you read APC regularly, you know our love for Robert “Big Bob” Tonyan already but he does have genuine opportunity in front of him. Tonyan showed what he could be during his first career touchdown against Seattle in 2018 and his size made a difference in his second career touchdown last year against Washington.
Lewis isn’t going to suddenly turn into a pass-catching tight end after 15 seasons (though he’s still darn good as a blocker) and head coach Matt LaFleur couldn’t stop gushing over rookie Josia Deguara after the draft, but Tonyan could prove to be a dark horse weapon for Green Bay.
Regular 12 personnel groupings including Sternberger and Tonyan are not outside the realm of possibility and gives the offense some flexibility with an arguable lack of talent at wide receiver besides Davante Adams. Tonyan’s size and decent speed give him an advantage and Aaron Rodhers hasn’t been afraid to look his way in the few times Tonyan was on the field.
Of course there’s a chance Deguara lights the field on fire during camp and somehow forces Tonyan onto the roster bubble but right now it’s a fairly safe bet Big Bob gets his big chance this season, should the season happen of course.
Now on to today’s curds.
Large Robert could find a way to have a large impact if Sternberger struggles or Deguara takes more time to acclimate to the speed of the NFL game.
Adams’ place in rankings of NFL wide receivers has been hotly debated topic on social media all offseason, but Adams wants to get better and clearly can. Hopefully by this time next year there is no debate he’s a top-five receiver in the league.
Last year it was Rodgers vs LaFleur. This year it’s Rodgers vs first round pick and possible heir Jordan Love. The latter turned out to be a farce, could the same be true of this year’s potentially nonsensical headline? Time will tell.
The Packers were awful at inside linebacker last year and it’s hard to see how they get better this year unless Christian Kirksey stays healthy first and then actually produces results.
Pro tip: if you’re going to fake your own death, remember to run spell check.