To say the ongoing pandemic altered many NFL general managers’ approaches to roster building would probably be an understatement.
With no preseason, the likelihood to gamble on potential has probably dropped while relying on experience has increased.
The Green Bay Packers are a prime example of this. Where everyone perceived weakness at certain positions (*cough* wide receiver *cough*), general manager Brian Gutekunst opted to stand pat outside of signing Devin Funchess who chose to opt out of the 2020 season thanks to COVID-19.
Now with an abbreviated training camp and a limited amount of film to go off of, Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur very well could stick to what worked last year and thankfully the Packers have most of last season’s starters back.
With many potential moving pieces, experience is crucial and the tremendous amount of continuity the Packers have will likely serve them well should the season start on time. After all, they were one game away from the Super Bowl in 2019.
The (potential?) downside to this is, based on the new pieces the team added on offense, the Packers were headed towards running a more pure form of the LaFleur/Shanahan offense than they did last year. Now, thanks to a modified training camp and no preseason, they’ll likely run the hybrid offense of old and new concepts they did last season to very mixed results.
The bottom line is no one really knows how or even if this season plays out, so playing the odds would be the best bet for the Packers. Players in theory could be shifting in and out of the lineup each week and experience in that case should trump raw talent.
Now for today’s curds.
There is almost always a preseason all-star that catches the eyes of both fans and coaches, but without any exhibition games this year is it worth it to gamble on talent (albeit very raw talent) over experience? I’d argue not really unless someone blows you out of the water in camp.
Mason Crosby and Jace Sternberger were added to the COVID-19 reserve list yesterday, so what happens next and when can the Packers expect their kicker and starting tight end back? Well, there are multiple hurdles to clear.
It’s clear Gutekunst loves his roster more than the team’s fans do and until proven otherwise, the general manager deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Vince Lombardi couldn’t tolerate players who couldn’t take care of themselves as Royce Whittington found out after just two laps on the practice field.
Yep, that’s really what happens. 2020 has taken a toll on us all so why not let out some rage over a loudspeaker in one of the most beautiful countries on earth.