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Packers GM Brian Gutekunst bullish on WRs, but frustrated with player evaluation

The Packers general manager spoke Monday about the challenge of player evaluation during a pandemic

NFL: JUL 24 Green Bay Packers Shareholders Meeting Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Brian Gutekunst is willing to say the obvious about the Green Bay Packers’ 2020 training camp, such as it is.

“It’s not gonna be the same.”

Speaking to reporters via Zoom Monday afternoon, Gutekunst said the Packers’ preseason evaluation process is going to bank heavily on head coach Matt LaFleur and the rest of the staff baking competition into everyday practice. Without preseason games, it’s the closest the Packers will get this summer to game situations.

Beyond that, though? “There are going to be some leaps of faith and we’ll do the best we can,” Gutekunst said.

Generally speaking, Gutekunst is fairly optimistic about how training camp will play out. But for a general manager who churns the bottom third of his roster as frequently as Gutekunst does, the player acquisition process represents a bit of a headache.

However, reading between the lines, Gutekunst’s remarks could indicate the Packers have signed receiver Malik Turner, who was reportedly in Green Bay late last week.

“Right now we’re not able to bring guys in off the street just to work out,” said Gutekunst, though he didn’t offer any specific remarks regarding Turner, who played with the Seattle Seahawks last season.

Turner acquisition notwithstanding, Gutekunst remains optimistic about his receiving corps. His lack of activity at the position this offseason has been a persistent source of irritation for Packers fans, but Gutekunst has continued to insist that the Packers’ wide receivers will improve from within. That’s largely because he believes in players like Equanimeous St. Brown, who’s now fully recovered from an ankle injury that scuttled his entire 2019 season.

“We’re really bullish on him. I think he’s got a bright future ahead of him.”