Young Wide Receivers Have Chance to Catch the Eye of Coaches

Published 08/07 2013 06:10PM

Updated 08/07 2013 06:13PM

If you're a wide receiver for the Packers, and you're itching for playing time, this could be your chance to catch a break.

Jordy Nelson is out for the rest of the preseason following knee surgery, and Randall Cobb's reps are being limited because of a banged up bicep.

"It's open right now and everyone's fighting for it," rookie WR Myles White said about the competition among the group.  "Every day that you can put together that is a good one, is a plus in your book."

White and other rookie free agents like Tyrone Walker and Omarious Hines have all had high points at camp, but it's the holdovers from last year, Jarrett Boykin and Jeremy Ross who are the best bets to rise through the ranks...

"Really understanding the game and starting to make the offense their own," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said of the pair.  "That's important especially at the wide receiver position.  Those guys are both very talented.  Jeremy offers a lot of things to our team.  He can return kicks obviously; he can play inside and outside.  Jarrett is a big strong guy who's had some success on the outside, especially this camp.  I think over the last week I think you've really seen him step up as I've think he's felt the pressure of the competition."

According to Pro Football Focus the Packers lined up in formations featuring 3 or more wide receivers 68% of the time in 2012.  If they intend to do that again this year with the injuries they've had recently, it's going to be up to the young guys to catch the eye of coaches as the preseason approaches.

"I feel a lot more relaxed out there, a lot more comfortable," said WR Jeremy Ross. "Less thinking, more playing.  My ability is able to take over.  It's not thinking things and then react, more so just go out there and do my thing."

Mike McCarthy is a fan of all the young receivers.

"Our young receivers group is a bunch of good football players," McCarthy said Wednesday.  "They're getting a lot of reps.  Are they the biggest guys, fastest guys things like that?  I've been impressed with every one of them."

But the fact remains, only Boykin has caught a regular season pass among them, and he has his thoughts on what it will take to break through.

"At the end of the day, it comes down to how bad do you love the game and what do you want to do to make sure you stay in there," Boykin said.  "I'm pretty sure every guy wants to play so every opportunity we get including myself, we want to take full advantage of it."

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