GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – As preseason gets underway throughout the NFL, Local 5’s Sports Director Burke Griffin answers five big questions regarding the Green Bay Packers ahead of Friday’s matchup against Cincinnati.
#1. Cincinnati Skirmish
Things get heated in practice, and when you play against another opponent, it’s easy to lose your cool regardless of the circumstances. That was the case on Wednesday when the Packers hooked up with the Bengals prior to tonight’s first preseason game of the year.
If Elgton Jenkins wouldn’t back down to 3-time defensive MVP Aaron Donald? He’s not going to put up with any garbage from a Bengals backup journeyman who has just 8.5 sacks in seven seasons.
As far as the rest of the joint practice was concerned, not much was revealed in regard to what the Packers defense truly offers, since Joe Burrow has been out with a calf injury. The Bengals star will not play tonight either, so it will be interesting to see how Green Bay and defensive coordinator Joe Barry handle things.
#2. Jayden Reed is the Next “Randall Cobb”
If there is anything we have seen during training camp, it’s that the Michigan State star has game.
Reed almost always makes the tough catches in traffic and he has the kind of short-term burst to continually pick up first downs. At this point, he has a great attitude and seems as likable as they come. Sound familiar? Depending on how Matt LaFleur wants to utilize his talents, he is an asset and will likely become Jordan Love’s late check-down man.
#3. Another 7th Round Star?
Two of the greatest success stories in the history of football, let alone here in Titletown, are Donald Driver and Mark Tauscher. Hard workers. Salt-of-the-Earth type of guys. And remarkable talents, that the Packers took a chance on in the seventh round of the draft. Carpenter has the ability to be that kind of guy. Will he be playing in Green Bay for a decade or more? Nobody knows that in today’s current climate of the NFL. But the guy continually keeps making plays, and if he keeps doing so, there will be a spot for him again on the roster.
#4. QB Cut?
That was an Easy decision.
Sean Clifford’s skills, savvy, and smarts, made releasing Danny Etling a simple choice. Now the big question is: who seizes the backup job behind Jordan Love? Clifford would seem to be the likely guy given his youth and overall talent but Alex McGough has shown flashes that made him the USFL MVP this past year. Much like Etling, he is basically a journeyman who has bounced around the league since being drafted in 2018, but when you stick around for five years in the professional football environment, that shows perseverance.
#5. Big Leg, or Just Shoes to Fill?
Mason Crosby had the talent and skill that people take for granted. Whether it is your old car actually starting on a bitter below-zero day in January, or that reliable fridge in your garage, you could almost always count on him.
And that’s the crutch that Anders Carlson will bear. Most people have no idea what it’s like playing sports in truly cold weather. Not basketball. Not baseball. Hockey players understand. But kicking a football in Lambeau Field after October? That’s a beast of its own. Carlson was an absolute stud at Auburn and one of the best kickers in the country last year in college. But SEC weather is not Wisconsin. And Carlson wasn’t very good during training camp until the family night scrimmage. Let’s see how he does in another stadium.