The one dark spot on Mike McCarthy’s record as Packers head coach is that his special teams units have been “special” in all the wrong ways. This year, McCarthy is intent on making the special teams unit “special” in the right way. With a more hands-on approach and several young players that are making cases (starting today) to raise the level of play on the Packers’ special teams, McCarthy should be able to attain this goal. But training camp always comes with its surprises and today’s practice was no different than any other…
Jared Abbrederis taken from training camp practice
Jared Abbrederis, a guy that so many in Packernation are pulling for, had to leave practice because of (presumably) an injury sustained on a play where LaDarius Gunter made an eye-opening interception. Abbrederis’ situation now becomes dire if the injury is of any substance and his very job may be in jeopardy on a team stocked with wide receivers where talent in special teams is equated with staying power.
Here’s hoping Abby is fine and that he will at least get a chance to show what he can do. If he is out for an extended period of time, it will be difficult for him to scratch and claw his way to a roster spot on a team that needs to know their young players can contribute on special teams.
A punter’s competition ensues…
Tim Masthay has, in my opinion, been money for the Packers and is hardly the problem with the special teams. Regardless, there is a punting competition brewing in Packers training camp.
Masthay and Mandell will continue to duel it out, but regardless, I think the Packers are OK in this regard.
Attitude and execution
As I have said before, I expect Ty Montgomery to be the starting kick returner coming out of camp and I expect him to make a difference in his rookie year. Punting may be a different matter but we will see. Above all I want to see a different attitude and better execution from the Packers’ special teams this year. Young players will have a chance to make their way in this league by playing well on special teams and hopefully they do so that we won’t have to see guys like Micah Hyde and Randall Cobb continue to bail out the Packers special teams. All-in -all, I think the draft showed this team’s commitment to improving special teams this year. I think we will take a big step forward.
But what do you think? Will the special teams be “special” this year? Let us know in the comments below or back on the Facebook Fanpage.