GREEN BAY PACKERS (13-5)
CAMP SITE: Green Bay, Wisconsin
LAST YEAR: QB Aaron Rodgers delivered a second straight MVP season as the Packers won a third consecutive NFC North title. The Packers earned the NFC’s top playoff seed for a second straight year, but again failed to reach the Super Bowl. The Packers’ season ended with a 13-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional playoffs, the second straight year they’ve lost a postseason game at home. The Packers haven’t reached a Super Bowl since their 2010 championship season, though they have eight division titles and nine playoff berths in the 11 years since.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, QB coach Tom Clements, WR Romeo Doubs, CB Keisean Nixon, P Pat O’Donnell, OLBs coach Jason Rebrovich, DL Jarran Reed, OT/OG Sean Rhyan, OL Zach Tom, LB Quay Walker, WR Sammy Watkins, WR Christian Watson, DL Devonte Wyatt
IMPORTANT LOSSES: WR Davante Adams, P Corey Bojorquez, LB Oren Burks, QB coach Luke Getsy, OC Nathaniel Hackett, TE coach Justin Outten, OG Lucas Patrick, WR Equanimeous St. Brown, OLB Preston Smith, CB Chandon Sullivan, OT Billy Turner, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
CAMP NEEDS: Training camp will give Rodgers more time to work with the Packers new receivers as they adjust to life without Adams and Valdes-Scantling. The Packers brought in Watkins and drafted three receivers (Watson in the second round, Doubs in the fourth and Samori Toure in the seventh). The Packers also are monitoring the recoveries of OT David Bakhtiari, OG Elgton Jenkins, TE Robert Tonyan and RB/KR Kylin Hill from knee injuries.
KEY CAMP COMPETITIONS: The pecking order of receivers remains a question. Allen Lazard is the Packers only proven returning receiver. The Packers need to find out which rookie receivers are ready and whether Watkins can stay healthy and regain the form he showed earlier in his career. The Packers also must figure out which starting five to put on the offensive line and where to arrange them. The Packers have so many linemen who can play multiple positions that it gives them plenty of options. The key there is the health of Bakhtiari and Jenkins, their two best linemen.
EXPECTATIONS: The Packers will be legitimate Super Bowl contenders as long as Rodgers is leading the offense and playing at an MVP level, but they do have more questions than a year ago. They’re dealing with the most staff changes they’ve encountered during Matt LaFleur’s head coaching tenure. Former offensive line coach Adam Stenavich is a first-time coordinator and has a tough task replacing Hackett, now the Denver Broncos head coach. The uncertainty at wide receiver could force the Packers to lean more on their defense than usual, at least early on. The Packers also are counting on Bisaccia to upgrade a special teams unit that ranked as the league’s worst last season and was the deciding factor in their playoff loss.
FANDUEL SUPER BOWL ODDS: +1200
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL